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Workers' compensation: to sue or not to sue

After an accident at work that leaves you injured, it's understandable to be upset, especially if it was caused by an unsafe working environment or the negligence of your employer. Your first gut reaction might be to sue for damages. However, generally speaking, workers' compensation is designed to protect employers fromlawsuits. It's a trade-off; the employer agrees to keep workers' compensation insurance to take care of any employee injuries, and the employees forego their right to sue. This is true regardless of whose fault it was.

However, there are times when a workplace injury, both physical and mental, can be eligible for a lawsuit. Here are some of the exceptions:

  • If you were physically assaulted by someone at work.
  • If you are held against your will; false imprisonment.
  • You were lied to or defrauded.
  • Someone defamed or slandered you publically.
  • You were emotionally traumatized by someone's behavior toward you.
  • Your privacy was invaded. This is a topic too broad and complicated to be covered here.

Keep in mind that you can also bring a suit against a third party if you believe they were responsible for your injury. For instance, if you were injured by a defective piece of machinery, the manufacturer of it could be held liable. However, when compensation is awarded in these cases, you may have to share a portion with your employer to pay back workers' compensation.

An attorney can be an invaluable help withworkplace injuries. They can help you file for workers' compensation, help you fight a denied claim and may be able to help you file suit.

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