Updated September 1, 2021
Most people are surprised to learn that if you were injured at work, you usually cannot sue your employer. That is because we have something in Indiana called workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation is intended to reduce disputes between the employer and the employee. For that reason, when somebody is hurt, the workers’ compensation insurance company comes in. They pay the medical bills for the treatment of the person. They pay for the income loss during the time the person cannot work. If there’s a permanent injury, there would be also a relatively small payment made for the permanency of the injury. But things like pain and suffering, for instance, cannot be obtained through workers’ compensation.
The good news about workers’ compensation is that it’s automatic and that it gets paid regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
The bad news is that the remedy is usually not very adequate because, again, things like pain and suffering are not taken into account with a workplace accident.
There are some exceptions to that rule. If the employer intentionally sets out to harm the employee, then the employer can be sued for that. But in a typical kind of case, where the employer is negligent and the negligence causes the injury, then workers’ compensation is the only remedy. You cannot sue the employer outside of the workers’ compensation arena for negligence.
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