In ordinary cases of workplace negligence, it is not uncommon for somebody to bring a claim against another party who caused an accident. Even if the party didn’t intentionally try to cause the accident, a claim can still be brought because, in many cases, the employer or third party was not acting within their duty of care and the accident could have been prevented. But what happens in cases where a defendant acted so maliciously that it is obvious they intended for harm to occur? These cases are known as intentional tort cases and are very different from others you may have experienced. Today we will take a look at what encompasses an intentional workplace accident, and what you can do.
Elements of an Intentional Tort Claim
It is important to know what makes up an intentional tort case, because these cases are much different from workplace negligence cases. Instead of workers’ comp, you may be able to bring another lawsuit for extra damages in an intentional tort case, depending on the circumstances. Here are some of the elements that must be in place:
- Intent: The person who committed the act against you and caused your injuries must have intentionally done the action that led to your accident. If they did not intend for the accident to occur, then it is just a simple tort case.
- Acting: Thinking about planning an act against another person is not enough. They must have planned it and followed through with it.
- Actual Cause: The victim must be able to show that their injuries only happened because of the intentional tort.
An example of this would be an employer who tells an employee to take a shortcut with a piece of equipment. As a result, the employee suffers adverse injuries. In the end, the employer admits that they were just trying to save money and did not properly equip their employees. Because they acted with outright and intentional negligence, you may be able to file a claim of an intentional tort. This is what makes intentional torts different from negligence, because an employer acted deliberately and knew that harm could be caused, but chose to do it anyway.
An example of this in action is a case that took place in Washington State where the Supreme Court allowed a civil claim for an intentional tort to go before a jury. 14 employees were able to show that a company ignored their concerns about exposure to hazardous chemicals, because they didn’t want to have to pay for proper ventilation. As a result, workers became disabled due to serious illnesses and were able to bring claims for compensation owed to them.
If an employer willfully acknowledged their own negligence and allowed employees to be injured or fall ill, they could be held liable. If you believe that you are a victim of an intentional tort, you can talk to us at the Accident Law Group as soon as possible. Call us today at 602-262-4254.