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Filing a Lawsuit Instead of a Workers’ Comp Claim

Every state provides for “workers’ compensation,” otherwise known as “worker’s comp” or, perhaps most accurately, “workers’ comp insurance” for workers who are injured on the job.

How Workers’ Comp Works

Workers’ comp insurance is designed to work like this: workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses receive workers’ comp benefits for things like medical expenses and lost wages. 

The good news for workers is that they are not required to show that their employer was at fault for their injuries; if they are hurt at work, they receive the benefits. The bad news for workers is that these workers’ comp benefits are their only remedy; in other words, they are not allowed to sue their employer for the injuries, even if the employer was indeed at fault. 

In some cases, this means they cannot collect money for damages like “punitive damages,” which could potentially add up to millions of dollars. In this way, workers’ comp insurance protects employers as well as employees. Nonetheless, this seemingly simple arrangement can be more complicated than it appears to be.

If you have been injured on the job in Pennsylvania, let Lancaster hurt on the job lawyers help you with this important decision process.

When You Can Sue Your Employer

There are some limited circumstances under which you are allowed to bring a lawsuit against your employer for job-related injuries:

  • Intentional Employer Acts. You may be able to sue your employer for harm caused by their intentional acts if they have acted with the specific intent of harming you. For example, if your supervisor walks up behind you and pushes you down the stairs, this would likely be considered an intentional act meant to harm you. However, remember that showing mere negligence is not sufficient. The act must be deliberate. 
  • Your Employer Has No or Insufficient Workers’ Comp Insurance. Employers in almost all states are required to carry adequate workers’ comp insurance. If they do not,  you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer to recover damages for your work-related injury or disease, even based on mere negligence.
  • Lawsuits Against Third Parties. In some cases, you may also be able to sue a third party other than your employer who is partially responsible for your injury. For example, suppose you suffer an injury at work caused by using a defective product. In that case, you might be able to sue the manufacturer of that product in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim. This may entitle you to more significant recovery amounts, including punitive damages.

Contact the Lancaster Hurt on the Job Lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC If You Have Been Hurt at Work

If you have been hurt at work, the Lancaster hurt on the job lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC will help you understand the current state of Pennsylvania law regarding workers’ comp, help you understand your options, and file any workers’ comp or legal claims on your behalf. 

Contact us online for a same-day response.