Definition of Exclusive Remedy
Exclusive remedy is the hallmark term of workers' compensation. It was designed to be an injured worker's only remedy for a work-related injury. Specifically, exclusive remedy is when a worker gives up their right to be able to sue their employer in exchange for medical care, payment for their work-related injury or illness and other benefits. Exclusive remedy protects employers from common law suits by employees to recover for work-related injuries and illnesses. However, in situations where a third party is involved in an accident or illness, an injured worker may be able to bring a common law suit against that third party, which usually involves much better compensation than what is provided by workers' compensation benefits if the case is won.
An exclusive remedy provision has been included in the workers' compensation statutes in every state. In most states, workers' compensation statutes limit an injured worker's remedies for work-related injuries and illnesses to placing a workers' compensation claim against their employer. However, as mentioned above, there are exceptions to the rule of exclusive remedy that vary from state to state, which do give an injured worker a legal venue.