The Law Center

Can I sue my employer if get injured at an unsafe worksite?

You were injured at work because of unsafe conditions and now you’re disabled, but you can’t sue your employer for pain and suffering and all the other injuries because there’s an exclusivity provision of a workers compensation laws which give immunity to employers.   The reason why lawmakers put that protection in is so that everyone would get covered — all injured workers, not just the ones in unsafe conditions.

Shortly after the Industrial Revolution, states across the country passed sweeping legislation to protect workers from often unsafe working conditions in dangerous factories in other workplaces.   States set up government agencies the Department of Labor and Industry and Bureau of workers compensation to administer these claims and give workers money to combat poverty across the country after they hurt themselves at work and became disabled.

In passing these, laws there was a compromise between businesses and employees.   Workers needed the protection from injury and big business needed protection from the extremely high cost of lawsuits. The compromise that was reached is that employers were granted immunity from lawsuits, a substantial savings from having to make people whole and repay for everything that an employer lost.   Workers lost the ability to sue for pain and suffering because the employer only has to pay the benefits enumerated under the Workers Compensation Act — a wage loss reimbursement and medical expenses.

In exchange, injured workers got something very important: they wouldn’t have to incur an expensive, time-consuming lawsuit.   They didn’t have to prove that the workplace was a dangerous place, unreasonable, or that employer mistake caused the worker injury. Blame and/or fault isn’t the basis of recovery for workers compensation. All the workers had to prove was he/she sustained an injury through the course and scope of employment.

In the workers’ compensation system, no one is left behind without a paycheck — it protects anyone who became disabled from the injury. The negative part is that the benefits are limited for workers who become seriously injured. They will not recover for pain and suffering or nearly the damages that they be entitled — only medical treatment and lost wages. The good part of that is that all disabled workers can feed their families and keep a roof over their head.

If you ‘ve been injured in a work accident, click the “Request Consultation” button and complete the form to learn if we can help you.