Can I Sue My Employer and Not Have to Go Through Workers’ Compensation?
I’ve been asked a very general question,” Can I sue my employer and not go through workers compensation?”.
When you get injured on a job, most of the time you are not able to sue your employer but like many things, there are exceptions. For example, if your employer assaults you or physically batters you than yes you can sue that employer directly in Superior Court. This means that you can potentially recover civil damages. At the same time, in that kind of situation, you can also recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits. It depends on the situation but since you are technically injured at work, whether it was an accident or your employer directly hitting you, it is still a “work injury”. Eventually though, the injured worker is going to have to choose what pot of money they are going to get their money from, the civil court or workers compensation.
Besides assault and physical batter, there are other exceptions. Certain machine injuries also allow you to sue your employers. For a full list of exceptions, you should consult with an attorney to get personalized attention.
Another thing that needs to be taken under consideration is that usually and typically the doctrine of exclusive remedy applies which means that a worker cannot sue their employer for a work related injury as long as they are receiving benefits from workers’ compensation.
NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.