winter injuries - file a personal injury lawsuit?

winter injuries - file a personal injury lawsuit?

Assaulted On The Job? You May Be Able To Sue For More Than Workers' Comp Benefits

by Franklin Vasquez

Have you been the victim of workplace violence? Normally, the laws prevent you from filing personal injury lawsuits against your employer and limit you to whatever benefits you can get from workers' compensation. However, if you were assaulted while you were on the job, there are times that you can and should personally sue your employer:

1. You were assaulted by your employer.

Did you and your boss get into an argument that spiraled out of control? If it ended up with your boss attacking you, you have the right to sue him or her for your personal injuries outside of workers' comp. Being assaulted by your employer isn't something that is considered an ordinary risk that you take just by being on the job. Your employer can't hide behind workers' compensation rules to reduce his or her personal liability toward you.

2. You were assaulted by another employee.

What if the person who assaulted you was another employee? While your employer can't be expected to predict what every employee might one day do, employers should exercise a certain amount of care when they hire new people. Not doing so could be considered negligent.

For example, if your employer hires someone with an extensive criminal record full of assaults and other violent actions, you could be able to sue based on your employer's "negligent hiring" practices that put you at an unreasonable amount of risk.

The same sort of liability rests on your employer if he or she didn't act responsibly to deal with an employee who was showing signs of being unstable or violent. If one of your co-workers threatens you or harasses you, and you tell your employer, your employer has a duty to investigate and take disciplinary action to protect you and other employees. If your employer knew about the situation and ignored it, you can sue based on your employer's failure to prevent a foreseeable event through negligent retention.

3. You were assaulted due to your employer's intentional, gross, or reckless negligence.

What happens if someone comes into the place you work and assaults you? Normally, you wouldn't have a case against your employer because your employer can't protect you 100% of the time against other people's quite unpredictable actions. Even if your employer did something negligent -- like forgetting to lock the door after he closed for business and left you to count out the cash register for the day -- you'd normally be required to accept what you can get from workers' compensation should an opportunistic thief notice and take advantage of the situation.

However, the law recognizes different degrees of negligent behavior. If your employer's negligence was intentional or extreme, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers' comp claim. For example, if you work in a retail store in a crime-ridden area of town, your employer should have some security measures in place designed to protect you. If your employer shrugs off things like broken door locks, poor lighting, prior robberies, and people regularly loitering outside the business doors, you may be able to show that your employer's indifference to your safety went beyond the realm of ordinary negligence.

Why should you bother with a personal injury claim if workers' compensation will pay you anyhow?

Workers' compensation won't cover things like your pain and suffering, nor will it allow you to ask for punitive damages -- which are designed to punish your employer for his or her behavior and discourage others from acting just as reckless or indifferent toward their employees. You stand to recover more fully for your injuries through a personal injury claim and you get the opportunity to prevent others from being put at risk like you were.

For more information, contact Greg S. Memovich or a similar legal professional.


About Me

winter injuries - file a personal injury lawsuit?

You are walking down the sidewalk on a brisk winter day and before you know it, you are clobbered by an avalanche of snow that has fallen from the roof above. Although this may be funny to watch on videos, it is never an experience that anyone wants to endure. Serious injuries are sustained every single winter because of the neglect of property maintenance by business and home owners. My husband was seriously injured by a snow avalanche off of a roof and we were left with no choice but to hire an injury attorney to help us recover his lost wages and enough money to pay for the medical treatments he will need for the next several years. My site contains advice and information that can help you get through the legal process of a personal injury lawsuit.