Can I file a lawsuit and claim workers’ compensation at the same time?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Since a claim under the workers’ compensation system is intended to provide the employee with a remedy for any injury or illness arising out of the course of employment, workers comp claimants are typically prohibited from bringing a separate lawsuit for negligence against the employer.

The Workers Compensation System

The workers compensation system is meant as a sort of “strict liability” system, meaning that as long as an injury or illness occurred on the job in the performance of one’s job-related duties, the injured party is to be compensated. There is no need for the employee to prove fault or negligence on the part of the employer. From a public policy perspective, because this form of strict liability creates an effective alternative to litigation, it generally forbids litigation. (The system is “effective” in that it provides everyone who meets its requirements with a legal “remedy”). In the law, statutes that embody this idea are usually called  “exclusive remedy” provisions.

Lawsuits Against Third Parties

However, this does not preclude bringing a lawsuit against third parties that may be at fault. For example, if you are injured at work but someone outside your company caused the accident to happen, e.g. – a wire cable installer negligently hid a wire that caused your trip and fall, then you may file a lawsuit against the third party (i.e. – the cable company in the example).

In addition, if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation coverage, you may be able to sue the employer based upon its negligence or fault for your injuries. There are also some harassment claims that may be brought as a state civil action or a federal cause of action. This is becoming more common in, among others, sex harassment claims. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you pursue all available remedies.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption