Sue My Employer for Negligence
Suing your employer or any company for negligence can be quite a tightrope walk. Not only must you prove that your employer had a duty towards you, but that they also intentionally allowed the problem to occur. Negligence lawsuits are more often filed in certain industries, such as the medical field or wellness. Four basic elements can help to guide a lawsuit against your employer. You must be able to prove that the actions or services received brought you harm.
Definition of Negligence
Before we outline what steps are necessary to prove a case of negligence against your employer, we need to look at the definition of negligence.
Negligence – failure to take the right measures to provide the appropriate level of care in a specific area
To flesh out that idea more fully, negligence is also seen as carelessness that allows injury to occur to individuals who should not have experienced injury. Those who suffer some sort of physical or financial harm from perceived negligence may have a case. Negligence injuries include physical, psychiatric, economic, and property.
Four Basic Elements to Prove Negligence
To prove that negligence occurred in the court of law, you must prove duty, breach, causation, and damages. These four elements are the nails to the structure of your case, building a case that will hopefully prevail in the courtroom. An employment lawyer strategizes how to best use these elements to prove that negligence did, in fact, occur.
Step 1: Prove Duty
An employer has specific responsibilities to their employees. Employers are obligated by law to provide a safe work environment as well as pay employees appropriately. In cases of negligent hiring or obvious OSHA violations, the employer has an obvious duty to their employees.
Step 2: Show the Breach
After showing that your employer has a certain duty to you, then you must show how your employer breached that duty. Since your employer is obligated to provide a safe work environment for employees, a clear violation of that would be if broken seatbelts have not been replaced in machinery.
Step 3: Reveal Causation and Connection
Next, you must be able to show how your damages or sufferings are directly related to your employer’s failure to uphold its duty to you. For example, if your workplace knows it has asbestos but chooses not take the necessary steps to protect employees and you begin to suffer breathing problems, you may have a causation for your lawsuit.
Step 4: Demonstrate Actual Damages
The main purpose of a lawsuit is for the hurt party to recover the cost of the damages. Therefore, if you don’t have any concrete damages from your employer’s breach of duty, then you have no case. But, if you have gained an injury or illness due to your employer’s negligence and had to pay medical bills and miss work hours, you have actual damages.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages due to missed work
- Emotional stress
If I Can’t Sue My Employer, Then Who Can I Sue?
Sometimes your employer may not be liable for the negligence that caused you to experience harm. In this case, you still may have a case, but it would be a “third party” case. A third-party lawsuit is filed against a company or person whose carelessness resulted in injury or death for a worker.
Quick Examples of Third Party Claims
- Construction – an injured construction worker may be able to bring a case against a construction site owner for bad safety practices
- Transportation accidents – road workers who are injured by a vehicle could potentially bring a case against the driver and vehicle company.
- Defective products – an employee who experiences an injury due to a defective product may have a case against the product manufacturer.
Of course, you are best prepared for a negligence lawsuit when you work with a lawyer to ascertain whether or not you actually have a third-party case. Explore your legal options by reaching out to an employment lawyer.
Negligence in the workplace can create a dangerous working environment. Employees who raise awareness of negligence help to protect themselves and others. If you have been injured due to your employer’s negligence, reach out to an employment lawyer today to find out your legal solutions.