Can I sue?

You cannot sue your employer or a co-worker for an on-the-job injury that was caused by their negligence – you can only file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if a third party – somebody other than your employer or a co-worker – was at fault, you can sue them. This kind of case is called a “third-party lawsuit.”

Some examples of third-party lawsuits would be a motor vehicle accident with someone who was not a co-worker, a trip and fall on property that does not belong to your employer or a construction accident where an owner or general contractor is legally responsible for safety on the job site.

Depending on the facts of your case, you may also be entitled to other kinds of benefits, such as Social Security Disability, Crime Victim’s Compensation, No-Fault, Long-Term Disability, or a disability retirement benefit.

Legal Editor: Robert Grey, December 2014 (updated June 2019)

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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