Exclusivity Doctrine

Where exclusivity applies and the employee can only sue under the Workers’ Compensation statute, there are certain important ramifications. To begin with, the employee is likely to get less money. While statutory caps limit workers’ compensation benefits, damages in tort-based, common law actions are limited only by the court’s discretion. Another crucial difference between these forums concerns statutes of limitations which are statutes limiting the amount of time one has to bring a claim. Workers’ Compensation statutes carry different statutes of limitations from those found in tort for the same type of claim. If exclusivity applies and the statute of limitations under the Workers’ Compensation statute has expired, you will not be allowed to sue in tort.