Personal InjuryCan I Sue My Employer? Your Guide to Negligent Employers

July 21, 2021
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“How do I sue my employer?” After an accident or severe injury at work, employers don’t always handle it well. Oftentimes, employees wonder what their rights are in personal injury claims. 

How do you move forward after negligence causes you harm? It’s important to understand that you have options. Whether internal or external, there’s a process to follow to hold negligent employers and supervisors accountable. 

With minor cases, it’s common for companies to handle workplace injuries internally. Typically, this either goes through Human Resources or workers’ compensation. However, for some people, this isn’t possible. 

When it’s not, it usually means there was a willful act of negligence. In these cases, your main option to seek justice is to sue your employer. 

How to Sue Your Employer

“But, when can I sue my employer? How do I prove negligence or unlawful acts?”

When you want to sue your employer for negligence, it’s not a simple process. To prove negligence, you have to prove that the company failed to exercise caution. Alternatively, you prove the harm was intentional. 

While it’s possible to hold employers liable for harming employees, it often requires experienced legal representation. When you have a lawyer on your side, they act as your advocate and investigator. 

Workers’ Compensation

Often, worker’s compensation is the main remedy when a worker sustains an injury on the job. This system is a no-fault system. That means companies pay for workers’ compensation insurance because they understand some accidents happen. 

In any situation, there’s the potential for an accident. They have a broad spectrum of causes that vary with your work environment. However, fault and negligence don’t come into consideration in this process. 

Moreover, there are certain legal restraints about bringing lawsuits against employers to pursue damages. 

The purpose of workers’ compensation is to help employees access the financial resources necessary to cover medical bills and lost wages. More importantly, it’s meant to address it quickly. This avoids the lengthy legal process and the “sue my employer” mindset. 

That means it protects employers from the trouble and costs of lawsuits. 

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation has limits. For instance, it does not cover pain and suffering. In personal injury lawsuits, this is fairly common to include among damages. Additionally, workers’ compensation does not apply in some situations. This includes intentional acts of harm by your employer. 

Worker’s Comp, Negligence, and Texas

“Should I sue my employer if they just…don’t have workers’ compensation insurance?”

In Texas, employers have the option to opt-out of workers’ compensation insurance. When employees of these companies sustain injuries on the job, there’s no option to file for workers’ comp.

Unfortunately, lawsuits against employers based on negligence take anywhere from months to years. Negotiations for settlements become drawn out due to the extensive requirement for proof. So, it takes time for employees to access the compensation they deserve. 

Still, there are circumstances in which a lawsuit is your best option. In some personal injury claims, the injuries people sustain from negligent acts change their life forever. Moreover, some people lose loved ones due to the negligence of others. 

What Does It Take to Sue My Employer? Common Questions

“If I need to sue my employer for negligence, what does it take?”

How does an employee bring a lawsuit against an employer, company, or supervisor? What risks do you take, and what are your rights? 

The answers to these questions are not easy. Typically, they are specific to your particular case. That’s why you need a personal injury lawyer who offers personalized attention and aggressive representation. With experienced counsel, it makes a major difference in the outcome of your claim. 

Negligence in Employment

When an employee does something at work to harm their coworkers, it’s possible to hold that person responsible. This happens under the section of the law that addresses negligence in employment. 

For instance, this might apply when an employer allows someone to work in a position that does not suit them. Whether due to their attitude, lack of experience, or another factor, it has the potential to result in harm to another. 

When a factory fails to provide an employee with proper training, for instance, they probably shouldn’t be in charge of heavy machinery. If the company places them in such a position, it’s possible to hold them accountable for negligence. 

Additionally, when you are hit by a company vehicle, it’s also possible to tie it back to employer negligence. 

Negligence and Damages

Generally speaking, employers found liable for negligence pay damages to employees or surviving family members. These damages cover a broad spectrum of costs that result from the loss or injury. For instance, your settlement might cover medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

Moreover, your case may result in new rules and procedures in the workplace. While this does not benefit your financial situation, it protects future and current employees. This offers some measure of justice to victims. 

Still, the caveat in negligence is the proof. It is essential to prove negligence beyond doubt to show the employer is liable. Then, you connect the mistake to your injuries. 

