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Can an Injured Employee Ever Sue for a Workplace Injury?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

workplace injury, Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation LawyerThe Illinois workers' compensation program is a no-fault insurance system, and is intended to ensure that people who are injured in on-the-job accidents, or those who develop occupational illnesses, are compensated.

Almost all employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Additionally, individuals are not required to show that their injury was anyone else's fault.

To a large extent, the workers' compensation system exists to shield employers from liability from lawsuits arising from workplace accidents while also ensuring that injured workers get the medical care that they need. As such, workers' compensation generally acts as the exclusive remedy for work-related injuries or illness. Therefore, employees cannot usually sue after a workplace accident.

Certain Exceptions Can Apply

While employees are guaranteed benefits, these benefits are generally significantly less than the compensation that they would be able to receive through a traditional personal injury lawsuit after a particular accident. For this reason, it is highly advisable for anyone that has sustained a work-related injury to explore whether he or she may be able to file a lawsuit. Some of the situations in which an employee may be able to sue include the following:

  • If an injury was caused by a defective product used in the course of employment – One of the most common situations in which an injured employee can bring a lawsuit is when a workplace injury is caused by a defective product or work tool. In these cases, the injured employee can often bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product.

  • If the injury was caused by a third party – Many worksites have both employees and third-party or independent contractors working in close proximity with one another. If a third party that is not an employee of the injured party's employer causes an injury, the worker who is hurt can often file a lawsuit against the third party or his or her employer.

  • If the injury or illness was caused by exposure to a toxic substance – In some cases, an occupational injury or illness is caused by exposure to a toxic substance. When this occurs, the injured worker may be able to file a claim against the party that produced the substance; and

  • If the injury was caused by an intentional act – Another situation in which employees can sue an employer is if an injury is caused by the intentional act of the employee.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois Workers' Compensation Attorney Today

Illinois law regarding workers' compensation and an employee's right to sue after a workplace accident is complicated. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced attorney review your case in order to determine what your options may be. The skilled Crystal Lake workers' compensation lawyers at our firm are dedicated to ensuring that workers who are injured in on-the-job accidents or develop work-related illnesses obtain the compensation to which they are entitled. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call us at 800-338-3833.

Sources:

http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/injury.html

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/independent_contractor
Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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