Sustaining injury at the workplace is usually a traumatic experience for the worker on many levels. In the majority of cases, workers’ compensation insurance handles this. However, many people wonder if they can bypass the workers’ compensation insurance and instead sue their employer directly for their injury.

However, in the majority of cases this is not possible, assuming that the employer has workers’ compensation insurance. According to FindLaw, the purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to provide a no-fault system.

What is a no-fault system?

In a no-fault system, both parties involved waive their right to sue. In this particular situation, the employer agrees to provide workers’ compensation insurance to ensure that employers pay workers for their injuries, and in return the employee gives up his or her right to sue. A key element is that the worker gets workers’ compensation no matter who was at fault in the injury.

The presence of workers’ compensation prevents many cases from going to court. It is likely that without this system, the employee would sue for the injury and the employer would try to counter that the injury was the fault of the worker.

Are there any instances when I can sue?

Workers’ compensation does not cover your employer purposely inflicting injury on you. For instance, if you suffer battery or assault at your workplace, workers’ compensation does not cover this. Workers’ compensation also does not cover emotional distress, defamation or fraud. If you believe you have a case against your employer that is not covered by workers’ compensation, a trained attorney can help you sort your case.