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When Might You Recover Outside of Workers’ Compensation?

Unfortunately, accidents happen while on the job. When you’ve been injured while on the job you may be under the impression that your only source of recovery is workers’ compensation insurance through your employer. But while most work injuries do fall under the umbrella of workers’ compensation, there are still exceptions. Here are five times when you may recover outside of workers’ compensation. 

5 Times You May Recover Outside of Workers’ Compensation

1. A toxic substance caused your injury. 

Every day, toxic substances are used across a wide variety of industries. Unfortunately, these products can negatively impact the health of those working with or around them. Toxic substances can cause two types of injuries: acute and latent. 

Acute injuries are those that occur pretty much immediately upon exposure to the toxic substance (e.g. toxic burns), whereas latent injuries, such as certain types of cancer, can develop over time. If you experience an acute injury caused by a toxic substance, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the product or the manufacturer of your safety equipment for failing to keep you safe. Although it’s more difficult to prove the connection between latent injuries and toxic substances, there are certain injuries that have a known relationship, such as asbestos and mesothelioma. 

2. Intentional or egregious conduct is to blame for your injury.

While most injuries that occur on the job are due to unfortunate accidents and negligence, sometimes they can be caused by intentional or egregious conduct committed by an employer. In a majority of states you can sue outside of workers’ compensation if your employer acts intentionally towards them, and that action causes their injuries (e.g. shoves them). This is also true of those employers who fail to provide their employees with the required safety equipment for protection. 

3. A defective product was the cause of your injury.

Consumers of all products have the right to be safe. Therefore, when an employee suffers a work injury caused by a defective product, he or she may have a claim for products liability. For example, if a machine was defective and its manufacturer knew or should’ve known of its danger, or failed to properly warn of its inherent danger, the manufacturer can be liable to the employee for his or her injuries. 

4. Your employer failed to carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

What happens if you suffer a work injury but your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance? If you’re injured on the job and your employer is uninsured, you may have a couple of options for recovering damages. Some states have a specific fund for such a situation, but those that don’t are allowed to sue their employer directly in civil court. Although you would now have the burden of proof to provide evidence that your employer was to blame, you may be entitled to recover more compensation than you would under workers’ compensation. 

5. A third party is to blame for your injury. 

Finally, sometimes people are injured at work by a third party. When you suffer a workplace injury that was neither your employer nor a dangerous or defective product’s fault, you may have a case against that third party. 

The PA Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help

When you have been seriously injured in an accident at work, you may not even know how to proceed. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that an injury at work can have on all aspects of your life. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!