You are injured on the job and are unable to work. While struggling to take care of your medical needs you’re probably also trying to figure how to financially deal with everything and care for yourself, and possibly your family. You may even be frustrated with your employer if your employer’s negligent actions caused your injuries.
So what can you do? Often when a person’s negligent actions have harmed another, the injured party may think about suing that person. However, that may not always be your best option, particularly in the case of an on-the-job injury.
In fact, in Colorado you are unable to sue your employer for any negligent actions that resulted in your workplace injury or illness. The Workers’ Compensation Act has set up a system that allows for employees to receive compensation, but even at common law, it was presumed that the employer assumed liability for any injury or illness an employee had due to their work regardless of fault. Therefore, in cases where there is an employer-employee relationship, an employer is immune from common-law suits regarding liability. Thus, in Colorado, Workers’ Compensation benefits are an injured worker’s exclusive remedy for compensation.
There are situations where a third party could be sued for negligence if you are injured on the job. However, even these situations can be confusing. For instance, a party may appear to be a third party, but for purposes of workers’ compensation may be a statutory employer. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury or workers’ compensation attorney to assist in matters regarding third party liability. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries from a third party and receive workers’ compensation benefits. Or in some cases, you may only be able to receive workers’ compensation.
You may also feel that getting involved in a workers’ compensation claim is essential the same as suing your employer, which is not something that you desire. However, a workers’ compensation claim is not the same as a lawsuit. In a workers’ comp claim, you are not suing your employer; in fact you are not suing anyone. By proceeding with a workers’ comp case you are merely filing a claim for benefits that you are entitled to by law.
For more blogs on Workers’ Comp check out the following:
- Injured on the job? Don’t be a hero!
- Workers’ Comp Benefits, are they Really Enough?
- Why Your Employer has 30 Days to Say an Injury on the Job Qualified for Worker’s Comp
- Nurse who Contracted Ebola to Sue Hospital’s Owner
- The 10 Most Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries