When an injury occurs on the job, you may be left in pain and confused about your options. While every case is different, generally speaking, you will have two main paths to take if you want to seek compensation for your injury: worker’s compensation or suing the company or person who caused your injury. Only a lawyer can advise you of your particular case, however, you should familiarize yourself with how these two systems work so you can get an idea of how you might want to proceed.
The worker’s comp program was instituted to expedite the way injuries at work are handled. Your employer pays an insurance premium each month, based on various factors relating to its labor force, and the company providing the insurance handles the case when someone is injured at work. Payment of medical bills and compensation for part of your lost wages are included in a worker’s comp case, typically. You would be dealing directly with the insurance company and not so much your boss.
Suing in Court
A worker’s comp case is pretty straightforward as it’s a no-fault system. However, when you have been injured due to something beyond an honest accident, you may wonder, “Can you sue your employer for injury?” The answer to this is yes; in some cases, you may have cause to use the court system to sue your employer or another party who caused your injury.
Under Iowa law, acts that were intentional or negligent on the part of the employer can lead to more than just worker’s comp. If you and your lawyer can show that the company did something to cause your injury, either intentionally or through negligence, you may have a case. However, you would be opting out of the worker’s compensation program if you go this route.
Examples of cases that may result in a lawsuit show that something more than just an accident has occurred:
- Faulty products used in the workplace
- Known air quality issues
- Negligence from a vendor, contractor or other third parties
- Hazards that were ignored by management
- Work conditions that violate safety regulations
- Lack of protective equipment
If you think you may have a case for suing your employer, or if you think your worker’s compensation claim is not being handled well, you should consult an attorney who specializes in this area of law. He can explain your options as they pertain to your specific case and help you proceed in whichever direction is best.