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Suing an employer vs. workers' compensation

If you get hurt at work, the normal way you'll be compensated is by going through the right channels for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation works by paying your medical bills and even potentially paying you lost wages. For most people, this process works fine. However, you may be asking if you can sue your employer instead.

The fact is that in most cases, you're barred from suing your employer for an injury you get on the job. However, there may be some cases in which you can sue. For example, if you were injured intentionally by your employer, you'll be in a position to sue.

If the employer assaults you, confines you against your will, or intentionally inflicts emotional distress on you, then you have a case that workers' compensation isn't meant to cover. Defamation and fraud are also things you for which may decide to sue.

You can also sue third parties. For example, if you are working on a construction site and are injured by a third party hired in by your employer, you can sue that party. If your employer purchases equipment that is defective and injures you, you could have the right to sue the manufacturer.

If you decide to sue an employer, remember that you may have to pay back any workers' compensation that you received if you win your case. These kinds of cases can be complicated, and you don't want to waste time on a case that will be thrown out in court. Your attorney can help determine if you can sue your employer or a third party for your injuries instead of getting workers' compensation payments.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Compensation: Can I Sue My Employer Instead?," accessed Feb. 25, 2016

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