Visitor Question

Will Workers Comp Pay for the Replacement Worker I Hired?

Submitted By: Barbara (Cookeville, TN, USA)

I fell on a soaker hose left wrapped around bushes in February 2009 and I had to go to the emergency room. Since then I have had many tests. I have been on pain and muscle relaxers. I had 4 doctors and 4 different diagnoses:

1. Bruised bone/X-ray

2. Torn tendon/MRI

3. Muscle spasms from the fall/MRI

4. Bursitis/Xray

I do foster care for two developmentally disabled adults from my home. I only took off the days when I was hospitalized. I have a very strong work ethic. I didn’t even take a day off once when I had pneumonia. But since the fall I’m still not able to do repetitive work like vacuuming, mopping and sweeping without severe pain in my hip and lower back. Now I pay someone to do this for me.

I wanted to know if I can sue workers comp in small claims court for pain and suffering and help with the additional payments I have to pay the cleaning girl?

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 Barbara,

From the sounds of things, you work from home and for yourself. If this is true, then Workers Compensation does not apply.

This is insurance that is purchased by employers to protect their employees in the event of work related injuries.

If the soaker hose was at your own home and you tripped, there is really no one to sue but your own homeowners insurance which may have a provision for personal injury occurring on the property. Be advised that there would be a deductible and a possible increase in premium if you do pursue a claim.

If you do not own the home and the soaker hose was placed there without your knowledge in a negligent manner, you may have a claim against the homeowners policy, but “negligence” is the operative word.

Proving all four elements of duty, breach, causation and damages may prove problematic.

While this was probably sufficiently addressed above, you cannot sue Worker’s Compensation generally in small claims court or any court for that matter.

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: June 16, 2010

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