Can I Sue My Employer or Co-worker for Causing my Injury?

If you were injured while at work, most of the medical bills and other related financials were probably drawn from your workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is designed to provide both employers and employees peace of mind in the case of injury. Employees are protected from any financial woes that may arise as a result of their work injury; while employers are protected from being held liable for the injuries in question.

However, while the general rules behind workers’ compensation benefits are set in stone, there are several exceptions that would allow you to sue your employer or even your fellow co-worker for negligence that resulted in your injury.

When You Can Sue Your Employer

There are a few situations in which you would be eligible to sue your employer for damages in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits.

  1. Your employer intentionally caused your injury. In order to file a claim against your employee for personal injury, you would have to prove that they showed direct intent of harming you. For example, if you boss tripped you and caused you to fall down the stairs, they could be held liable for your injury. 
  2. You were injured by a defective product. If you were injured by a piece of dangerous or inoperative machinery, you could file a claim against the manufacturer of the equipment if you can prove they knew of the danger and did not provide effective communication regarding any potential failures.  
  3. You were injured by a toxic substance. Many jobs require employees to send exuberant amounts of time around harmful substances such as benzene or radium. Injuries from these substances could be considered either acute (appearing immediately) or latent (taking several years to appear). 

When You Can Sue Your Co-Worker

If you were badly injured while at work, you will likely face several weeks in recovery. In some situations, you might have a permanent disability that could severely affect your quality of life. Since workers’ compensation benefits only cover medical bills and lost salary up to a certain amount, you could be left with substantial financial damages.

However, if you injuries were a result of the negligence of a co-worker, you could file a third-party lawsuit for full compensatory damages. Because this will qualify as a personal injury claim, you could recover all damages including:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Lost wages
  • Quality of life 

If you or a loved one were injured while on the job, speak with a work accident lawyer in Newark in order to figure out how to maximize your damages from the incident.


Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and lawsuits.