In most cases, workers are precluded from suing an employer for an on-the-job injury because of the protections afforded by the workers’ compensation laws in Wichita. The workers’ comp system was established to protect both workers and companies. The injured employee receives benefits in exchange for a waiver of the right to bring legal action in the future, regardless of who was at fault. However, there are certain exceptions to the no-fault system that are discussed below.
Employer Tort Suits
If a person is injured while at work and believes that the harm was intentional, they can bring a tort suit in a civil court. Tort claims include physical injuries and emotional harm. Below are some of the most-used intentional torts in workers’ compensation and personal injury law.
• Battery, or injury to a person
• Assault, which is an attempted or threatened battery
• False imprisonment or confinement against a person’s will
• Intentional infliction of distress
• Fraud, where an injury occurred because someone lied
• Defamation, where a false statement causes harm
• Privacy invasion
Third-Party Injury Suits
If a person is harmed while working and believes that someone other than the employer is responsible, the third party can be sued. For instance, if the injury was caused by an equipment defect, the injured party can sue the manufacturer. However, a portion of damages may have to be paid back to the employer or their insurer.
Wrongful Termination or Denial of Benefits
Most workers’ compensation cases in Wichita are handled administratively and not through the courts. Workers cannot file appeals until administrative resources have been used, and parties have made every effort to settle the claim. At that time, the worker must appeal to a special court or workers’ compensation board. Civil redress can only be sought after all statutory requirements have been fulfilled. Processes differ by state, and injured workers should retain an attorney who knows state law.
Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If a person isn’t sure whether they have a valid claim against an employer, they should contact Slape & Howard. It may also be advisable to call the state’s workers’ compensation office. By learning your legal rights and hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, injured workers can get the benefits to which they are entitled.