When an employee is hurt on the job, his or her only remedy is usually temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits. An employee cannot usually sue an employer for an on-the-job injury. If a third party is responsible for the injuries, an employee can sue that third party for damages from the harm. On duty injuries will be covered whether the employee is at fault or not (but an employee will not be covered if the injury was on purpose). An injury covered by workers’ compensation can be 1. a specific injury (like falling off a ladder), 2. a cumulative trauma injury (like carpel tunnel syndrome for a computer operator), 3. an exposure injury (like a lung injury from smoke inhalation), or 4. under certain circumstances, a psychological injury. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee for making a workers’ compensation claim. An employer may pay the benefits willingly, or a hurt worker may have to make a claim against the employer.
This section is meant to summarize workers’ compensation laws. It can be much more complicated. Most workers’ compensation lawyers specialize in only that field of the law. The Furstenthal Law Office does not handle workers’ compensation cases, but can recommend attorneys who do.