Workers’ Compensation limits employer liability in Oregon by granting claimants benefits for lost pay, medical expenses, and other costs without having to prove that the employer is at fault. This no-fault system means that the employer cannot be taken to a jury trial, and benefits cannot cover the adverse effects of an injury to the employee’s life outside of work. In many instances, especially in cases of minor injuries without serious, long-term complications, this system protects both the employer and the employee.
However, there is an important exception to this rule. Until 2001, employers could not be sued in court even if they had denied an employee’s Workers’ Compensation claim. The Oregon Supreme Court decided in Smothers v. Gresham Transfer that individuals whose employer had denied their due coverage may take up the matter in the courtroom. In 2017, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot deny additional claims for the later effects of injuries that resulted from the same workplace incident.
If you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. When your initial claim is denied, or your later claim is denied for effects that developed later, you need to consult with an experienced attorney. Mark Thesing Inc. is here to discuss employer liability and defend your rights.