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Can I Sue for Damages Outside of Workers’ Compensation?

Posted by David Nemeroff | Nov 08, 2013 | 0 Comments

Even though workers' compensation can provide money and benefits to an injured worker, temporary or permanent provided through workers' comp disability payments may be inadequate. Workers' compensation also does not provide punitive damages to punish the responsible party, particularly if they behaved in an egregiously negligent way. It is important for injured Chicago workers to understand their rights to filing a lawsuit outside of the workers' compensation system in order to receive proper compensation for injuries sustained on the job.

Work-related injuries caused by a defective product can lead to a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the product. When a machine or piece of equipment that was defective, did not work properly, or was just inherently dangerous injures a worker, the manufacturer of that product can be held responsible for the injury if it could have been known that the dangerous condition existed and/or did not properly warn the business or employees of the danger. The manufacturer would then have to compensate the injured worker for damages such medical expenses, lost wages and/or pain and suffering.

If a worker is injured due to a toxic substance, a toxic tort claim may be filed against the manufacturer of that substance. Many of the chemicals that workers use everyday are toxic and can lead to severe injuries and/or illnesses, possibly even ones that don't present symptoms for many years. An example of a toxic tort lawsuit is a worker who was exposed to asbestos and later developed mesothelioma.

In the event that an employer did not carry workers' compensation insurance, a worker may be able to sue the employer in civil court. Although this gives there is the potential  to get more money than what a person would receive from workers' compensation, the worker will also have the burden of proving that the employer was at fault in causing your injury, something that would not have to happen in order to get money and benefits from the workers' compensation system.

If an on the job injury is due to the negligence, carelessness or recklessness of a co-worker or other third party, then an employee may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that person. A worker might be able to sue that negligent party for damages if he or she caused an injury while on the job.

No matter how your work-related injury was caused, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney. For more information about workers' compensation claims, or seeking damages outside of the workers' compensation system, contact the Chicago workers' compensation attorneys from Nemeroff Law Offices – 312-629-8800.

About the Author

David Nemeroff

In January 2012, David Nemeroff was voted one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the entire state of Illinois (out of 83,000 lawyers) by Super Lawyers Magazine...

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