Can I File a Lawsuit for a Work Injury?
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Oct 31, 2017 in Workers' Compensation
When a person is injured through no fault of their own, it is not uncommon to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover payment for injuries, medical bills and other damages associated with the injury. However, if you have been injured at work, your ability to file a lawsuit is severely limited by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act.
To learn more about your options after a work injury, contact our accomplished Silver Spring workers’ compensation lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation. We will review the details of your injury and advise you of your legal options.
Can I Sue My Employer?
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer for a work injury. This is because all work-related injury claims are handled through workers’ compensation insurance.
Since the early 1900s, there have been laws in place to protect employees who are injured in the workplace. Previous systems required that injured workers file personal injury lawsuits against their employers to obtain compensation for their injuries. This was not effective, however, as proving an employer’s negligence caused an injury was difficult and the legal process was expensive. This left workers without compensation throughout the lengthy legal process.
Because of this, many states, including Maryland, passed workers’ compensation laws that require most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance that protects injured workers. This process helps injured workers get compensation for their injuries much faster and without having to prove the cause of their injury.
However, by requiring that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, companies gained immunity from lawsuits for work-related injuries. This means that injured workers cannot file personal injury lawsuits against their employers. The only exception would be if your employer intentionally caused you harm or engaged in certain wrongful conduct.
Although you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for a work-related injury, it is possible to file a lawsuit against a third party who was responsible for your injury. A third party can include anyone that is not your employer.
Some examples of third parties that could be held liable for a work injury include:
- Product manufacturers – Because employees regularly work with tools, machinery, scaffolding, forklifts and tractors, and other types of equipment, it is not uncommon for workers to suffer injuries from defective products. When this happens, it may be possible to hold the product manufacturer liable for your injuries.
- Contractors and subcontractors – There are often several companies working on different parts of a jobsite at the same time. If a contractor or subcontractor is negligent and caused your injury, it may be possible to hold that company accountable for your injury. For example, if a plumber or electrician entered a jobsite and fell into an unmarked hole, the entity responsible for creating and warning about that hole could potentially be held liable.
- Worksite owner – The owner of a worksite could potentially be held liable for anything that occurs on the site if he or she has control over the property.
- Automobile driver – If you have to drive for work and are involved in a car accident in Silver Spring, the driver who caused your accident may be held liable for your injuries.
A third-party lawsuit can be filed in addition to your workers’ compensation claim and may provide additional compensation that is not available from a workers’ compensation claim, such as payment for your pain and suffering.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been injured at work, you should contact a reputable attorney who can help with your workers’ compensation claim and can help you determine if there are other legal options available for pursuing additional compensation.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys have decades of experienced helping injured workers and will work on your behalf to help ensure your claim is properly handled.
Contact Goldberg Finnegan today for a free, no obligation consultation. We do not charge upfront costs and will not charge legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.