Can I sue a co-worker for negligence and causing physical injury while at work?

Full Question:

I am a construction worker and have been working for a construction company for the past 8 years. Last month while working on the site, the pulley operator fell asleep and lost control of the machine that caused the mental beam it was carrying to strike me square in the chest. I was in the hospital for about three weeks with multiple fractures and broken bones. Doctors have recommended rest for a minimum of 4 months. Can I sue the pulley operator for his negligence?
11/09/2016   |   Category: Personal Injury   |   State: ALL   |   #26476

Answer:

Typically, if an injury occurs during the term of your employment, people usually assume that is to be covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance. This is not always the case. There are exceptions to this scenario.
If the injuries during the employment were caused by a defective product or a toxic substance, or due to intentional negligent conduct of the employer, or due to the act of a third party, or the employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, you might be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that person who is behind such act. Legal action may be brought against the manufacturer of the defective product or toxic substance, or against your employer, or against the third party who cause the injury.
In your case, your injuries were caused due to the negligence of the pulley operator. Even though your injuries occurred on the job, fault cannot be attributed to the employer or the machine. But you have the option of suing the pulley operator personally for the injuries caused.