Michigan lawyer discusses exclusive remedy provision and lawsuits employees have when they get hurt on the job.
Our law firm offers free telephone advice for anyone hurt on-the-job. Most of these callers want to know about their legal rights and how to protect themselves. They want to know if injured at work can I sue?
We explain that workers’ comp is the exclusive remedy against their employer. This means they cannot file a lawsuit for negligence. In exchange, they receive medical treatment, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation regardless of fault.
However, there are some other lawsuits that employees could have when they get hurt on the job. Keep reading to find out about disputed workers’ comp claims, uninsured employers, intentional torts, product liability, and negligent third-parties.
If your workers’ comp benefits have been disputed
If I was injured at work can I sue if my workers’ comp benefits have been disputed? Employers dispute workers’ comp benefits for all kinds of reasons. It could be based upon late reporting, statements from coworkers, or conflicting medical evidence.
Employees who finds their workers’ comp benefits disputed should file an Application for Mediation or Hearing. It will be up to a magistrate to determine if additional medical or wage loss needs to be paid. Most of these workers’ comp cases end up in a lump sum cash payment.
If your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance
If I was injured at work can I sue if my employer if they don’t have workers’ comp insurance? Michigan law requires most employers to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Penalties for non-compliance include a fine of $1,000 and possible imprisonment up to 6 months.
It’s also worth noting that each day’s failure can be considered a separate offense.
Employers who do not have workers’ comp insurance are still required to pay benefits. If the employer is a corporation, the officers and directors are liable for payment. Failure to maintain workers’ comp insurance also opens the door for pain and suffering damages through a civil lawsuit.
If your employer tried to hurt you
If I was injured at work can I sue if my employer intentionally hurt me in Michigan? Yes, intentional tort is an exception to the exclusive remedy provision. This allows for an employee to file a lawsuit against his or her employer directly. A good example is when an employer physically assaults his or her employee.
Watch out for situations when an employer uses tools, materials, or machinery to strike or hit. It must be shown that an employer intended to cause injury. It is not enough to show that an employer merely should have known.
It is also possible to prove intentional tort when evidence shows a history of other employees getting hurt in the exact same manner. Putting employees in situations they are certain to be hurt would qualify. This might involve machinery that is missing safety equipment or being used incorrectly.
If I was injured at work can I sue if defective product or machine caused the injury?
Sometimes employees get hurt because of a defective product or machine. Manufacturers and businesses who maintain these items might be liable if they were negligent in some way. An example would be if a machine was inherently dangerous and there was some alternative design that could have been reasonably implemented. These are very difficult cases and it is best to speak with an experienced lawyer to investigate.
If I was injured at work can I sue if a third-party was negligent
If I was injured at work can I sue a third-party if they were negligent? You can file a lawsuit against third-parties who are negligent if they caused a person to get hurt on-the-job. This is usually seen in the context of at-fault drivers who cause a car accident. Employees have the same rights as anyone else and can seek damages from these negligent drivers.
We also see negligent third-parties on construction sites where various contractors are working together. Watch out for machines that are operated incorrectly or general construction site danger. It is important to investigate all construction accidents for potential claims.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented hurt and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.