It is often considered that employee can only receive workers’ compensation by the employer in case of injuries at the workplace. Though the workers’ compensation is the general rule but there are many situations and exceptions which an injured worker or his/her family is eligible to sue for the damages and troubles caused by the injuries. These include:
- The employer can be sued in the civil court or can collect money from the state fund if the injured worker does not get compensation from employer’ workers’ compensation insurance.
- If the injury was due to a toxic substance, then the claimant has to bring the toxic tort case against the substance manufacturer.
- If the injury was due to the defective product, then claimant might have to bring the product liability case against the product manufacturer.
- If the injury was due to the egregious or intentional behavior of the employer, then the worker might bring the personal injury claim against the employer.
- If the third party caused the injury then the claimant is eligible to bring the personal injury case in court against the responsible person.
Although a permanent disabled, temporary disabled, or injured worker may get benefits and money from workers’ compensation but these are pretty less and do not compensate for the pain and distress worker suffered. Also, workers’ compensation does not offer punitive damages to penalize the employer for poor conditions and safety controls. That is why it is necessary for the injured to understand his or her rights to bring the case other than workers’ compensation case. In addition to that, an injured worker might get an additional amount from the government benefits like SSI or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) if the injury is preventing and disabling the employee from working.
Injury By a Defective Product
If the employer gets injured due to a piece of equipment or machinery product that failed to properly work, was defective, or was inherently dangerous, then the equipment or machine manufacturer is accountable for the damage if he/she knew about it or did not warn the employees properly of the danger. In such cases, the worker gets the compensation from the manufacturer for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.
Injury Due To a Toxic Substance
Workers use chemicals which are sometimes toxic and cause severe damage and illness. A common example of these chemical or substances are benzene, silica, asbestos, radium, and chromium compounds, but any substance that damage can be subjected possibly to the lawsuit for the “toxic tort”. Generally speaking, toxic injuries are of two types. One is the acute injury which apparent immediately and other is latent injury can take years to show. Acute injury examples include poising and chemical burns and lung and cancer diseases are examples of latent injuries. It is difficult to prove the latent injuries compared to acute injuries due to the time delay. But such cases are not impossible to prove. Workers have won many cases which were brought after years of their exposure to a toxic substance.