Can You Get Workers Comp and Sue for Your Injury?

building demolition causes injury

Let’s say you injured yourself at work. Anything that happens on-the-job makes you eligible for workers compensation. But does it also mean that you can sue your employer in a personal injury lawsuit?

This is not a cut-and-dried answer.

Every state is different when it comes to workplace injuries. Since state funds cover workers comp – like Ohio’s Bureau of Workers Compensation, or BWC – the laws differ from one bureau to another. In Ohio, at least, you generally cannot sue your employer over a workplace injury. Workers comp is designed to protect both the worker and the employer. The worker gets his or her injuries cared for cost-free, while the company protects itself from liability over injuries.

This is why companies pay for workers comp as a form of insurance. Any injuries that workers sustain on the job, or resulting from work they have done, are covered by a state fund. That way, companies cannot be bankrupted or have their resources drained due to a single injury on the company property.

This protection for the company happens whether the injured employee seeks workers comp care or not. Either way, personal injury lawsuits generally don’t happen between employees and employers.

There is one exception to this in Ohio, however.

If a business’s actions caused harm to an employee on purpose, and the employee can prove this, it could be grounds for an “intentional tort.”

This goes beyond the usual negligence or carelessness upon which personal injury lawsuits are based. The injury in an intentional tort is purposeful. Assault, for example, is purposeful, and grounds for an intentional tort.

Our firm has more than one personal injury lawyer who does workers compensation as well. The experienced attorneys at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich, & Cohen would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your situation.