Employers in Oklahoma are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. However, in some cases, the negligence of employers can be the indirect causes of on-the-job injuries for workers. If a co-worker's actions caused your injuries, you might be able to show that your employer was negligent.
Although the workers' compensation insurance system of Oklahoma is there to protect employers from civil lawsuits, some circumstances may justify such claims. These are similar to third-party claims, which involve individuals independent of your employer. However, it is not something you can do without skilled legal counsel.
What factors can constitute employer negligence?
To pursue a personal injury claim in a civil court, you must establish negligence. The three aspects of negligence are duty, breach of duty and resulting cognizable injury. Therefore, if you can prove that your employer violated those rules, you might have a viable claim. The following factors may give you grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit:
Negligence in training: If your employer fails to provide adequate training, employees could make errors that cause injuries to the public or co-workers. If your injury resulted from such circumstances, you might have a viable claim against your employer.
Negligence in supervising: An employer or an appointed supervisor must monitor and control the actions of all employees. Proper supervision can identify acts that can cause harm and prevent unnecessary injuries.
Negligent appointments: Employers must take reasonable care when hiring new staff members. Screening must be effective, and background checks serve to alert employers of prior crimes of a potential employee. Even if your boss hires a person to operate a dangerous machine for which he or she is not qualified, any injury caused to another may reflect on the employer as negligent hiring.
Negligent retention: If your employer learns that a newly appointed employee is unfit for safely executing an allocated job, that worker must receive additional training or reassignment. If the employer fails to take appropriate action, a negligent retention claim might be valid.
Proving an employer's negligence will always be a challenge. However, if a co-worker caused your injuries, you might have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit in an Oklahoma civil court to recover compensation to help with medical expenses, lost income and other damages. The prospect of taking on your boss might be daunting, but help is available. An attorney with experience in both workers' compensation and personal injury cases can advocate for you throughout ensuing legal proceedings.