Can I Sue My Employer for a Workplace Injury?
For most workplace injuries in Virginia, filing a workers’ compensation claim is the exclusive remedy for employees hurt on the job. However, there are certain circumstances where a person can sue their employer when they suffer a workplace injury. It is important as an employee to understand your rights and the full scope of legal options available to you in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim. To learn more about workers’ compensation in Virginia, schedule an appointment with the experienced attorneys in Harbison & Kavanagh.
When Workers’ Compensation is the Exclusive Remedy
In the majority of workplace injuries, filing a claim for workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for employees in Virginia. If the injury occurs out of and in the course of employment, on site or in a company vehicle, the vast majority of the time a worker must file a workers’ compensation claim in order to cover the costs of their injuries. This is the trade off of workers’ compensation coverage for your employer – no litigation in exchange for coverage without question for the employees. However, in Virginia there are two major exceptions to this rule that open up employers to additional litigation for workplace injuries.
Exceptions to Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The first exception is for employers that should have covered workers’ compensation coverage but opted not to. Under Virginia law, an employer who regularly employs three or more part-time or full-time employees is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their company. For businesses that operate with sub-contractors, these people are also counted in the overall number of workers for the purposes of workers’ compensation coverage. There are no waivers or exceptions under Virginia law for an employer to opt out of coverage. If an employer in Virginia does not carry workers’ compensation insurance and an employee is injured, the worker may be entitled to sue the company for damages suffered as a result of the workplace accident.
The second exception to the workers’ compensation claim is when the injuries suffered result from a sexual assault. Victims of sexual assault have the right to pursue a civil action against the perpetrator of these crimes, regardless of where the assault took place. Depending on the facts of the case, liable parties in a sexual assault civil lawsuit can include the assailant and the owner or manager of the property where the assault took place if negligent security or other negligence contributed to the assault. Talk to an experienced attorney today about whether the injuries you suffered while on the job qualify for a lawsuit outside of the traditional workers’ compensation claims.
Call or Contact Our Office
If you have been injured while on the job you may have a claim for workers’ compensation, and certain circumstances may allow you to file for an additional lawsuit against your employer. To learn more about your legal options, call or contact the office of Harbison & Kavanagh in Virginia today.