Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation if I Was Injured by Another Employee?
Work injuries are exceedingly common in the United States. Every year 800,000 people are injured while at work. Although there are many potential sources of workplace injuries, one incredibly common source is other employees. Negligent employees can cause an injury through wrongful acts or by failing to perform a duty that maintains others’ safety.
If you were injured due to the negligence of another employee, you more than likely will be eligible for workers’ compensation. There are only a few rare cases in which you wouldn’t be eligible. In addition to standard workers’ compensation, you can also seek damages from the at-fault coworker to cover additional expenses that aren’t covered by workers’ compensation.
When Am I Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation After Being Injured by a Coworker?
If you and a fellow employee were performing a work task at the time of the injury, you will be eligible for workers’ compensation. The only reason in which you wouldn’t be eligible is if you and your coworker were engaging in a non-work activity that resulted in your injury. For example, if you and your coworker get into an altercation that results in your injury, that would not qualify you for workers’ compensation. Additionally, if you and your fellow employee are engaging in a non-work activity that would be labeled “goofing off” or “horsing around,” such as wrestling or another physical activity that results in your injury, that would not qualify you for workers’ compensation. You only receive workers’ compensation for being injured performing work-related activities.
Applying for Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi and Louisiana
When you’re injured on the job, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation regardless of whether or not the injury resulted from another employee. Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to be located at your job or on the clock to qualify for workers’ compensation. If you are performing a work activity or are following the directions of your employer or supervisor, you are eligible for workers’ compensation if you’re injured.
Some cases in which you would not be eligible for workers’ compensation include if you’re injured while on your lunch break (assuming that you’re not working during your break), commuting, performing criminal activities, or are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
There are three critical steps you need to take immediately after experiencing a work injury. You need to inform your employer, collect evidence of your injury, and file an accident report. For all three steps, you need to be able to provide information relevant to your injury. You need to have the date, time, and location of where the injury occurred. You should have details about your injuries and the affected body parts, how the injury occurred, who was involved, and your medical treatments.
Suing the At-Fault Employee
Although workers’ compensation covers various expenses associated with your injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and recovery, it does not cover everything. If you need additional compensation for your injuries, you can sue the negligent employee. You have every right to sue someone for negligence, and you can recover additional compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages to a certain point, but it does not cover loss of consortium as well as pain and suffering.
In order to recover damages from your at-fault coworker, you need to be able to prove in court that their negligence directly resulted in your injury. You need to prove that your coworker either did something wrong or failed to perform an action that would have prevented your injury. You must show that the employee’s negligence was the direct cause of your injury. For example, if your coworker was operating a forklift while inebriated and ran over your foot, their negligence directly resulted in your injury.
Work injury lawsuits are often not that simple, and proving your coworkers’ negligence can often be challenging, especially if you’re also in the process of treating your injuries. If you experience an injury at work, you need expert workers’ compensation lawyers at your side.
Contact Mississippi and Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you or a loved one were injured at work, you need to contact seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers to help you with your case. You don’t need to have been injured by a fellow employee to qualify for workers’ compensation, but you can seek damages from the at-fault employee with the help of personal injury lawyers. Here at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC, we assist our clients with both workers’ compensation and personal injuries. We help victims in many different cities and towns across both Mississippi and Louisiana. For our Jackson office, call 601-488-3975, and you can call 504-788-2994 for our New Orleans office. You can also click here for a free case evaluation.
99% of the time, yes you are. If a coworker injures you, that is just a classic workers’ compensation case. There are far and few between examples when it is not. The only time it would not be a workers’ comp case is if it was something personal that had nothing to do with work, an altercation between you and another employee, but that is very rare.