Visitor Question

Do I have legal recourse besides workers compensation?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I informed my employer I was unable to lift heavy objects but was told tough, it was part of the job. But I was never informed of the lifting involved. Also, I had a doctor’s note stating no lifting over 20 lbs. My job and medical benefits were threatened if I did not lift the heavy objects. As a result of this, I now have two herniated discs which may require surgery!

Do I have any further legal recourse for being injured on the job (beyond receiving workman’s comp, which I am already getting)?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Your exclusive remedy is workers compensation. Any time a person is injured in the scope of their employment, these injuries lie within the ambit of workers compensation law. Now, what you may not realize is that when an employer is negligent or fails to make reasonable accommodations after they have been notified of a disability or limitation, you can actually seek punitive damages against that employer.

So, while you are limited to workers compensation, you are permitted to seek punitives which can be as much as three times your settlement, as a result of the willful negligence of your employer.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 19, 2011

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