Injured On The Job. Can I Sue? Worker’s Compensation
When you are hurt on the job, the most important question is whether or not your employer has worker’s compensation coverage. Your supervisor should immediately provide this information. If not, it can usually be found on the notices posted at your place of employment, usually in the break room or near the time clock.
How To Find Worker’s Comp Information
If this information is not readily available from your employer, you may call the Commonwealth of Kentucky Labor Cabinet – Worker’s Compensation Division. An attorney can also help you obtain this information.
Another important question will be if anyone outside of your company could be partially or fully responsible for your injury. If your injury involved a person who does not work for your organization, for example a third party, you will want to document the following:
- Who they work for
- What their name is
- Any contact information you can obtain
- Any witnesses to the injury and the actions of the third party
Employer With Worker’s Compensation
You cannot sue your employer, in most circumstances, if they have worker’s compensation. However laws vary, and it is always best to consult with an attorney about your specific situation.
If an employer does have worker’s compensation, then the employer can only be sued under certain circumstances. In the case of an employee death, the employer can be liable for the punitive damages. These would be available as a result of gross negligence.
Employer Without Worker’s Compensation
Your employer may be sued directly if there is no worker’s compensation insurance. In this type of situation, meeting with an attorney experienced with work injury cases is crucial. Evidence may be quickly destroyed and witnesses could disappear or forget.
Suing Third Parties
You can sue any third parties responsible for your injury, regardless of your employer’s status. If there is any chance that negligence by a third party caused or contributed to your injury, it is very important to reach out to an attorney to discuss your situation. Letters warning all parties involved to preserve evidence need to be sent; and an investigation will need to begin as soon as possible.