Under What Circumstances Can You Sue Your Employer after a Workplace Injury?

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South Carolina’s workers’ compensation program is a no-fault insurance program that provides workers with benefits if they are injured in a workplace accident or develop an occupational illness. The fact that it is a “no-fault” system means that employees are not required to establish that their accident was caused by someone else’s negligence in order to obtain benefits. In return for these guaranteed benefits, employees are generally prohibited from suing their employers for workplace injuries or illnesses. There are some cases in which an injured worker may sue, however, and the potential compensation an injured worker could obtain through a personal injury claim makes it advisable to have every case reviewed by an experienced attorney.


Some of the circumstances in which an injured worker may file a lawsuit are discussed below. For specific information regarding your case, call our office today.


Injuries Caused by Third Parties


One of the most common scenarios in which an injured worker is able to bring a lawsuit after a workplace injury is when an accident is caused by the negligence of a third party. Examples of third parties that are often liable for workplace accidents include product manufacturers, independent contractors, outside vendors, public utility companies, and vehicle drivers.


Injuries Caused by Intentional Conduct


Another situation which an employee can sue his or her employer for injuries sustained on the job is if an injury is caused by the employer’s intentional act or acts. For example, if an employer-employee dispute escalates and the employer physically assaults the employee, the employee may be able to bring a legal action for battery. In addition to a battery action, an employee could likely sue for the following kinds or intentional conduct:


  • Assault;
  • Invasion of privacy;
  • Defamation;
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress; and
  • Conversion.


Why Should an Injured Worker File a Lawsuit Rather than Pursue Workers’ Compensation?


As an injured worker, you may be wondering why you would file a lawsuit instead of simply taking guaranteed workers’ compensation benefits. After all, there is no  requirement to establish negligence in workers’ compensation claims, and benefits are generally easier to obtain that a personal injury settlement or award. The reason it is highly advisable to pursue a lawsuit, if possible, is because a lawsuit will generally compensate an injured victim significantly more that the workers’ compensation program. In a personal injury lawsuit, victims are able to seek damages for their physical and emotional pain and suffering or emotional distress, neither of which are compensated through workers’ compensation.


Contact a Greenville, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation


If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you should always have your case reviewed by an experienced lawyer. In the event that you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or another party, you can often recover significantly more compensation than you would through a workers’ compensation claim. Dan Pruitt has been practicing law since 1993 and is licensed in the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.  To schedule a free consultation with Greenville, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys of the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm, call our office today.

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