Workers’ compensation would probably be enough to handle many on-the-job injuries. You might still need to work to get a fair deal, but you might not need a separate lawsuit.
If the insurance company denies your claim, you may need to start an appeal with the Department of Industrial Accidents. However, even if they accept your claim, workers’ comp might not cover all of your losses.
You might have the option for a lawsuit if a third party contributed to your injury — besides you and your employer, that is. Specifically, as explained on FindLaw, product liability lawsuits might be an option to recover from injuries beyond the scope of workers’ comp.
For example, if a defect in a piece of construction or industrial equipment caused an injury, you might be able to start a lawsuit against the manufacturer, seller or designer. These companies have an obligation to create and sell safe products. You could also have a valid legal claim as the employee of the purchaser.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Regardless of whether you or your employer caused your injury, it should help you get what you need to recover without too much hassle — but it does not cover everything. This leaves you to either pick up the bill yourself or pursue responsible parties.
The goal of this dual strategy is to help you put your life together again. In the interest of fairness, it is also important to pursue negligent parties — not to pin it all on your employer. Before too much time passes, you might want to think about who is really responsible for your losses.