Can I Sue My Employer in Court Over a Work-Related Injury?
The Ohio workers’ compensation laws were designed to prevent the need for an injured employee to establish fault through the legal system. The employee is generally prohibited from suing his/her employer for negligence. This is because Ohio has a no-fault system with workers’ compensation and it generally does not matter why the injury happened.
In exchange for speedy and certain benefits, the workers who have been injured generally give up the right to sue their employer. However, there are exceptions when an employee with a work-related injury may sue the employer.
Anytime an injury results from an employer’s intentional, reckless or illegal actions, the employee may have the right to sue the employer. For instance, if the employer intentionally removes a safety guard and this directly leads to an injury, the employee may have the right to sue for a full range of damages.
Additionally, even though an employer provides workers’ compensation insurance benefits, if an injury or illness is a result of the actions of a third party, the employee has the right to take suit against the third party. Typically, the third party would be an outside contractor, supplier or individual whose negligence was the direct cause of an accident or occupational exposure. For example, being struck by a vehicle driven by a third party.