Workplace accidents in Vermont can be devastating, resulting in debilitating injuries that require substantial medical care and many missed workdays and lost wages. After a workplace accident, one of the most important ways to seek compensation is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Yet you may be frustrated that you are only permitted to seek coverage through the Vermont workers’ compensation system, and you may be wondering if you are eligible to file a lawsuit. In short, workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy in Vermont, but there are some exceptions to the rule that you should know about.
Workers’ Compensation is Usually an Exclusive Remedy Against the Employer
Generally speaking, when an employee gets hurt on the job in Vermont, they are e eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits in order to help cover their losses regardless of whether or not the employer was negligent.. To be clear, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in which the injured employee does not need to prove negligence in order to be eligible for compensation. But also workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy against the employer.
What is an exclusive remedy? Under Vermont workers’ compensation law, employees cannot sue an employer outside of the workers compensation claim. The only exception to this is if employer intended to hurt the employee or knew that the employee would be hurt. For all intents and purposes, a workers compensation claim is the only remedy against the employer.
Possible Exceptions to Workers’ Compensation As an Exclusive Remedy – Lawsuit Against a Third Party
When can an injured employee file a lawsuit after a workplace accident? Generally speaking, an injured employee may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit after seeking workers’ compensation benefits in cases where a third party’s negligence caused the injury.
Who counts as a third party for purposes of filing a lawsuit after a workplace accident and injury? A third party must be someone other than the employer. One common example is a someone who has a motor vehicle crash while driving for work. The other driver is a third party, and it may be possible for the injured employee to sue that driver. Another common example is a designer or manufacturer of a defective work tool that causes a workplace injury. In those circumstances, the injured employee may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the designer or maker of the tool or machine or other work product that caused the injury.
If you recover compensation from a third party lawsuit, it is important to understand that you will have to pay back some or all of the workers compensation benefits. An experienced Vermont workers’ compensation attorney can help you figure out whether it is worth suing the third party..
Contact Our Vermont Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you were injured on the job, one of the Vermont workers’ compensation attorneys at our firm can help you to seek compensation. Contact Larson & Gallivan Law online or call us at 802-327-8458.