The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides that in 2014, nearly 3 million cases of non-fatal injuries were recorded in the private sector alone. That’s an average of over 8,200 incidents per day in U.S. If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, you probably know that you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for medical bills and lost earnings. But you may not know that you may have a viable claim for damages against parties other than your employer.
Alabama, like all other states, has a separate system for addressing the claims and needs of those who have been injured on the job. Our system of workers’ compensation provides for workers by allowing them to make claims for injuries and recover benefits without having to go through the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, and without having to prove that their employer was at fault for the accident. But the trade-off for sparing workers from having to file a lawsuit and prove causation is that workers are generally prohibited from suing their employers in court for work-related injuries.
The problem for many injured workers is that workers’ compensation benefits may not cover all of the costs of their medical treatment, rehabilitation needs and lost earnings. Additionally, the amount of compensation provided may not be enough to support injured workers and their families while they remain unable to work. Additionally, other damages that might have been available in a civil lawsuit, such as compensation for pain and suffering, are unavailable for workers’ compensation claims.
But injured workers may have claims for damages against individuals and companies other than their employer in the following situations:
- The injury was caused by a defective or unreasonably dangerous machine or piece of equipment in the workplace. In such cases, the manufacturer of the machine could be held responsible.
- Similarly, the manufacturer of a toxic substance could be sued if the substance was the cause of the injury.
- If a third-party, such as the driver of another car or the owner of property you were at during the course of your employment, is at fault for your accident, damages may be recoverable from them.
Additionally, if you have lost your job due to retaliation from your employer for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may have additional claims. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, and believe you may be entitled to more than worker’s compensation, please call Jinks, Crow & Dickson at 888-297-9592 or contact us via our online form. We look forward to assisting you.