Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence? | Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
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Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation

The relationship between an employer and employee can be of huge importance to both parties, and it’s also quite unique in the eyes of the law. Workers’ compensation laws entitle employees to benefits if they have been injured within the scope of their work. However, maybe your employer’s negligent behavior doesn’t necessarily fit within the standard definition of a worker’s compensation case. Depending on your circumstances you may have the option to sue your employer outside of the scope of worker’s compensation.

A knowledgeable and experienced Illinois work-related injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine what is the best course of action for you.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to discuss your case today at (312) 236-2900.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits vs Suing for Negligence

A worker’s comp action will allow you to seek benefits without having to prove anyone was at fault. You simply need to show that you were hurt at work while doing your job. However, taking advantage of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance allows for your employer to be protected from a lawsuit. Worker’s compensation only grants you economic benefits, meaning that you cannot recover for non-economic claims like pain and suffering or anything else that is potentially available in a regular negligence suit.

While state and local laws encourage injured workers to seek recourse with workers’ compensation, it is possible to sidestep this on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances. Examples of instances when you can directly sue your employer include:

  • If your employer is uninsured – The law requires that employers have workers’ compensation insurance, but if your employer is uninsured you can sue them for negligence if you are hurt on the job.
  • If you are not technically an “employee” – Depending on where you live, many professions such as commission-only sales people, real estate brokers, or some agricultural workers are not considered to be employees when it comes to workers’ compensation. Your lawyer can help you if you fall into one of these categories and want to sue your employer for negligence.
  • You are injured by an intentional act – Workers’ compensation laws are benefits for injuries that result from accidents on the job, but you can sue your employer in civil court if you sustain an injury from an intentional act. An example of this would be if an argument leads to a physical altercation between you and your employer.

Third-Party Suit

You can file a lawsuit against an outside party who is not your employer if you are injured during your employment due to their negligence. This is called a third-party claim, and it can be done while you are also seeking workers’ compensation benefits. For example, let’s say you are driving as part of your work, and another motorist hits you and you’re injured. Your workers’ compensation claim can go forward, but your lawyer can also help you pursue damages against the other motorist to recover compensation for any injuries you sustained.

A third-party lawsuit is like any other negligence claim in civil court where you will have to demonstrate that the third party was at fault in the accident that hurt you. Unlike workers’ compensation where benefits can be received without proving negligence, in a third-party action, your lawyer would work to show the court how you were injured by the other party’s negligence, and how much it has cost you. Your employer will also have the option to sue the third-party as well to seek compensation for losses to their business.

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help You

If you have been hurt on the job due to negligence, you need to know your rights regarding your options for recovery. Workers’ compensation benefits can be great, but maybe they’re not enough, and you might have an option to recover outside of this system. You need a qualified and experienced lawyer who understands the employment and negligence law in Illinois.

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you determine what is best for your recovery from an accident. Call us today at (312) 236-2900.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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