According to the National Safety Council, there are 4.6 million workplace injuries in the US each year, resulting in 104 million days of lost work, hundreds of millions of dollars in medical bills, and untold amounts of physical and emotional pain and suffering for injured workers. Some occupations are clearly more dangerous than others, but all workers run the risk of injury when their employers do not do enough to ensure a safe work environment.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, you might be under the impression that your only avenue for recovering compensation is through a workers’ comp claim. Although this is a general rule, there are a lot of exceptions to it, and there are many cases in which an injured worker may have other legal recourses available. The best place to start is to have your case assessed by a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
It is important to note that workplace accident cases can be very complicated, and there are multiple factors that could have contributed to your accident and subsequent injuries. For this reason, be sure to talk with an attorney who has in-depth experience with these types of cases and who knows how to successfully recover maximum compensation.
When Can you File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Workplace Injury?
Here are some of the most common situations in which you might be able to sue outside of workers’ comp after getting injured in a workplace accident:
Most Georgia employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This includes any employer that has three or more full, part-time, or seasonal employees, as well as any business that is incorporated or is an LLC even if they have less than three employees. Employers that are exempt from this requirement include railroad companies, farms, and government agencies.
Although most employers would be required to carry workers’ comp, not all of them follow the rules. If you were injured in a workplace in which the employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, then you might be able to file a personal injury claim for compensatory damages.
Employer’s Deliberate Intent
Maybe the employer has workers’ compensation insurance, which would usually preclude you from being able to sue them for losses related to your injury. However, you suffered an injury that resulted from the employer’s deliberate intent to do you harm. Common examples when this might apply include assault, battery, or deliberately creating unsafe work conditions. Winning a case like this is extremely difficult, so be sure to talk this over with an experienced attorney before moving forward with this type of claim.
Injury Caused by a Defective Product
In most workplaces, there is a lot of equipment and machinery being used to complete various tasks more efficiently. Some of these products are defective, however, and others can be very dangerous during the course of regular use. When a worker is injured by a faulty piece of equipment or machinery, then it may be possible to file a product liability claim against the product designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor.
Injury Caused by a Toxic Substance
Some chemicals and other substances that are used in workplaces are toxic and cause serious illnesses and injuries to workers. When a substance causes harm to a worker, it could be the basis for a toxic tort lawsuit against the maker of the substance.
Injury Caused by Another Third Party
In addition to defective or dangerous product makers, there are other outside parties that could be held liable for a workplace injury. Examples include contractors or subcontractors that are working nearby an employee, drivers of other vehicles who cause an accident when an employee is driving on company time, and property owners or caretakers whose negligence causes an employee to get injured off-site.
Injured in a Workplace Accident in Georgia? Contact Bailey, Javins, & Carter, L.C. for Legal Help
If you or someone close to you suffered a workplace injury in the Atlanta area, you may be able to sue outside of workers’ comp for both economic and noneconomic damages. To find out if you might have a viable personal injury claim, contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for assistance.
We will provide a complimentary consultation to thoroughly evaluate your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. And if we do end up taking your case, we will not charge you any attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free consultation, message us online or call our Atlanta office today at (678) 981-5370. We look forward to serving you!