Can I File a Lawsuit for an Injury at Work?

In most cases, you cannot file a lawsuit for an injury at work, except in very specific circumstances. These include: 

  • Your employer intentionally caused you harm; or
  • A third party caused your injuries.

If you or someone you care about suffered an injury at work recently, we encourage you to reach out to S. Burke Law. Our law firm has represented the residents of Atlanta for more than 20 years. In that time, we have helped win countless settlements. It all begins with our free consultations. We want you to make as informed a decision as possible before you pursue a personal injury case. Call us now at 404-842-7838.

Your Employer Intentionally Caused You Harm

Workers’ compensation laws in Georgia prevent you from suing your employer for an injury in most cases. One of the few instances when you can sue is if you believe your employer purposely caused you harm (e.g., your employer attacked you).

If you suffered an injury at work due to your employer’s negligence, you cannot file suit.

However, if your employer was angry with you because you were insubordinate and punched you in the face, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages. Personal and emotional distress can also qualify for a lawsuit.

The following are examples of when you could pursue a lawsuit against your employer:

•    Battery: Battery occurs when someone makes physical contact without your consent (e.g., your employer pushes you, hits you, or throws something at you that hits you).

•    Assault: An assault occurs when a party makes a credible threat of violence to your person (e.g., threatening to punch you while raising a fist, attempts to commit battery on you).

•    Emotional distress: Occasionally, being the subject of excessive emotional abuse qualifies as an attack.

If you can provide sufficient proof that your employer intentionally caused you physical or emotional harm, you may be able to sue. However, these are not the only cases when you can sue following a workplace injury. As stated above, you can also sue for damages above and beyond workers’ compensation if a third party contributed to your injury.

A Third Party Caused or Contributed to Your Injury

You may be able to file a lawsuit if a third party was liable (even partially) for your workplace injuries. For example, if you work at a construction site and suffer an injury due to defective equipment, you could sue the manufacturer. In this case, you would need to prove that the defective equipment caused your accident, and you could pursue additional damages on your behalf.

There are several other entities you could hold liable for a workplace injury. They include:

•    The distributor of equipment or product

•    The seller of equipment or product

•    A subcontractor (e.g., another contractor on site failed to provide his workers with tool lanyards, someone drops a hammer on your head because of it)

•    Property owner (e.g., the property owner knew a handrail in the stairwell was loose but did not get it fixed, you fell down the stairs because of it)

Someone trespassing on the property (e.g., someone came onto the property and attacked you)

Anyone else who was working on or visiting the property (aside from a coworker)

Can I Sue a Coworker for a Workplace Injury?

It depends on how your injury occurred. If your injury stemmed from a workers’ compensation coverage exclusion, then you are likely able to file suit against your coworker. These exclusions might include:

  • Horseplay
  • Intentional tort (e.g., if your coworker beats you up)

Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case Today

Determining whether you might be able to sue for a work injury is often difficult, but you do not need to handle the process alone. An Atlanta personal injury attorney can examine the circumstances surrounding your injury and identify potential liable third parties in your case.

Once we have identified the liable parties, we will begin building your case to hold that party liable.

If there are no liable third parties, we can look over your workers’ compensation benefits and ensure you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled.

The S. Burke Law team dedicates itself to serving the Atlanta community, and we prove that by offering free consultations. Also, S. Burke Law does not collect payment unless you win a settlement. If you believe you have a case for a lawsuit, call us at 404-647-4111 for a free consultation.