For employers, the workers’ compensation system is simply a trade-off, as employees relinquish their right to sue in exchange for receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In the majority of cases, this system is a win-win, because employers are protected from having to deal with complicated personal injury claims, while employees receive some assistance in the aftermath of their injury. While the idea is that employers are protected no matter who is at fault, there are some exceptions to the rule when it comes to workers’ compensation.
Suppose you’ve sustained an injury at work, and you believe that your employer intentionally caused it. In this case, you may carry a suit to civil court based on “intentional tort”. It’s important to understand that intentional torts may be classified as physical or non-physical. In other words, if you believe that your employer has intentionally caused you to become emotionally distressed, this is also considered intentional tort.
Other common intentional torts are listed below:
- Assault, Battery: When an employee is injured physically by being hit by someone or something. This includes attempted battery and the threat of battery.
- Inflicting Emotional Distress (Intentional): When an employee becomes emotionally disturbed by wrongful conduct.
- Defamation of Character (Libel, Slander): When false claims or information is spoken about an employee that causes harm to their reputation.
- Invasion of Privacy: When private information (including photos) are accessed without permission and distributed or shared with others.
- Trespassing: When an employee’s property is infringed upon or used without their permission.
- Conversion: When an employee’s property is taken and used by another as their own.
While physical injuries such as a broken leg or arm are easier to prove, employees suffering from psychological injuries or post-traumatic stress may have a hard time proving that they are entitled to damages. That’s why it’s critical to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney that will thoroughly investigate your claim, while helping you understand your rights under the law.
At Shepard, Plunkett, & Hamilton, LLP, our lawyers carry decades of experience dealing with workers’ compensation cases, and we understand the complexities and exceptions involved in different types of injuries—physical, mental, and emotional. If you’re ready to begin building your case, call the lawyers at Shepard Plunkett & Hamilton, LLP today.
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