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When Can You Sue Your Employer for a Work Injury?

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

When injured at work, you may expect to be compensated by your employer. In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are your only option, but there are limited exceptions where you can sue your employer.

How Workers’ Compensation Affects Your Ability to Sue

The majority of workers in all 50 states are covered under their employer’s federal or state worker’s compensation laws. This means your remedy for work-related injuries or illnesses is to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. Any benefits you receive are governed by Michigan laws and are most likely derived as a percentage of your overall wages.

Almost three million work-related injuries and illnesses occur each year, showing the need for employer insurance for workers. It also highlights that employers need protection from being overwhelmed with personal injury litigation.

In essence, workers’ compensation law relieves the employer of any further legal action. Employees cannot sue for a workplace injury or illness suffered. However, there are a few exceptions to this in which an experienced workplace injury attorney can help you navigate.

Exceptions Under Which You Can Sue Your Employer

Work Injury

While an employer is immune to personal injury lawsuits for work-related injuries or illnesses, there are exceptions where that immunity can be breached. The following exceptions allow you, the injured or ill employee, to sue your employer.

Your Employer’s Intent to Cause Harm

When an employer takes an intentional action that causes harm to a worker, the employee may sue. Intent to harm must be proven, however, and you most likely need the legal advice of a personal injury lawyer.

Your Employer Fails to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The majority of states require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer doesn’t, they break the law and open the possibility of being sued by injured employees.

In Michigan, all employers with three or more employees at a time, or at least one employee working over 35 hours a week, must have workers’ compensation insurance adequate to cover any work-related accidents. If your Michigan employer fails to do so, it’s time to contact a workers’ compensation attorney.

Your Employer Manufactured the Product that Caused Your Injury

If a defective product manufactured by your employer caused your injury, your legal options cross over into a specific area of law known as product liability, and you may be able to sue.

Seeking legal advice can help you determine if you have a case for suing an employer above and beyond any workers’ comp claim.

Work with a Michigan Workplace Injury Attorney

While workers’ compensation relief should be simple, often, it is not. Our specialists at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., are familiar with the workers’ compensation system and process and know how to get the results you need.

If you think your employer was negligent, contact our law office today at 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and find out if your case merits filing a lawsuit.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Emily is a writer and legal professional with experience as a law firm paralegal and non-profit legal administrator. Prior to her legal career, Emily earned her Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs and worked with a government consulting group out of Washington, D.C. Today she splits her time between the Florida coast and the North Carolina mountains.



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