Can I sue my workplace for a personal injury if I’m on workers’ comp and have a settlement through it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue my workplace for a personal injury if I’m on workers’ comp and have a settlement through it?

I am a “non-emergency” driver; we deal in wheelchair and stretcher transports. They knowingly gave me a stretcher without the ability to put any kind of brakes on it and then they also sent me alone to a house for a stretcher ride. I got seriously injured and have been out of work for over a year. I am on workers’ comp and have settled a case based on workman’s compensation. However I wonder if I could also sue based on another reason separate from the work comp aspect such as gross negligence or another possible reason? They put me in a dangerous situation while fully knowing that I did not have equipment up to legal standards.

Asked on January 12, 2016 under Personal Injury, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot: Worker's comp is provided as an alternative to a personal injusty suit--as a way for an injured worker to get compensation more quickly, without the uncertainty and cost of a lawsuit. You are not allowed to sue over the same occurence or injury, even on ostensibly different legal grounds, as what you received worker's compensation for.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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