Can I Sue My Employer for Emotional Distress?

“How do I sue my employer for emotional distress and mental anguish?” 

Oftentimes, employees ask their attorney whether it’s possible to receive compensation for any emotional distress they experience. As mentioned earlier, “pain and suffering” is a common form of damages in personal injury claims. 

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question, though. Without experienced legal counsel, it’s difficult to tie harmful acts to emotional distress or mental anguish. 

With physical injuries, there’s visible and quantifiable damage. However, it’s not so easy to quantify pain and suffering. In some cases, employees document psychiatric help that ties back to their injuries and or accident. 

For example, some victims experience depression, insomnia, or anxiety – as well as PTSD – after accidents. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prove the extent of these conditions. Moreover, it’s a challenge to tie it back to the incident in certain cases. 

Potential Proof of Emotional Distress

“If I have proof, can I sue my employer for mental anguish?” 

When you have proof, it always helps to provide a foundation for damages. For instance, if you have a record of repeated complaints to your employer left unaddressed, it offers a basis for damages. 

In any negligence claim, the burden of proof is on you, the plaintiff. It’s essential to prove the defendant failed to provide care or caution. Moreover, we then tie this failure to your harm, injury, loss. 

As such, when you lodge a claim of negligence against your employer, it’s a good idea to gather documentation. With your attorney, gather evidence that shows your employer failed to protect your emotional stability. 

How Do I Sue My Employer While Still an Employee?

“If I sue my employer, should I stay at my job?”

Oftentimes, it’s a good idea to continue employment throughout the course of your lawsuit. Unfortunately, this is emotionally difficult for people. In some cases, it’s not physically possible. 

Every personal injury lawsuit has unique details and factors. As such, there’s no universal answer. 

However, when you continue to work for your employer, it tends to strengthen your case. If you voluntarily leave your position, it’s possible to weaken your claim. 

No matter the details, it’s tricky to sue your employer as an employee. It leaves a lot of potential for awkward interactions. Moreover, it may result in retaliation or a hostile work environment. Fortunately, the law protects you from retaliation. 

Still, continuing employment has the potential to pay off long-term. The obvious problem is how uncomfortable supervisors and coworkers make it for you. In certain cases, this adds additional emotional distress to the situation and impacts job performance. 

However, if you have the means and ability to withstands it, it tends to support the desired outcome for your case. 

How Do I Sue My Employer Successfully?

When you decide to follow through with a lawsuit, it’s common to worry about the results. 

“What if I sue my employer and lose everything?” 

It’s normal to feel anxious and uneasy about this decision. In this situation, it’s important to stay calm about your situation. When you get emotional, it’s easy to make a mistake. 

As you report complaints to Human Resources, stay calm and collected. Try to avoid statements or behaviors that harm your case. 

Gather Evidence

As you work, collect documentation of any negligent behavior. This includes a range of evidence. 

  • Emails 
  • Performance evaluations 
  • Complaints you submitted 
  • Notes from meetings
  • Employee handbooks 
  • Policy manuals 
  • Employment contract

Bring home this evidence and show it to your attorney. Through the documentation, you begin to develop a timeline of events. Additionally, if you want to sue for emotional distress, gather records of professional help you received. 

Legal Representation

With all your documentation, engage your attorney or schedule a consultation if you do not have representation. At your free consultation, your attorney helps you confirm your case. Moreover, they provide guidance on your legal options. 

When you plan to sue your employer, it’s a good idea to retain representation. In personal injury claims, it’s important to cover your bases and protect your interests. Your attorney is your advocate. 

With the right legal representation, you have someone to build a legal strategy. Moreover, you have someone to help you seek compensation. If you think, “I’m ready to sue my employer,” your first step is a free case evaluation. 

I Want to Sue My Employer: Find Representation

“I need to sue my employer to hold them accountable.” 

When you’re ready to hold your negligent employer accountable, you need legal representation. If a negligent act causes you harm, remember that you have rights. 

When your employer’s negligence harms you or a loved one, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. At your consultation, share the details of your case and listen to the advice they offer. 

When you need an advocate in your corner, trust the legal team at AP Law Group. 

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