Is Workers’ Compensation Your Exclusive Remedy for a Work-Related Injury?
When you are hurt on the job, you typically have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim to compensate you for your disability. Your employer may even tell you that it’s the “exclusive remedy” for your injury. That’s not necessarily true. There are instances where you can pursue personal injury damages in a civil suit and also collect workers’ compensation benefits for the same injury. Here’s how it works.
The workers’ compensation laws were enacted to simplify the process for both workers and employers in the event a worker is injured due to the carelessness or negligence of the employer or a co-worker. However, there often are multiple causes to an accident:
- You may be injured because a tool, machine, piece of equipment, or other product was designed, manufactured, or marketed in a defective way.
- While driving a motor vehicle for work purposes, you may be injured due to the carelessness or negligence of someone other than your employer or a co-worker.
- You may be hurt because someone on an adjoining worksite was careless or negligent.
It’s important to understand that although you might be able to claim workers’ compensation benefits and recover civil damages for the same injury, you cannot be compensated twice for the same loss. For example, if your medical expenses are covered by workers’ compensation, you cannot recover damages for medical expenses in a civil suit. In other words, you can only recover damages in a civil suit for amounts not covered by workers’ compensation.
Contact Gregg A. Wisotsky, Partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, PC
I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-241-7468. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.