Can You Sue Your Employer Instead of Collecting Workers’ Compensation?

15 Sep Can You Sue Your Employer Instead of Collecting Workers’ Compensation?

There are very few situations in which you would want to sue your employer if you were injured on the job. As employers provide workers’ compensation to all employees, regardless of fault in Arizona, you would not have a case against the employer. But there are rare situations when you can do this, even if extreme.

What Circumstances Allow You to Sue Your Employer?

Let’s face it. Not all employers are a joy to work with. Some can be downright mean, uncaring, narcissistic psychopaths, and will look for any way to get rid of you rather than admit they had created an unsafe workplace. You know it, some of your fellow workers know it too. But in a court of law, you must prove that this is so and that your employer intended for you to be hurt for one reason or another.

If you are the plaintiff in a case against your employer, then you must make an ironclad case with documented proof. If you are suing the employer, you will not be going back to work there, unless that employer is fired by an owner or board of directors and someone else is brought in. Each case is very different from the next, and that is why judges must rely on cases that have gone before to come up with a relevant judgment on your specific situation.

Intentional Tort

This is a situation in which an employer may have punched you for being “disrespectful.” In criminal law, this would be a case of assault, and if the employer continued to hit you, it is aggravated assault and battery. If you have witnesses to this event, or if there are CCTV recordings of the event or both, then you will likely win your case. The attempt for mediation and out-of-court settlement would be put forward first, before ever entering a courtroom and trial.

False Accusations and Imprisonment

In another situation, your employer may accuse you of theft of some kind, such as a piece of the employer’s property. He or she may even have you arrested, although there may not be proof, or you find that you were set up in some way. He or she might do this to get you fired and unable to collect on workers’ compensation.

This would be false imprisonment so long as you can prove you did not steal whatever your employer said you stole. You end up with a tarnished record, while your employer goes free without any blemishes to his or her name. If you think this cannot happen, then think again.

Checking Out the Company Grapevine

Listening to company gossip is usually a waste of your time, particularly when people spread nasty stories about others. There are certain stories you should pay attention to, though, and these are about people who were suddenly fired, particularly if they were known as good workers and got along with everyone else.

Emotional Distress

It is a matter of sifting through what you hear and filing it away for future reference if something similar were to happen to you. Unpleasant employers who curse at you, call you names, spread false rumors about you, are causing emotional distress and creating a toxic workplace.

Documenting Evidence

While you may not have unpleasant experiences right now, take notes of events that occur to others, that seem out of balance with what you know about your fellow workers and how your employer acts when around these people.

It is unfortunate when a workplace environment becomes so toxic that no one wants to come to work, especially if they are afraid of the wrath of the employer who cannot seem to manage his or her temperament. You may also want to consider finding another job, if possible.

If your workers’ compensation claim has been wrongfully denied, call us at once for a consultation. We can help. (480) 300-7273.

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