If I was injured on the job due to something I feel was caused by my employer, would I be able to take legal action to get compensation for pain and suffering?

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If I was injured on the job due to something I feel was caused by my employer, would I be able to take legal action to get compensation for pain and suffering?

I was asked to do a job outside of my normal duties as a sheet metal mechanic

because we were slow. I was asked to fix pipes that had been crossed to the shop restroom which had hot water running in the commode. I went up to inspect the project and find out what all I would need. Having fixed copper lines before and knowing what I would need I prepared everything I could and, collected all the necessary tools to do so except for a hack saw which I could not locate anywhere in the shop. So I took a pair of tubing cutters in hopes that it would do the trick. Once I got set back on top of the office where the pipes were I got to work until I needed to cut the existing lines and found that the tubing cutters weren’t going to suffice. So I called down and told my boss I wasn’t going to be able to cut the pipe without a hacksaw. He had everyone look for a saw while I finished up what I could without it and before long he brought up an angle grinder that had been modified under his instructions to hold a larger disc than what is supposed to be on it to be able to cut stainless steel sheet metal with. I was quite reluctant especially with it having and over sized blade and no guard. However, with my boss right there telling me,

Asked on July 16, 2018 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since there was no worker's compensation, you can sue your employer: worker's compensation protects both the employee (by providing compensation) *and* the employer (the employee gets the WC, but cannot sue), but when there is no worker's compensation, an employee may sue for injuries which occured due to the employer's negligence, or unreasoanble carelessness. In this case, having you do a task ouside your normal expertise and, more importantly, giving you an inappropriate and improperly modified tool to do so, would be negligence. You can sue for any unpaid medical costs; for  any lost wages or reduced future earning potential; and because you are experiencing long term life impairment, some amount for pain and suffering. Suing for pain and suffering can be complex for a layperson, but the pain and suffering award may potentially be a large part of your compensation; therefore, to make sure you can effectively sue for what you are entitled to, you should consult with a personal injury attorney, rather than trying to sue on your own.


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