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Workplace injuries: workers' compensation or a lawsuit?

If you're injured at work, your employer should have workers' compensation insurance to cover your medical expenses and rehabilitation. In many cases, claims for workers' comp go through just fine and employees are taken care of. However, that's not always the case. There are times when employers act irresponsibly and that may leave injured workers wondering if they can sue for compensation.

Generally, employers who offer workers' compensation for their employees are immune from lawsuits. It's a trade off; by taking the workers' comp, employees are agreeing to give up their right to sue. That said, there are times when it's possible to bring a suit against an employer:

  • If an employer physically assaults you and it results in an injury.
  • An employer falsely imprisons you. That is, holds you against your will.
  • If someone defames you or lies about you and it causes you harm.
  • Your privacy is invaded. For instance, compromising photos are shared with a large audience.
  • Your injury was the result of a third party such as a manufacturer whose equipment was defective.
  • If you were wrongfully denied workers' compensation. In order to bring a suit in this situation, you must have exhausted all the usual avenues. Also, the rules on this can vary from state to state.

Getting workers' compensation can be a complex and exhausting process. If you need help filing a claim or you've been denied compensation by your employer, you may want to consider speaking with a workers' compensation attorney in your area.

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