Short answer: Not in Arkansas.
Long answer: In Arkansas, workers’ compensation benefits are what we call an exclusive remedy. That means if you get hurt on the job and receive workers’ compensation benefits, that’s what you get from your employer. Period.
At first glance it seems unfair that you can’t sue your employer for negligence if your injury was caused by an unsafe practice or reckless situation at work. However, it’s a two way street. If your work injury was caused by your own negligence or failure to take proper precautions, it is still covered by workers’ compensation.
Of course, if your work injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, you can recover damages from that third party. An easy example would be if you are working as a delivery driver for Company A and are injured after being rear ended by John Doe. Company A will pay your workers’ compensation benefits, and you can also pursue a negligence claim against John Doe.
At Martin Law Firm, we always analyze a workers’ compensation case to determine if there is any additional recovery from a third party available. If you’ve been hurt at work and have questions about your benefits, please reach out. Consultations are always free.