In almost all states, employers must provide for payment of Worker's Compensation benefits to every employee who is unable to work because of a job related injury. Worker's Compensation laws and benefits apply for injuries to employees, which arise in the course of employment.
An important function of Worker's Compensation laws requires employers to be responsible for a worker's injuries without regard to the employee's own carelessness or fault. However, because of this, the law also provides that employees may generally not recover from the employer in any legal action other than Worker's Compensation (There may be exceptions). HOWEVER, EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY NOT BE PERMITTED UNDER THE LAW TO SUE YOUR OWN EMPLOYER IF YOU ARE INJURED IN A WORK RELATED ACCIDENT, YOU STILL MAY BE ABLE TO SUE OTHER PARTIES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE OR PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR INJURY OR ACCIDENT.
For example, an electrical panel or switch that you or a co-worker are working on explodes because of a defect. You could receive Worker's Compensation benefits from your employer and you could also bring a separate lawsuit against the manufacturer and/or distributor of the defective electrical panel or part.
Unlike a Worker's Compensation case, where you may only recover a small percentage of your losses, in a third party claim you can recover for losses not reimbursed by Worker's Compensation and, additionally, damages for disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.
It is of vital importance that a prompt and thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your work related injury take place as quickly as possible. This investigation should be conducted by your attorneys, their investigators and experts whose job it is to determine exactly what caused or contributed to the cause of your accident or injury. Photographs, witness statements and evidence must be secured as quickly as possible after a serious work related injury occurs in order to fully protect your legal rights.