When Workers’ Comp And Personal Injury Overlap
Pennsylvania has a robust workers’ compensation program for workers who injured on the job. An injured worker can file a workers’ comp claim regardless of who is at fault — even if you injured yourself accidentally in course of performing your job. But the downside to this no-fault policy is that workers cannot sue their employer even when the employer bears obvious responsibility for injury.
While you can’t sue your employer over an injury, that doesn’t mean you are out of options. In many cases, there is a third party involved in your injury besides you and your employer. By filing a third-party personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for negligence that contributed to a workplace injury.
At Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler, we will help you understand the difference between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims. In some cases, you may be eligible to take both actions, ultimately obtaining financial compensation from two sources, which can help defray the cost of medical bills and lost wages after an accident.
When Can I File A Third-Party Claim?
If you can identify someone besides yourself or your employer whose negligence legitimately contributed to an injury you have suffered, there is a good chance that you can file a strong personal injury suit against that party.
Common third-party claims for injured workers include:
- Contractors or subcontractors whose negligent action on the job results in an injury
- An individual supervisor or site manager (as opposed to the company that employs you) who assigns an unsafe task as part of your job
- The makers of defective equipment
- Drunk drivers and other negligent drivers who cause an accident when the plaintiff is traveling for work-related reasons (besides simply commuting to and from work)
- Anyone responsible for toxic substances being present at a worksite
- Public utility agencies that fail to recognize or promptly respond to a gas leak or other safety issue
Learn More At A Consultation In Erie
The best way to take advantage of both workers’ compensation law and personal injury law is to work with an experienced lawyer who can help you understand the intricacies of the law and the ways they apply to your specific situation. To learn more at an initial consultation, call 814-240-3339 or contact us online and set up an appointment. From our office in Erie, Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler represents clients throughout northwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.