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Can You Pursue a Lawsuit Outside of Worker’s Compensation?

Mankato Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

When you are hurt at work, “any injury that arises out of and is in the course of employment” is covered by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. However, work-related injuries can occur under different circumstances and may fall outside of the workers’ compensation coverage.

The unfortunate reality is that worker’s compensation was put in place to protect both workers and employers. The system that came before never guaranteed coverage for injured workers, so, in the current workers’ compensation system, coverage for workers is more standard in return for the employer being immune from lawsuits for the injury. However, this is actually only partially true. While in most cases, your employer is protected from any lawsuits for work injuries, there exist certain circumstances where they can become legally liable. Some examples of when you can pursue a lawsuit instead of workers’ compensation claim could include:

When a Company Lacks Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Minnesota requires employers to have worker’s compensation by law unless they fall under a few very sparse exceptions. If you work for a very small company or a family farm, they may be able to not be legally required to have worker’s compensation insurance. However, if you discover your company does not carry worker’s compensation insurance, you can pursue a claim in district  court. In cases of lawsuits, you have the chance to get much more compensation than workers’ compensation would grant you, but you have the burden of proving that your employer or job was responsible for your injuries. In other words, you would need to prove that you had not assumed the risks involved in the activities you did when you got hurt, and that your employer was negligent.

If Conduct Was Intentional by the Employer

If your employer injured you in an intentional or egregious way with an intention to cause harm, you have an opportunity to sue that employer in district court and seek monetary compensation that would generally exceed the amounts you would get under the workers’ compensation system. In most injuries, workers can’t “opt out” of worker’s compensation, but in cases where the employer is directing its employee to act in a way the employer knows is likely to cause injury, the employer is liable for additional damages. Because intentional action and intent to harm can be interpreted in a number of ways you should consult with a lawyer about your circumstances before deciding on your next step.

Injuries Caused by a Third Party

Not every injury lawsuit need to be against your employer. In fact, you can collect workers’ compensation and pursue a lawsuit against a third party in some cases. If it can be proven that your injury was the fault of a third party such as an unaffiliated person crashed into your workplace and hit you with a car, or your work equipment was manufactured in an unsafe or defective way, you can file an injury claim against that party.

If your injury was a result of the employer’s intentional conduct or some third party caused you harm, we can help you. We can also help you with a simple injury at work. The key to any successful legal pursuit is the representation of a skilled lawyer that can use their knowledge to pursue your best interests. Contact us today to see what the Farrish Johnson Law Office can do to help you get compensation for your work injuries so you don’t need to worry about it.

Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Yuri Jelokov, Attorney

Yuri Jelokov

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer