Workers’ compensation is a right in the workplace for fair treatment in case you’ve been injured on the job. So what happens if the injury is more severe, or if the damages are lasting and you feel that your workers’ comp claim wasn’t enough? What are your options?
Most injuries are covered under workers’ compensation, which is a no fault system where workers do not have to prove cause of injury. The no fault system is a compromise that protects both employer and employee from burden of proof and, as a tradeoff, it generally bars additional lawsuits over a workplace injury.
There are exceptions to this rule, though.
Claims against a third party
Often, claims can be filed against a third party, such as defective equipment that caused your injury or a work-related car accident. In these cases, your employer may even join your lawsuit and seek compensation from the company or manufacturer at fault.
Claims against your employer
While the no fault system minimizes your ability to seek significant loss and damage claims against an employer, Colorado courts will address gross negligence where severe harm came as a result of oversight or poor conditions at your job or where your employer intentionally causes injury.
By law, employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer is not carrying the required coverage and thus denies your protection from injury/recovery, this is a violation and you can pursue action.
A third option for a claim is wrongful termination, if you were injured on the job and were fired because of the injury. If proven, this is actionable.
An attorney consultation can help determine if your case meets the exceptions to the no fault workers’ compensation system and if you have the right to seek further damages for your injury.