After suffering from an Indiana workplace accident, you may be unsure of your next steps. You could pursue a workers’ compensation claim, but that might not fully compensate for your injuries. In particular, workers’ compensation may not provide relief for the emotional harm you have suffered as a result of the accident. At the same time, there are limits to bringing a negligence lawsuit after a workplace accident. Most notably, you may not be able to directly sue your employer. However, there are a few other ways you can still recover damages after an Indiana workplace accident.
As a recent article sadly reported, a construction worker was killed in a workplace accident in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. At the time of the accident, the victim was working to remove a stretch of transit tracks for a demolition and land repurposing company. Then, a section of the track suddenly fell, which killed the construction worker. The cause of the track collapse remains under investigation.
Can You Sue Your Employer for A Workplace Accident?
If you suffered injuries while performing a job for your employer, your first course of action will likely be pursuing workers’ compensation rather than suing the employer. Indiana law requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation. Often, an employee cannot sue their employer for on-the-job injuries if they receive workers’ compensation. On the other hand, if fault for the workplace accident lies with a third party rather than the employer, an employee may be able to sue the third party for their injuries. Examples of a liable third party include manufacturers of construction equipment that injured the employee or an individual with no tie to the employer who acted negligently.
What Are the Differences Between Workers’ Compensation And Third-Party Negligence Claims?
Because Indiana law requires certain employers to provide workers’ compensation, the employee does not have to prove negligence or fault on the employer’s part to receive workers’ compensation benefits. On the other hand, to hold a third party liable for a workplace injury, employees must prove the required elements of negligence or strict liability depending on the claim. To prove negligence, the more common of the two, the accident victim must prove the defendant possessed a duty of care, violated that duty, caused the workplace accident, and that the victim suffered an injury as a consequence.
Additionally, the deadline to file a workers’ compensation claim is much stricter than a negligence lawsuit. According to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana, injured employees must report an accident and file a workers’ compensation claim within thirty days. If employees do not take the necessary steps to meet the deadline, the Board may deny their claim. If employees have a dispute with their employer about their workers’ compensation, they must file an Application for Adjustment within two years of the last date of compensation paid or from the date of the injury. Conversely, Indiana law requires plaintiffs to file personal injury claims within two years of the accident. That said, negligence claims require more research, writing, and preparation than a typical workers’ compensation claim. They also involve complicated questions of fact and law. An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can help workplace accident victims pursue a negligence lawsuit to recover damages.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Workplace Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Indiana workplace accident, contact Padove Law today to discuss your next steps. Attorney Burton A. Padove has decades of hands-on experience representing clients in all types of personal injury claims throughout the state of Indiana. Attorney Padove can help you pursue a claim for damages against all responsible parties to recover the compensation you deserve. For a free initial consultation, call our office at 877-446-5294.