Can I sue my employer?
Blog Written By:
Brian Weekley, Partner/Attorney
Snow, Carpio & Weekley
Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for employees injured in the course and scope of their employment. This means that an injured worker cannot sue their employer civilly in most situations. There are, of course, exceptions. One of the most common exceptions is if your employer is uninsured for workers’ compensation at the time of your injury. An election is made once the injured worker either files a civil suit or accepts workers’ compensation benefits. An uninsured employer waives the defense of comparative negligence under these circumstances.
Another exception is if the employer intentionally injures the employee. This intent has never been found in the State of Arizona, and would indeed be a risky path to follow.
Overwhelmingly, workers’ compensation is the purpose designed and approved method for handling on the job injuries. The rules are fairly straightforward; If injured, report the details to your supervisor immediately. Fill out an accurate written report of injury. Seek immediate medical care. Provide accurate history of the injury. Follow the medical professionals’ advice. Unlike civil remedies, workers’ compensation provides lifetime medical care and benefits with no copays, deductibles, or out of pocket expenses. This is especially critical in more serious injury cases.
When the case becomes more complicated, which happens with most of the more serious injuries, seek legal advice early. Remember, the employer / insurance carrier has access to expert legal advice on a 24/ 7 basis. They make decisions based on this advice. The injured worker is strongly advised to do the same. Our office is available for free in person or telephonic consultation on any claims.
If you or someone you know has been hurt on the job or has an disability that could prevent them from working for at least one year, contact Snow, Carpio & Weekley for a free consultation by calling toll-free at 855-325-4781. You may also visit us online at www.workinjuryaz.com