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Work Injury Liability: Who Is Responsible?

Most workers understand that if they sustain a work injury, they are able to file a claim with the workers’ compensation system. However, what may be less clear is whether or not they are allowed to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits can be complicated, and misinformation may deter workers from receiving the compensation they deserve when another party is legally responsible for their work injury. In order to prevent that, an Oklahoma City workers’ comp attorney from the Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm offers some advice below.

Employer Liability

Employers may be liable for a work injury lawsuit for three reasons: intentional misconduct, negligence, and lacking workers’ compensation insurance. These cases vary according to state law, as some states may not permit lawsuits under these circumstances. Federal employees are also unable to make lawsuits against their employer in certain instances. Fortunately, some states provide alternative methods of increasing benefits in these cases.

Intentional misconduct refers to an action taken by an employer that directly harms a worker, whereas negligence describes employer conduct that violates their legal duty to a worker, resulting in harm. Assault is a direct action, while failing to maintain safety standards is negligence. In a few states where additional work injury lawsuits in this case are not permitted, there are added processes to the workers’ compensation system that increase benefits if an employer’s misconduct is proven.

In the case that an employer is uninsured for workers’ compensation, an employee has a right to sue for damages. It is also the case that the worker may be able to access benefits from a trust fund set aside by state government. Keep in mind that in order to receive benefits from a lawsuit of this type, you must prove that the employer was at fault.

Manufacturer Liability

Just as your employer has a duty to provide a safe working environment, manufacturers have a duty to provide safe equipment. Malfunctioning machines or improperly produced gear can be responsible for many dangerous conditions and injuries. Toxic substances are a factor in what is referred to as a “toxic tort” lawsuit. Acute injuries from toxic substances such as chemical burns, or latent injuries like brain damage, may all be subject to a lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of a substance.

Third-Party Liability

Employees interact with clients, customers, and others in the course of employment, all of whom may cause a work injury in a number of ways. Car accidents are likely to happen during service calls, and the process of filing a lawsuit for that type of work injury is similar to those that are not work-related. Assault on employees is also not unheard of. Whatever the exact circumstance, a professional Oklahoma City workers’ comp attorney can help you sort out the process.

Ask About Your Work Injury Case

Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers of Oklahoma can provide you with a competent and experienced Oklahoma City workers’ comp attorney. For answers to common questions, legal counsel, appointments, and more, call us today for a free consultation.