If you have experienced a personal injury at your workplace, chances are you’ve been told the only compensation you’re entitled to will come from the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. This is certainly the general rule, but there are exceptions.
Situations Where You May Be Able to Sue for A Personal Injury
You may be able to claim if you have been injured:
- By a defective product. You may be entitled to bring a product liability action against the manufacturer.
- By a toxic substance in which case you can bring a toxic tort against the substance manufacturer.
- Due to your employer’s egregious or intentional conduct, you could bring a personal injury lawsuit against the employer.
- By a third party, you could bring a lawsuit against that person.
- If your employer doesn’t carry worker’s compensation insurance, you may be able to collect money from a state fund or sue in a civil court.
While worker’s compensation does provide money and benefits to a worker who has been injured, permanent and temporary disability payments tend to be fairly low and don’t compensate for things like suffering and pain. Furthermore, it doesn’t provide punitive damages in order to punish an employer for dangerous conditions or poor safety controls.
What Happens If You’re Injured by a Defective Product?
If you are injured at work by a defective piece of equipment or machine, or one that is inherently dangerous, the manufacturer could be held responsible for the injury if they knew of the danger or didn’t sufficiently warn your employer of the dangers. In this sort of instance, the manufacturer will have to compensate you for things like lost wages, medical bills and suffering and pain.
What About Being Injured by a Toxic Substance?
Sometimes the substances you work with are toxic and can cause severe illnesses or personal injury. These include things like benzene, asbestos, silica, radium and chromium compounds. But any substance that causes you harm could be the subject of a lawsuit for a toxic tort.
There are two types of toxic injuries: latent injuries can take years to appear whereas acute injuries are apparent right away. Acute injuries include poisonings and chemical burns whereas latent injuries include lung diseases and cancers. Latent injuries can be more difficult to prove because of the time delay. However, workers have been successful in lawsuits brought some years after exposure to the toxic substances. If you are injured by a toxic substance, you can typically sue the manufacturer as well as the manufacturers of any of the safety equipment that was ineffective in the handling of the substances.
Contact a Lawyer
If you have suffered a personal injury at work, talk to an attorney from Clore Law about your legal rights. If a significant amount of time has passed between your injury and claim, you will need the help of an expert to sort out the complicated issues involved. Our attorneys will help you get the best settlement for your workplace injury call to book an appointment at 843-722-8070.