Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence?

By David M. Schloss

Workplace accidents are unfortunately common, and many lines of work are especially conducive to catastrophic accidents that lead to devastating injuries. If you experience a grievous workplace injury through no fault of your own, you might understandably wonder, can you sue your employer for negligence?

There are an average of 4.9 million workers’ compensation claims filed each year, many of which are due to the negligent actions or inaction of employers. At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, we proudly stand by injured workers across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and strive to achieve the best possible outcome after an accident fueled by employer negligence. 

When Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence?

can i sue my employer for negligence

It’s always worthwhile to explore your legal options when you sustain an injury on the job or during the course of your work duties. If you suffer significant recoverable damages, and there is a verifiable link between those damages and the wrongful behavior of your employer, then filing a lawsuit can be a valid course of action.

Your employer owes you a duty of care while you are at the workplace and even when your job takes you off-site. You can sue your employer for negligence when they violate that duty of care through careless behavior, unreasonable demands, or harmful inaction.

In cases where your employer is a company rather than an individual, such as when your employer’s business structure is an LLC, then you might sue the company for negligence instead. This does not significantly change the process of filing a lawsuit, as you are still taking the same type of legal action against an entity that is responsible for your injuries.

While a limited liability company shields owners and partners from certain financial liabilities, it does not negate your ability to seek compensation when negligence leads to injury.

What Is a Negligence Lawsuit?

Can you sue your employer for negligence?

A negligence lawsuit is a type of legal action you take directly against your employer when they violate their duty of care toward you in such a way that results in you becoming injured. It differs from a workers’ compensation claim in that negligence does not necessarily need to be a factor to collect workers’ compensation. In some cases, you can sue your employer for negligence while also collecting workers’ compensation.

When you file a negligence lawsuit, you and your legal team will ultimately present your case in a court of law. If the court rules that the employer’s negligence was the direct cause of your damages, then your employer or company must pay out an amount of compensation to you as mandated by the judge.

Keep in mind, however, that the burden is on the claimant to prove that the party accused of negligence did, in fact, violate their duty of care and that they owe damages as a result.

What Makes an Employer Negligent?

An employer is undeniably negligent when you, as the claimant, are able to prove that they are guilty of wrongful behavior when hiring, training, supervising, or compensating employees. Negligence can also refer to an employer’s failure to abide by federal or state-level employment laws.

When you experience a work-related injury, there are several types of evidence you can organize or document to help establish that your employer is, in fact, negligent and liable:

  • Medical bills and treatment records
  • Witness statements
  • Workplace timekeeping records
  • Company policies that contradict your employer’s behavior
  • Records of any relevant conversations with your employer

The attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, offer free case reviews that can help you understand if your employer is negligent. We can assist with compiling and presenting key evidence so you can sue your employer for negligence with confidence in a positive outcome.

Will I Be Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Can you get compensation if you sue a  company for negligence?

Any injury you incur during the course of carrying out your job is eligible for workers’ compensation. If you experience an accident or injury due to an employer’s negligence, you still can file a workers’ compensation claim and pursue a settlement as part of your employee benefits package.

If you decide to sue your employer for negligence, and your employer in turn makes it difficult for you to secure workers’ compensation, an attorney can help you advocate for your state-protected rights.

On the other hand, it is important to remember that just because you have a valid workers’ compensation claim does not necessarily mean you can sue your employer. In fact, the terms of your workers’ compensation policy likely bar you from filing a lawsuit against your employer except in cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm.

If your employer does exhibit harmful behavior beyond what your workers’ compensation policy stipulates, though, then you can sue your employer for negligence on top of filing a workers’ comp claim.

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Sue My Employer?

Standing up for yourself and taking necessary legal action is not always easy, especially if you are recovering from a serious workplace injury. Securing compensation is necessary so you can afford your medical bills, but your top priority should be to focus on a stress-free recovery. Working with a personal injury attorney ensures you have the best chance at getting maximum compensation while also giving you the opportunity to rest as needed. 

The Washington, D.C. personal injury attornies at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, can help your case by:

  • Investigating the cause of your workplace accident
  • Collecting evidence to establish negligence and liability
  • Filing the initial lawsuit against your negligent employer
  • Representing you in court throughout the process
  • Negotiating a settlement outside of court, if you prefer

When you reach out to our firm, we do not charge any fee for the initial consultation whatsoever. We also do not expect you to pay for our services until we succeed in obtaining compensation for your damages.

Get the Help You Deserve

There are many legal and personal challenges to overcome when you decide to take legal action against a negligent employer. Our team at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, wants you to understand that you can sue your employer for negligence without having to do it alone.

Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.

About the Author
David M. Schloss is an injury attorney and partner in the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. He joined the law firm in 1987 and has earned a reputation as one of the leading personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys in the District of Columbia.