Workers who suffer a workplace injury or develop an illness from conditions in the workplace usually are limited to the workers’ compensation system for financial relief. Although there are a few exceptions, injured workers cannot typically file a lawsuit against their employer seeking compensation for their injuries or illnesses. The workers’ compensation system exists solely for the purpose of allowing injured or ill workers to get compensation for medical expenses and other costs that may have arisen as a result of work-related injuries or illnesses.
However, navigating the workers’ compensation system can be a challenging and slow process, especially for workers who already are struggling to cope with an injury sustained on the job or who have contracted a workplace-related illness. If you are in this situation in North Charleston, the attorneys of Howell & Christmas can help you determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, so that you can get compensated right away for your steadily mounting medical bills and lost wages.
Exceptions to Workers’ Compensation
There are a few cases in which an injured worker may be able to file a lawsuit against his or her employer, or another party, even if you have coverage by the workers’ compensation system. These exceptions include the following types of situations:
- An employer takes some action in order to purpose harm an employee
- While driving for work, an employee is injured by the negligent action of another driver
- An employee is injured while using a manufacturer’s defective product
If one of these scenarios occurs, an injured employee may have the right to bring a lawsuit and recover compensation, either from the employer or another party, such as a third party driver or a product manufacturer. When an injured worker is eligible to file a lawsuit for damages against a party other than his or her employer, then that worker also still might qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. At Howell & Christmas our job is to help determine your eligibility for compensation, whether it be through the workers’ compensation system or a personal injury lawsuit.
Employees Not Covered
While most workers in North Charleston are eligible for coverage under the workers’ compensation system, there are some workers who do not qualify for benefits, even if they are injured while on the job. For example, volunteers at a workplace are not employees, and thus not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Likewise, workers who are independent contractors rather than employees are not covered by the workers’ compensation system. Therefore, independent contractors and other individual workers who do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits can file personal injury lawsuits directly against an employer if they suffer injuries while on the job.
Get Advice from a North Charleston Workers’ Comp Lawyer
When a worker suffers a workplace injury or workplace-related illness, the first task is to determine whether the worker is a covered employee that qualifies him or her for workers’ compensation benefits. The next task is to ensure that you receive fair and just compensation for your workplace-related injury or illness. At Howell & Christmas we can make this process easier and provide you with the assistance that you need. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.