If a worker accepts benefits through the workers’ compensation system, he or she generally gives up the right to sue an employer for the injury or illness. However, there are limited situations in which employees can pursue legal action against an employer. In may take the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to determine if this is a viable option.
Cases Where Work Injury Victims May Be Able to Sue Employers
Workers' compensation laws were created to prevent employees from the need to file a lawsuit in order to get compensation for a work injury. Although laws prohibit most claims against an employer, there is no law against suing another negligent party who played a role in the accident (such as the manufacturer of a faulty product).
That said, you may be able to file a lawsuit against an employer if:
- Your employer does not have insurance. Under Illinois state law, all employers with more than one employee are required to purchase or provide workers' compensation benefits. If the employer fails to provide coverage, employees can sue the company or CEO in order to recover lost wages, medical benefits, and pain and suffering.
- Your employer injured you on purpose. Employees may sue their employers if the employer explicitly intended to cause harm, such as cases of direct attacks, assault, or battery.
- You were fired for filing a workers' comp claim. If an employer has retaliated against you for collecting workers' compensation benefits, you may be able to sue the employer for all of your losses related to the retaliation as well as punitive damages.
- You are not an employee. Some workers are not considered employees under the law, or are otherwise exempt from workers’ compensation benefits. If you are not eligible for workers’ compensation, you are free to file an injury lawsuit against the employer or a coworker who caused the accident.
If you are having difficulty getting the benefits you deserve, our workers’ compensation attorneys can gather evidence to strengthen your claim and advise you on your next steps at no cost to you. Contact Tapella & Eberspacher today at (217) 394-5885 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.