Can I Sue My Employer for Emotional Distress?

An employee may be able to sue their employer for emotional distress under these circumstances.

upset man on the phone

If you are an employee who has been injured on the job in the state of Missouri, then you are generally entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is coverage that every employer in the state is required to carry in the event that their employee is injured while they are working. The difference between workers’ compensation benefits and other kinds of damage suits or coverage is that collecting benefits isn’t based on fault or negligence.

Workers’ compensation insurance ensures that a company has the money to cover anyone’s injuries if they happen at the workplace. Since one bad mistake by an employee has the potential to lead a business to financial ruin, it also seeks to protect the company if a person makes a claim for a serious injury. Eligibility is not dependent upon fault.

Can You Sue Your Boss If You Are Injured While Working?

Under normal circumstances, injured workers filing for workers comp are not allowed to sue their employer for personal injury in a court of law. If you collect workers’ compensation, you are entitled to economic damages – but you generally cannot collect noneconomic damages. That means that you can collect for things like lost wages and medical bills, but you won’t be paid for things like emotional distress or pain and suffering.

Are There Exceptions to Being Able to Sue?

There are exceptions to when you can sue for an injury that happens at work and when you have to make a claim for workers’ compensation. The first is that you would have to prove that your employer was egregiously negligent, that it was that negligence that led to your injury, and that you were actually injured. The other reason you can sue is if your boss intentionally injured you. Intentional injuries are subject to tort cases of personal injury.

If your boss intentionally hurts you physically, it no longer falls under the realm of workers’ compensation. If you can prove that your injury was due to an intentional act by your employer, then it might be possible for you to sue for personal injury.


Why Would You Want to Sue for Personal Injury?

If you can show that your employer intended to injure you, then you might want to sue for personal injury. Personal injury law allows an individual to collect not just economic, but also non-economic and punitive damages. That will get you the compensation you deserve to get back on your feet.

If you are injured while working, the best place to start is by consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to see if your case falls under a workers’ compensation claim or if you have a personal injury case to pursue. Call us 24/7 at (816) 399-3706 for a FREE case evaluation.
Updated: June 14, 2019

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