Workers use their bodies and brains to help employers make money. But not every job is a safe desk job. That’s why there are regulations for workers to keep them as safe as possible. Most employers fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s purview. This organization ensures that everyone has a safe and healthy work environment. Beyond this, many employers are required by state law to have workers compensation insurance to cover on-the-job injuries. However, some states, like Texas, do not require this coverage. An employer may opt to carry it, but they are not required by state law to do so.
Generally, you would be covered by worker’s compensation if you became injured on the job. However, there are certain circumstances in which you could sue an employer for being injured at work.
Most of the time, you are entitled to sue your employer if any of the following situations occur:
- Your employer intentionally hurt you – If your employer took some action with the deliberate and direct intent of harming you, such as your boss punching you in the face. This does not include negligent acts, only intentional.
- Your employer has insufficient worker’s compensation or no worker’s compensation insurance – Texas is the only state that doesn’t require workers compensation. In other states, an employer may not have enough workers compensation coverage. In most states, you can file a lawsuit that would allow you to be compensated for what happened to you.
Some states also allow for an employer to be sued if they acted in a grossly negligent manner that caused injury to an employee. Examples of this kind of claim would be if an employer didn’t provide proper protective equipment or had poor safety controls. You can also sue an employer for imposing dangerous working conditions or placing the employee at unnecessary risk.
Injuries Caused by a Third-Party
What if there’s a third party involved, like a violent coworker? An employee may also be able to sue an employer for injuries caused by a third-party. Generally, the injured party must prove that the employer was aware that the third-party had a history of violence or harmful actions and took no action to prevent that violence from occurring at the workplace.
Some professions are dangerous by their nature, like the chemical industry. Employers must protect their workers from exposure to toxic substances. If an employer negligently exposes their employees to toxic substances like asbestos, chromium compounds, benzene, and other toxic substances, the employee may bypass worker’s compensation claims and sue the employer directly.
Not all injuries on the job are due to an employer’s fault. But if there is employer negligence, you should first seek medical help for your injury. Once you have received your examination, you should contact an attorney who specializes in employee injuries and workers compensation claims. Laws vary from state to state, so an attorney would be able to best advise you about your claim.