Negligence in the Workplace
Generally, most workers’ compensation agreements require that you waive your ability to sue your employer for the tort of negligence. However, it is important to understand your rights and the process of the negligence claim, as you may still be able to file a negligence suit in certain cases, such as if you were injured as a result of a coworker’s negligence.
Four major elements must generally be shown for a negligence claim to succeed:
- A duty of care exists. Whenever you are engaging in an action that could foreseeably cause harm to others, you have a duty to minimize that risk. Many on-the-job activities carry with them some degree of foreseeable risk, and it is the duty of both the workers and the employer to minimize that risk.
- The duty was breached. If a coworker fails to reasonably minimize the risk of his or her actions to others, he or she is behaving negligently and may be considered liable.
- An injury resulted because of the breach. You must be able to prove that the defendant’s breach was the cause of the injury. As such, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured in order to ensure the most effective case possible.
- Damages resulted from the injury. It must be shown that either monetary damages, physical damages, or other forms of damages were suffered as a result of the negligent action.
This article is not intended to serve as, or as a replacement for, legal advice. If you have been injured as a result of negligence in the workplace, contact the Charleston workers’ compensation attorneys of the Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800.