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Can I sue the employer instead of using workers compensation?

Workers’ compensation is considered an “exclusive remedy” with respect to work-related injuries unless a third-party contributed the injury. An injured worker may want to sue the employer for negligence but, negligence is not to be taken into account for work-related injuries whether on the employee or the employer’s behalf. Often times, workers’ compensation is your only recourse.

It is important to recognize whether a third-party may be responsible for the accident and injuries as you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against that party.  Often times, in the construction industry or if there is a property owner, you may be able to pursue a claim for common law damages such as pain and suffering.

If you suspect that you have had a work-related injury that was caused by a third-party’s negligence, you may have more than just a workers’ compensation claim and you should contact a Minnesota work injury lawyer. A Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine what potential claims you may have

Common personal injury claims in conjunction with a workers’ compensation case

An injured worker may be able to bring a personal lawsuit in addition to a workers’ compensation claim under the following circumstances:

Products liability — Sometimes an injured worker may have additional claims against a manufacturer of a product that may have caused the injury, such as it being unreasonably dangerous or deficient instructions or warnings on how to operate the equipment. There also may be additional claims if during the course of a workers’ compensation case there is further injury or insult done because of failed medical treatment, including surgery, prosthetic, etc.

Third-party on an employer’s premises — At times, a third-party may enter into an employer’s premises and commit an act which injures the employee. For example, someone operating a skid loader and accidentally runs over an employee’s foot.  This may represent an injury by a third-party who does not have an employment relationship with the employer and it may be possible to pursue a personal injury claim against them.

An injury occurring on someone else’s property — Sometimes traveling employees may have to perform job duties on different sites including at a client’s home or another property. These could include a delivery person, repairman, sales, etc.

Intentional injuries — These types of injury are more difficult to prove as they do not extend to claims where there is merely negligence or acts with indifference, instead, it must be done with actual intent to cause harm. Often times, these are not called for but, if the injury was intentional, there may be an additional way in which to obtain benefits.

 It is important to stay empowered and know your rights under the law.  Mottaz & Sisk offers free no-hassle consultations to allow you an opportunity to be informed so you can make the right choices.