Workers in Massachusetts are afforded many protections. There are certain laws in place that are intended to protect workers from suffering unnecessary harm at the workplace. However, accidents do still occur. These range in severity. Some are minor, only causing the worker to miss a few days of work, while others are more serious, resulting in long-term disabilities. In most cases, workers' compensation insurance is available to those who suffer serious injuries on the job. Workers' compensation is meant to preclude a lawsuit against one's employer.
However, there are rare cases when it may be appropriate to pursue legal action against the employer, rather than pursue workers' compensation benefits. If there is suspicion that an employer intentionally caused an employee harm, a lawsuit directed at the employer may be the most appropriate action. When an employer is suspected of intentionally causing an employee harm, a suit for an intentional tort may be pursued in civil court.
There are some common types of intentional torts. These include battery -- or, in other words, injury to a person after being hit by someone or something -- and assault, which includes the threat of or attempt at battery. False imprisonment is another type, along with intentional infliction of emotional destress. Other types of intentional torts include defamation, fraud, invasion of privacy, conversion and trespass.
The legal landscape surrounding workplace accident cases can be complex -- and, in some cases, challenging and confusing. Knowing when it is appropriate to pursue workers' compensation or take legal action against an employer is not always easy. Attorneys are available to help victims decide what is the best path to pursue. Oftentimes, there are ways to obtain compensation that can help victims cover the costs associated with the accident and get back to living their lives.
Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Compensation: Can I Sue My Employer Instead?," Accessed on April 14, 2017