Factory employees are at high risk of injury, due to the intense physical labor they do and the dangerous machinery they work with on a daily basis. If you have been injured at work, you may wonder if you can sue your employer to cover your medical expenses and your lost income. Learn more about your compensation options in Alabama.
In Most Cases, You Cannot Sue Your Employer
In almost every workplace injury case, you cannot sue your employer in Alabama. In fact, the workers’ compensation system was developed in part to prevent injured employees from taking legal action against their company.
This is even the case when your employer is at fault for your accident. Poor training, inadequate upkeep of machinery, or failure to enforce workplace safety rules are all ways your employer can cause your injury but still be protected from a lawsuit.
If this is the situation you are in, you can get compensation through the workers’ compensation system. The primary benefit of the workers’ compensation system is that you do not have to prove that your employer was at fault or prove that you were not at fault for the accident that led to your injuries. It is designed to protect employers and employees alike.
What About Co-Workers?
In many cases, co-workers are partially at fault when employees get hurt. When one factory employee doesn’t do proper safety checks, engages in horseplay, or uses equipment incorrectly, they put everyone else on the line at risk.
As frustrating as it may be, you cannot sue a co-worker if you are injured at work in Alabama. Even if they are obviously and personally responsible for causing your injury, you cannot sue them. You must get your medical expenses and lost wages covered through the workers’ compensation system.
Who You Can Sue for a Workplace Injury?
While you cannot sue your employer or co-worker, there are other parties that may be held liable for your injuries. If there are subcontractors working on the factory floor with you and their negligence leads to your injuries, you can file a personal injury suit against them. This is because they are not directly employed by your company, so they do not enjoy the protection of the workers’ compensation system.
If you travel for work and get in an accident, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the other driver if they were responsible for the crash. This can get challenging when medical bills are piling up and you’re not sure whether to file for workers’ compensation or focus on a personal injury suit, so it is important to work with an attorney early to learn more about your options.
Product manufacturers may also be liable for workplace accidents. This is more likely in factory settings than many other work environments, simply due to the sheer amount of equipment present on a factory floor and the fact that much of it is capable of serious damage. If a faulty part caused your injuries, you may be able to file a third-party suit against the manufacturer. Faulty product suits are an option for products that are made incorrectly, products with design flaws, and products that are marketed incorrectly.
What to Do Next
Regardless of who caused your workplace accident, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options as soon as possible. In many cases, you can get what you are owed with a simple workers’ compensation case. This covers medical expenses and lost wages and is often enough to cover your losses during this time. In situations involving a third party, a personal injury suit may be your best option. Set up a consultation with a lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases to figure out what your next move should be.
Mann & Potter, PC is Here to Help
The team at Mann & Potter, PC is committed to helping clients get the compensation they deserve after an accident. We know how overwhelming it can be to navigate the legal system after a serious injury, and we are here to help every step of the way. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 205-627-3186 or filling out our contact form. We look forward to serving you!