The workers’ compensation system has a design to stop lawsuits against employers by injured workers. The system is no fault, which helps claims move along quickly and is a perk to going through workers’ compensation rather than going to court.
However, there may still be instances where you do have a right to sue. This would occur if there is an intentional tort.
Definition of intentional tort
An intentional tort occurs when your employer does something that leads to your injury and the action occurred intentionally. Because there is a clear and definite assignment of guilt, it will bypass the workers’ compensation rule about not suing your employer. The workers’ compensation system relies on the fact that there is no clear fault and the accident was truly an accident or that the injury was not a result of an intentional act.
Situations of an intentional tort
An intentional tort may occur when your employer puts you in a dangerous situation knowing the likelihood of injury is high. For example, if your employer refuses to abide by safety laws and you suffer an injury, then your employer is liable. Another example is if your employer does something illegal, such as invading your privacy or trying to commit fraud.
Filing a lawsuit against an employer for an injury can be a tricky situation. It is important that you make sure you have a solid basis for filing an intentional tort because your employer can always use the workers’ compensation rules about not being able to sue against you. You will have to prove your case falls outside the scope of the system.