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Industrial injuries and workers' compensation benefits

One of the first questions many Michigan employees ask after being injured is whether they can sue their employer. These injured workers generally pursue workers' compensation benefits for the costs of their medical expenses and a portion of their time away from work first. While these benefits should theoretically be adequate under any circumstances, it is not hard to imagine how the effects of a significant industrial injury may be more severe than some insurance policy is willing to pay.

Unfortunately, Michigan's workers' compensation laws generally prevent an injured employee from seeking double recovery. That is, the employee may not recoup workers' compensation benefits, and sue his or her employer. Nevertheless, injured workers need to be aware of the exceptions to this rule.

First, employers do not receive protection from suit, if they are liable for an intentional tort. As a result, if there is evidence that the employer acted deliberately to injure a worker then a victim may bring his case. In addition, there are several statutory exceptions which allow an injured worker to bring suit against a negligent employer, along with a specific prohibition against employers retaliating against employees for seeking benefits.

Finally, someone hurt in a factory accident or other industrial setting may be able to sue an independent third-party. While there are limits to when a worker can sue his employer, the worker can sue most other third-parties that may be responsible for his or her injury. For example, an employee may be able to sue a company, which contracted his employer or even a co-employee who caused the injury.

No matter the scenario, though, an injured worker is urged to contact a local Saginaw area workers' compensation lawyer. These experts are proficient at the exceptions which may apply to a particular case. Only they can ensure a victim is not forgoing potential compensation for him and his family.

Source: Michigan.gov, "An Overview of Workers' Compensation in Michigan," accessed on Sept. 2, 2014

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From offices in Saginaw, Michigan, Burns Law provides legal services for clients in Saginaw County, Isabella County, Bay County, Tuscola County, Huron County, Genesee County, Shiawassee County and the surrounding areas, including communities such as Flint, Grand Rapids, Bay City, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Lansing, Cadillac, Kentwood, Forest Hills and Ionia.