Injured on the Job: Can You Sue Your Employer and Coworker?

Workers Comp Lawyers

If you suffer an injury at work, you may hear the misconception that the only means to a claim that you have is through workers’ compensation. Now, there is some validity to this statement, but the law isn’t as black and white as that. In some instances, work related issues are a complicated issue. This is particularly true if your injury comes as a direct result of a coworker’s negligence or action. So, you may be wondering, can you sue your employee and coworker? Well, that answer comes in different parts.

Can You Sue an Employer?

If your employer invested in worker’s compensation, then you cannot take your employer to court directly. All of the claims that you file will be through worker’s compensation. Even if your injuries were because of an action of a coworker, you cannot file suit against your employer personally in court. Now, what you can do, however, is file a claim with worker’s compensation.

Most places require an employer to have worker’s compensation. This isn’t necessarily a downside, however. Worker’s compensation benefits the employer and employee. For the employer, he or she cannot be sued. For the employee, he or she does not have to wait years for compensation.

Can You Sue a Coworker?

This answer is even more complex than the first. Now, keep in mind that if you file a workers’ compensation claim, you can still sue a coworker in certain circumstances. It’s not a matter of one or the other. However, there are specific circumstances where you are allowed to sue colleagues for injuries.

First, you cannot sue if for all accidents on the jobsite. Say for instance that you and your colleague are lifting heavy packages and your colleague slips and drops his or her end. Due to this, you suffer an injury to your back. You cannot sue your colleague for this type of accident.

The other employee has to be reckless and willfully negligent for you to be able to file a claim against him or her. For instance, if your coworker plays a prank on you, that prank goes wrong and you’re injured, then you can sue.

When it comes to on the job injuries, there are protections in place to compensate employees. Most employees that suffer an injury take advantage of workers’ compensation. This is a great way to file a claim and receive the damages that you deserve. However, if your colleague is negligent, you may be able to file suit against him or her and at the same time, file a claim through workers’ compensation. Call workers comp lawyers in Milwaukee, WI today to answer more of your questions.

Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers compensation claims and if you can sue your employer or coworker.