When to File an Injury Lawsuit Rather Than a Workers’ Compensation Claim
A common question among people who suffer an injury at work is whether they should choose to file a workers’ compensation claim or to file a lawsuit against the company. The answer is that it depends on the type of accident that occurred and the causes of that accident. Some injuries and illnesses are specifically covered under the employer’s workers’ compensation plan, while others might be better suited for a lawsuit.
Consider the following scenarios in which the lawsuit is a better option:
- Third party accidents — A third party could be a subcontractor or an engineer on-site at a construction area, or someone driving a company car. When an accident involves a third party, victims may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits — or the benefits available may be far lesser than what the victim would be entitled to in a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, unlike in a workers’ comp claim, in an injury lawsuit victims can recover compensation for emotional pain and suffering in addition to reimbursement of medical bills and lost wages.
- Disregard of an employer — If an employer ever intentionally hurts a worker, the best option is usually to seek injury compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In scenarios involving gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing, victims may be entitled to punitive damages as well.
- Products liability claims — If a faulty piece of equipment or machinery injures a worker, he or she may choose to file a products liability lawsuit. The defendant would be the product’s manufacturer.
If you are unsure whether you should seek workers’ compensation benefits after your on-the-job injury or whether you should consider more aggressive legal action against a negligent party, consult an experienced attorney in New York City.