In Ontario, most accidents that happen on the job can’t result in a lawsuit. This is because most accidents, injuries, and occupational diseases are covered by worker’s compensation benefits. But you can sue for accidents outside of that scope. Even though a worker’s ability to sue their employer is limited in nature, you can initiate a lawsuit against other parties under certain situations. Here we look at how you can elect to sue for a workplace injury instead of filing for worker’s compensation.
How do you pursue a lawsuit?
If you have been injured during the course of employment by a negligent third party, you can “elect” to commence a lawsuit. The third party can be either a person or a company who does not work for your employer.
What qualifies as an “election”?
There are many different scenarios that would qualify for an election. Some more common scenarios include being hit by a drunk driver when you’re driving on the job, a slip and fall that causes injury in the building that is owned and managed by a company other than your employer, or using a new product that malfunctions and causes you bodily harm at work.
What should you consider before making an election?
There are different employee classifications that can affect how you make an election. For instance, a Schedule 1 employee that is injured by a third party on the same job that is also a Schedule 1 employee, eliminates your ability to bring a lawsuit upon that third party. Schedule 1 employees are those who are typically employed in construction and industrial work. Knowing the rules and regulations that apply to your type of employment category is important in understanding your rights to enter into a lawsuit and with whom.
What about independent contractors?
If you’re classified as an independent contractor you will have different stipulations depending on how the law defines your employment. So, it’s crucial that you understand whether the law considers you as an independent contractor or an employee, regardless of what you believe your status is. If you’re defined as an independent contractor you have no claim for WSIA benefits but can still sue a third party.
To understand whether you’re entitled to sue a third party or whether you should apply for WSIA, it’s recommended to seek professional legal help. A professional can determine what is the appropriate action to take that can save you time, money and stress.
Have you been injured? Call Shaw Legal Service to determine your legal options, help you get back on your feet, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.