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Can you sue your employer instead of getting worker’s comp?

| Mar 26, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

Do not get corralled into one course of action when you get injured at work; there will be a lot of people suggesting options to you. Your employer, Colorado insurance companies and even your co-workers may have something to say about it.

These people may or may not be on your side, and they may or may not have relevant experience. One thing is almost certain: None of them are likely to have the time to fully analyze your case. They will probably also not have the legal perspective you need to make the right decision going forward. In fact, they may not even know you have a choice, in some situations.

Was it really an accident?

One of the earliest decisions you would make after your injury occurs could also be one of the most important. This is whether to pursue the claim under worker’s compensation law or under personal injury law. While normal insurance would probably cover almost all injuries you face, some remedies may be more appropriate to pursue via other means.

Relatively few situations exist in which you would be able to sue your employer rather than file for worker’s compensation. For the most part, this is good for you. Worker’s comp starts almost immediately, for example. However, this may not be enough in certain cases.

If your injury fell outside of the domain of worker’s compensation law, you could file suit and potentially reclaim punitive damages, such as pain and suffering. One of the most common examples is if you could prove your employer intentionally hurt you. The other common situation is if your employer fails in the duty of carrying sufficient insurance.

Was the worker’s comp award correct?

It is also worth noting that if you believe the amount you received was in error, you could receive more via an appeals process. This may also be the case if you believe the insurance company was not ethical in its assessment of your injuries.

In fact, many of the disputes and negotiations you would have with a Colorado worker’s compensation claim would be with your employer’s insurance company. Knowing how these companies handle negotiations and offers could be the key to maximizing your benefits for any given claim.

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W. Dan Mahoney, P.C.
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Denver, CO 80202

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