Can I Sue My Employer When I Get Hurt At Work?
People frequently ask me whether or not they can file suit against their employer when they sustain an injury on the job. Most people are surprised and very often upset when I give them the answer. NO!
In Mississippi, injured workers are not allowed to file suit against their employer for work injuries. The benefits provided by the Workers' Compensation Act are considered your exclusive remedy. This means that even if your employer was negligent in causing your injury, you are precluded by law from suing them in court.
Miss. Code §71-3-9 states, "the liability of an employer to pay compensation shall be exclusive and in place of all other liability of such employer to the employee, his legal representative, husband or wife, parents, dependents, next-of-kin, and anyone otherwise entitled to recover damages at common law or otherwise from such employer on account of such injury or death . . ."
There is, however, a limited exception to the exclusive remedy provision of the statute. In situations where the employer has committed an intentional tort against the employee, the employee is not limited to the benefits provided by workers' compensation. In other words, if the employer has intentionally injured the employee, then that employee may file suit against the employer in a court of law. More often than not injuries are accidental and not the result of an intentional act meant to injure an employee, therefore, most injuries will be handled under the framework provided by the Workers' Compensation Act.
If you have questions about whether your injury could be considered an intentional act on the part of the employer, please give us a call.