Can I sue my employer for pain and suffering regarding an on-the-job injury?

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Can I sue my employer for pain and suffering regarding an on-the-job injury?

I am a truck driver. About 21 months ago, while working for a freight company I was injured. I was unloading my truck at one of our customer’s with a battery powered pallet jack and lost my balance. I fell off of the liftgate on my trailer, about 4-5 feet, and landed on my hands and knees. The pallet jack fell behind me and landed on my right thigh. It punctured and left me with a huge wound. I lost a lot of blood and was transported to a hospital trama unit. Approximately, 6 days later I was released and was driven 200 miles home. It took almost 3 months before I returned to work. I need to know if it would be worth my time to pursue a law suit for pain and suffering.

Asked on September 8, 2014 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you have Worker's Compensation available from your job, that is the mechanism for--reasonably quickly and inexpensively--obtaining compensation for a work-related injury. You cannot both get Worker's Comp and sue your employer, so if  you have Worker's  Comp, your best recourse, as opposed to the time and expense of a lawsuit, is to make a claim for Worker's Compensation.

If you don't have Worker's Comp, you could try suing your employer, BUT they would only be liable, or financially responsible, if they were "at fault" in causing the accident and injury in some way. From what you write, that would not appear to be the case--they do not seem to have done anything wrong in causing the injury. Without fault, they would not be responsible for your costs or pain and suffering.


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