Can An Injured Worker File A Personal Injury Lawsuit In New Hampshire?
Contrary to popular belief, injured workers in New Hampshire are not always limited to workers’ compensation following a workplace accident. Workers who have sustained on-the-job injuries may have several options to obtain compensation for their work-related injuries. One of them may be filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or your family member has been injured in a workplace accident, speak with a Manchester personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman to discuss compensation options in your particular situation.
Aren’t Employees Barred from Suing Their Employer?
Yes, New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation law precludes injured workers from suing their employers for work-related injuries in most instances. However, just because injured workers are barred from suing their employer does not mean that employees cannot bring a personal injury lawsuit against a liable third party – that is, someone other than their employer who is responsible for causing the injury.
When You Can Sue Your Employer for a Workplace Accident
New Hampshire law does not preclude you from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer if he or she does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
If your employer is required by law to purchase workers’ compensation coverage but fails to do so, they are not protected by the workers’ comp prohibitions against a lawsuit.
You Could Sue Your Employer Under a Specific Law
There are certain specific federal and state laws that may allow you to sue your employer for a workplace accident despite the prohibitions against civil liability.
The Federal Employers Liability Act makes it possible for qualifying employees to sue their employer despite the workers’ compensation protections. For example, a railroad worker may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against their employer for injuries sustained at work.
However, it is important to note that injured workers must demonstrate evidence that their employer was negligent in order to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit. When seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you do not need to prove that your employer was negligent to obtain compensation.
You Could File a Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit
Another option is filing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party whose negligence resulted in your workplace accident. This option is not always available because there may not be any third party to hold liable for the work-related injury.
While New Hampshire workers’ compensation law prohibits you from suing your employer, it does not prohibit you from filing a third-party personal injury lawsuit.
For example, let’s imagine that you are a construction worker who sustains a work-related injury due to a defective piece of equipment manufactured by another company. If you can prove that the equipment was defective and that the defect led to your injury, you could pursue a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer while collecting workers’ compensation benefits.
The above is not intended to be an exhaustive list of an injured worker’s rights. It is suggested that anyone injured at work speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate the options available in their case.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, consult with an attorney to determine your compensation options. Schedule a case review with our personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman by calling 603-624-7200 or 800-984-3151.