Accidents in the workplace can be dangerous, therefore strict safety gear and procedures are rigidly imposed on worker in dangerous industries. In most cases, workers are prohibited from suing their employers after a workplace accident. The reason for this is the implementation of workers’ compensation – a trade-off between the employers and injured workers, who will forgo their right to sue their employer in exchange for receiving workers ’ compensation benefits for workplace related incidents. However, even with this no-fault system, there are certain circumstances that would allow an injured worker to file a lawsuit against their employer or co-worker. According to the website of the The Benton Law Firm, here are some examples of situations that a worker can file personal injury lawsuit:
- Intentional torts – a worker has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer if the actions and resulting damages were intentional in nature. The injuries are not limited to physical, but also cover for non-physical injuries like trauma and emotional distress. Examples of such intentional torts are: battery, trespassing, invasion of privacy, assault, defamation, false imprisonment, and many others.
- Third-party torts – if the accident and injury were the result of negligent or reckless actions of a third party (that is, other than your employer), you have the right to file a lawsuit against that party, such as those who made and supplied defective equipment. When have been rewarded damages for the injuries, you may be required to give back a certain amount to your employer (or their insurance company) as payment for the worker’s compensation you have received. Another option is to have them as parties in the lawsuit in order to recover the pain value of worker’s compensation.
- Wrongful termination or denial of worker’s compensation benefits – workers’ compensation claims are an administrative process, and therefore any appeal for the benefits awarded will only be welcomed only after all administrative processes has been expended and all the parties have not reached a settlement. You then have to pursue your claim in a special worker’s compensation board or a nominated court; you only have the option of going to the civil court system if you have exhausted all the legal administrative process.
There are a lot of factors that can affect the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit, and many Minnesota workers’ compensation attorneys would say that it can be difficult to prove in court.