Yes, you may be able to sue the workers’ compensation insurance company for negligence. Under certain circumstances, a person is entitled to bring a lawsuit against an insurer for failing to properly investigate or pay benefits on an injury claim. In order for a successful negligence suit, you must prove that the insurance company breached their duty of care by not following its policies and procedures when handling your claim and that this breach caused you damages. It must be demonstrated that any negligence was directly related to your injury and not just a generalized issue with their services in general. If these criteria are met, then you may be able to file suit against the workers’ compensation insurance company for negligence.
I. Evaluating Negligence Claims
When evaluating claims of negligence in a workers’ compensation case, it is important to remember that the insurance company’s primary role is to protect the employer from financial and other losses. As such, the insurer’s interests may not always be aligned with those of the employee. Therefore, understanding their motivation can go a long way toward ensuring that your rights are respected during any negotiation or legal proceedings.
It is also essential to note that workers’ compensation policies provide only limited coverage for injury-related costs. So, even when an employer has made sure they are fully insured against workplace incidents, there may still be cases where an individual does not receive all the damages they are entitled to under state law. In these situations, pursuing a negligence claim could be one way of seeking additional compensation.
Negligence claims must prove fault on behalf of one or more parties involved in causing an incident or accident at work. With this in mind, victims should collect as much evidence as possible regarding how and why their injuries occurred if they believe someone was negligent in their actions prior to, during or after their employment relationship with the business in question. This might involve interviewing witnesses who were present before and after an incident took place; obtaining copies of pertinent records such as medical reports and job site inspections; or providing written statements detailing exactly what happened and why it is believed negligence was a factor at play leading up to it.
II. Advantages of Filing a Lawsuit
Many people who are injured on the job and eligible for workers’ compensation insurance benefits may be entitled to additional compensation through filing a lawsuit. There are a variety of advantages when it comes to taking legal action against an employer or their insurance provider.
One key benefit of pursuing litigation is that in most cases, it provides access to more resources than what is available with a traditional workers’ compensation claim. In these lawsuits, claimants may be able to receive non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, punitive damages, and reimbursement for medical costs not covered by the workers’ compensation system. It also allows a claimant to seek reimbursement for wages lost due to the injury.
Another advantage of going after an employer or workers’ compensation carrier in court is that there is no time limit on filing a lawsuit. This means that you do not have to file your case within two years like you would with other types of civil claims; instead you can take your time deciding whether or not filing suit is the right option for you without worrying about missing deadlines. In some cases, if evidence arises much later on during the course of proceedings, this could potentially help strengthen your argument even further in court.
III. Requirements for Filing a Negligence Claim
If you believe that your workers’ compensation insurance company was negligent in handling a claim, then it’s possible to sue them. Before doing so, however, it’s important to understand the process and requirements of filing such a negligence claim.
To have a strong case against the insurer for their alleged negligence, you’ll need specific proof that they either failed to take necessary steps or deliberately avoided doing so. This could be in the form of evidence showing disregard for policies related to employee safety and wellbeing or simply failing to investigate an injury properly or even deciding on claims incorrectly with no good reason for doing so. It may also be appropriate to seek legal action if there has been ongoing failure by the insurer in providing payment within a reasonable period of time.
In many cases, individuals must also give notice of their intent to sue prior to taking legal action. This gives the insurance company one last chance to address any issues they may have overlooked regarding policy violation or improper administration of benefits due before being taken into court. Depending on each state’s laws and regulations concerning negligence towards workers’ compensation insurers, notifying the company can range from merely informing them verbally beforehand up until submitting an official request in writing at least 30 days prior.
IV. Potential Defenses by the Insurance Company
The insurance company may attempt to defend against any claims of negligence on the part of the employee or employer by arguing that the workplace accident was an unforeseeable event. This defense is often referred to as ‘Assumption of Risk.’ The company may also rely on comparative negligence, which looks at each party’s responsibility in an incident and uses that information to assign a degree of liability. Another potential defense would be contributory negligence, which states that if there was some element of fault attributed to either the employee or employer, they could not pursue a claim against the other party.
In a scenario where there is alleged misconduct by both parties, such as when employees suffer injuries due to unsafe working conditions caused by both themselves and their employers, it can be difficult for one side or the other to definitively prove wrongdoing. In this situation, it would then fall upon the court system to decide how much negligence belongs with each involved party. This decision will ultimately determine how much compensation is awarded (if any) as well as who pays for legal costs associated with taking the case through trial.
There are also scenarios when injuries are caused by third-party entities unrelated directly either employers or employees; in these cases where multiple parties could potentially be liable for damages related to work-related accidents. A skilled attorney representing your interests should review all available facts pertaining to these cases before pursuing any legal action. Depending on what has been established during discovery phases prior to trial, insurers may try and place blame on external sources thereby absolving them from any liability owed resulting from your injury/illness claim.
V. How Your Attorney Can Help in Pursuing This Claim
Navigating the waters of the workers’ compensation system can be a difficult task, especially when it involves taking legal action against an insurance company. It is important to note that pursuing a negligence claim against an insurance company may require additional considerations and complications beyond those associated with traditional negligence claims. This is why it is wise to enlist the services of a qualified attorney who specializes in this type of litigation before taking any action.
An experienced attorney can help ensure that the individual’s rights are fully protected under applicable state or federal laws. They will also be able to provide expert advice on how best to pursue their case, explain all available options, evaluate potential damages, and advise whether mediation or arbitration could prove beneficial. They can develop effective strategies for negotiating settlements out of court as well as representing claimants during any ensuing litigation process in order to secure just compensation due.
Your lawyer will be instrumental in conducting independent investigations which often involve locating and retrieving pertinent documentation from medical providers and employers as well as interpreting labor agreements and other policies related to workers’ compensation benefits. This type of evidence is critical for making a successful claim since there must usually be clear proof that negligence played a role in the resulting injury or illness before any monetary award can be obtained from an insurance carrier.
VI. Recovering Damages Through Negligence Claims
A key aspect of any workers’ compensation case is the ability to recover damages. The Worker’s Compensation Act protects employers from being sued for negligence by an employee or his dependants, but it does not necessarily protect them from liability in other circumstances. That said, if a worker’s compensation insurance company acts negligently and fails to properly handle a claim, injured workers may be able to file a separate claim against the insurance company for damages incurred due to their negligence.
In order to establish negligence on behalf of the insurer and recover damages, you must prove that: (1) the insurer owed you a duty of care; (2) they breached this duty through some negligent act or omission; (3) there was actual harm as a result of this breach; and (4) this harm caused you financial losses. Generally speaking, establishing negligence requires evidence that shows how your injury occurred because of substandard performance by your employer’s chosen insurance provider–such as if they failed to investigate or investigate fully your injury claim within reasonable timeframes, failed to provide ample medical coverage for treatments related to your injury etcetera. You’ll need proof that such failures were directly linked with worsening health outcomes which led to additional medical bills, missed wages, emotional distress etcetera.
Victims are entitled to receive compensatory damages which are designed solely to reimburse individuals harmed by another party’s conduct or actions – meaning that any funds recovered should allow you make up for lost income or cover associated medical costs such as hospital bills and rehabilitation services required due to the injury sustained from work-related activities. While suing an employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company can be complicated, in some cases victims can potentially recover much more than just basic healthcare benefits provided under state law.