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Can I sue my employer after a workplace injury?

If you recently suffered an injury on the job, you may have concerns that your employer's workers' compensation insurance may not fully address your situation, or maybe you've heard that you should sue your employer rather than accept workers' compensation benefits.

In many cases, employees do not have legal grounds to sue an employer after a workplace accident. If your employer offers you workers' compensation coverage, then the strongest path forward to fair compensation for your injury and losses is through maximizing workers' compensation benefits. An experienced attorney who understands the inner workings of the workers' compensation system can help protect your interests in this process, and ensure that you do not accept lesser benefits than you deserve.

However, there are some instances in which an employee may actually sue an employer after an on-the-job injury. If you believe that one of these scenarios fits your circumstances, you may want to consult with an attorney about alternative strategies for fairly resolving the issue.

If an employer's actions injure you

While workers' compensation usually removes an employee's ability to sue an employer after an injury, that may not hold true if the employee suffers the injury because of the wrongdoing of an employer.

For instance, if you and your employer are in conflict and the employer physically assaults you, then this may justify a personal injury suit. Other behavior, such as holding you against your will or subjecting you to severe emotional trauma may also qualify as grounds for suits against your employer.

These are all tricky legal areas, so it is important to consult with a legal professional before deciding which path to take.

If your employer wrongfully denies your claim

In many cases, an insurer or employer may deny an on-the-job injury claim. If you believe that your claim is valid and was wrongfully denied, you can work through the appeals process for the claim.

This rarely rises to the level of a proper civil suit against an employer because the appeals process one must complete before proceeding to a lawsuit is fairly lengthy and exhaustive. In most cases, an employee cannot sue an employer for wrongful claim denial until the appeals process resolves.

Care for yourself first

If you recently received an injury, do not wait until you understand all of your options to pursue proper medical care. If you put off medical care, you may exceed the statute of limitations to receive workers' compensation benefits, and your condition may worsen significantly.

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