The short answer is no, you cannot sue your employer. However, there is another, more efficient, method to seek compensation from your employer due to an injury – workers’ compensation. As an employee, you cannot sue your employer for a work related injury. If the injury has occurred within the scope of your employment, you must claim your injury through the workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation system was set up as a form of insurance for both you and your employer. The system is looked at as a “no fault system” which means that injuries are viewed as an unavoidable aspect of work relationships and there is no need to prove that your employer or a certain person caused your injury.
The workers’ compensation laws are beneficial to employers because they do not run the risk of being sued by their employees. Your employer pays a certain amount into workers’ compensation insurance throughout the year. If an employee is hurt on the job, the workers’ compensation system then pays a certain amount depending upon what type of injury is suffered. The benefit of paying workers’ compensation insurance is the employer does not have to worry about being sued by their employees due to an on the job injury. Instead, if you want to make a claim against your employer for your work related injury you must go through the workers’ compensation process and cannot sue them in court.
The workers’ compensation system has obvious benefits to the employer. However, there are also a number of benefits to the employee who was injured. If you were to sue your employer you may have to wait years to receive any form of compensation. The workers’ compensation system gives employees compensation faster in order to pay medical bills and keep up with everyday expenses. This is important because if you are injured, you may be out of work for an extended period of time. Instead of waiting several years on a trial, which you run the risk of losing and receiving nothing, the workers compensation laws allow you to receive compensation more quickly to pay rent, medical bills and any other daily expenses you may have. This system also prevents an employer from preventing you from obtaining compensation because they do not have the funds to pay for the medical bills that you may have incurred. The companies workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for the necessary medical care and lost wages for an injured employee. As a give and take for these benefits, you are required to make injury claims against your employer through a workers’ compensation claim instead of a typical lawsuit.
As with any legal dispute, it is important to consult a workers’ compensation attorney that can ensure that you receive the full level of benefits that you deserve.