Can I sue my employer for a workplace injury?
Workplace injury can have a tremendous impact on a worker’s life, in terms of finances, money, family life—really in every area. The more serious the injury, of course, the more serious the impact. Fortunately, workers’ compensation can provide much needed support for an injured worker. That being said, workers’ compensation isn’t always adequate when it comes to providing a remedy to workplace injury.
Unfortunately, in most cases workers’ compensation is the sole remedy available to an injured worker. This rule is rooted in the nature of the workers’ compensation system itself, which is built upon a compromise. In exchange for an employer’s assurance of swift and fair compensation of an injured employee regardless of fault, employees give up the ability to sue their employer for damages following an accident. The result is a system of compensation which is fairly reliable for injured workers, but the trade-off is that avenues for compensation are limited.
Each state is a bit different in terms of exceptions to the general rule of exclusive remedy. Here in Colorado, the rule is fairly rigid compared to other states. For this reason, it is important for employees to work to ensure their workers’ compensation rights are respected by their employer and the employer’s insurance carrier.
When issues do arise with a workers’ compensation claim here in Colorado, it can often be helpful to work with an attorney experienced in this area of law. Sometimes, just the fact that an attorney is working on one’s case is enough to convince a stubborn employer or insurance company to cooperate. In other cases, it may be necessary to pursue an aggressive strategy to protect an injured employee’s rights.