Can I sue for damages instead of filing a workers’ compensation claim?

In most cases, filing a workers’ compensation claim is your exclusive recourse for an on-the-job injury. Although you cannot sue for damages such as pain and suffering, there is a benefit in not having to go to court and prove negligence or fault in order to recover, provided you have the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through the process.

There are limited instances where you can sue, however. For instance, if your employer engaged in willful or intentional misconduct which could be said to lead with a virtual certainty to an employee injury or death, you may be able to sue for the injuries caused. You might also be able to sue if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, you may have a cause of action against a negligent third party if you were injured by a defective product, in a car accident or on another’s dangerous property, even if you were working at the time.