When can you sue a co-worker for an on-the-job injury?

Missouri Workers’ Compensation When can you sue a co-worker?
The Missouri court recently allowed a lawsuit by an injured worker against a co-worker.
Generally, an injured worker is limited to the workers’ compensation system and cannot sue a co-worker. Although you receive medical care, a percentage of your lost wages, and permanent partial or total disability under the workers’ compensation system, you do not receive money for pain and suffering.
Thus, it is always important when you are injured on the job to see if there is a third party who you can sue.
In Brock v. Dunne, the court allowed a worker to sue a co-worker.
Mr. Brock’s hand became trapped in a rolling laminating machine, crushing his left thumb.
Mr. Brock’s supervisor had removed the safety guard and ordered Mr. Brock to clean the machine while the machine was still in operation.
The court found that the supervisor engaged in an affirmative negligent act that purposefully and dangerously caused or increased the risk of injury.
If a co-worker took action and that action purposefully and dangerously caused your injury, you may have an action against the co-worker in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.

If you have been injured while working, you need an experience workers’ compensation attorney. Please give me a call, Margaret E. Dean, Dean Law Office, LLC, 816-753-3100.
Licensed in Missouri and Kansas.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement.


Notice is all important in a Missouri workers’ compensation case.
An employee has 30 days to give notice.
In reality, an employee should give notice as soon as possible.
That notice should include your name, date of injury, time of injury, the place of injury, and the nature of the injury.
The 30 days is from the date of accident or the diagnosis of your condition if you have an occupational injury.
Keep a record of the date and time of the delivery along with the full name and title of the person you delivered it to.
There can be some tricky issues.
What you think is a minor matter might turn out to not be so minor. I once had someone bend a toe back. He did give notice on what was thought to be a minor sprain. Long story…he ended up with a toe implant and a serious infection.
In the case of an occupational disease, the notice is 30 days from diagnosis. Some physicians may say a disease is not work-related or may not tell you the disease is work-related. If there is any possibility the disease is work-related, you have nothing to loss by giving notice.
Not taking time to think about what lead to the injury can also be a problem. If the injury is from a risk that you would be equally exposed to outside work, your claim is not likely to succeed. Here’s an example of how things can be less than clear-cut. Your going down a set of stairs and fall. There are stairs most people go down outside the work environment. What can make the claims is: if the stairs were wet, steep, dark, you were carrying something, etc.
My office offers free initial consultations and we recovery only if you recovery.
Call Dean Law Office, LLC 816-753-3100 to schedule a consultation.
The choice of an attorney is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Not uncommonly, a claims adjustor may deny medical treatment because they don’t understand the nature of the claim. For example, if you have an injury and the treating doctor wants surgery, he or she may order certain tests before surgery. Test such as a complete blood count (CBC) or ECG (electrocardiogram) are not unusual. Claims adjustors may deny the tests just because they don’t understand why they are being ordered. Usually, a call to the claims adjustor can resolve the issue.

Somewhat more problematic is the situation in which the insurance company second guesses the treating physician by hiring a second doctor to give an opinion.

These doctors tend to be nameless and faceless. They are doctors who have never seen the patient and are doing a review based on the medical records not on the medical condition of the patient.

For example, the treating physician may prescribe a home traction unit. The insurance company gets their own doctor, whose speciality is saying no, to look at the records and state the treatment isn’t necessary.

There is a solution to this problem. In Missouri, a hardship mediation can be requested. The attorney will need to file a claim and get the medical records to support the additional medical treatment.
If you have been injured on the job and denied medical treatment, please call: Margaret E. Dean, Attorney at Law, 816-753-3100.

Free initial consultation.

No fee if no recovery.
The choice of an attorney should not be based solely on advertising.