Workplace injuries are sadly a common occurrence in the United States. According to the BLS (the Bureau of Labor Statistics), there were more than 3 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses in the workplace back in 2012.
Most injuries received at work are pretty minor (such as paper cuts or tripping over something, but not falling down or hurting yourself) but there are occasions where some injuries can leave employees temporarily or permanently disabled in some way, or they could even lead to eventual loss of life, such as through prolonged asbestos exposure, for example.
In such situations, you may have been told that you are only entitled to a limited amount of compensation from your employer, through your workers’ compensation insurance. But did you know that, in certain situations, you would be entitled to sue your employer for damages as a result of the injuries you sustained whilst working for them?
Here are some examples of occasions where you can bring about lawsuits outside of an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Injuries sustained by faulty products
If you sustained injury from some machinery that was faulty, didn’t work correctly or was inherently dangerous, you will be to hold the manufacturer of that machinery to account for your injuries.
This means you can put in a claim for compensation from your employer for the injuries you sustained at work, and you can separately sue the manufacturer of the machinery if they knew of the dangers of its operation but failed to inform the company you work for about them.
Injuries sustained by toxic chemicals and substances
In some occasions, the chemicals and substances that an employee has to work with are toxic and could cause injury and illnesses, not to mention a threat to their lives. An example might be someone that works with gasoline, radium and chromium that are at risk of being exposed to chemical burns.
Another example might be people who work in the building industry, as they can often be exposed to asbestos, which if its fibers are inhaled in large quantities can lead to mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer that attacks the linings of your vital organs including your lungs.
If you work in the building industry and are exhibiting symptoms that might be caused by asbestos exposure, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
Should you be diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should talk to a mesothelioma attorney so that you can discuss filing a lawsuit against your employer due to their failure to ensure that your risks of being exposed to asbestos were minimized.
Injuries sustained due to gross misconduct
There are inevitably going to be cases where employees may be hurt by other employees or even the employer themselves on purpose. For example, if you have an argument with your boss one day and as things get heated he suddenly pushes or shoves you, causing you to fall backwards and injure yourself, you have the right to sue your employer outside of their workers’ compensation insurance.