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Suing for a Work-Related Injury – The Limits of Workers’ Compensation

Seeking Damages in Court for a Work-Related Injury

Construction worker and foremanUnder the laws of Delaware, when you have been hurt on the job, you must seek benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation typically provides you with a specific benefit for a specific period of time, based on the type of injury. The system allows workers to apply for benefits without going to court, and gives employers a sense of certainty, as damage awards are fixed and won’t vary based on the whims of a jury.

Though workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy (the only source of potential damages) for the wrongful acts of your employer, you can, under certain circumstances, file a lawsuit in a court of law to recover compensation or damages for losses suffered at work. Here’s how that works:

  • Workers’ compensation benefits are designed only to cover losses caused by the negligence of your employer or a co-worker. If your employer fails to act as a reasonable person, or a co-worker is careless, your only recourse is through a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Many accidents are caused by the negligence of vendors, customers, or unrelated third parties. If you can show that someone other than your employer or a co-employee was careless or engaged in negligence, and that the carelessness of the third party caused some injury to you, you can bring what is known as a third party action. In fact, there’s nothing to prevent you from seeking benefits through the workers’ compensation program for the wrongful conduct of your employer or a co-employee, and simultaneously filing a third party claim for injuries caused by anyone else.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood

At the law office of Michael J. Hood, in Wilmington, we bring more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in Delaware. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at (302) 777-1000 for an appointment.

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