Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical office is closed but we are here to help and remain open. Contact Mike at 717-471-2168 or Loraine 717-468-9411.

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Third-Party Claims After a Work Accident

Workers’ comp in Pennsylvania, like most states, is a double-edged sword. The good news is that if you’re hurt on the job, you don’t have to show negligence or any type of fault by the employer. If you are hurt at work, you receive the benefits. The bad news is that your compensation is strictly limited to your workers’ comp benefits; in other words, the workers’ comp benefits are your exclusive remedy. This is known as the “Exclusive Remedy Rule.”

This is problematic for injured workers because workers’ comp only pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability. Yet, a typical negligence lawsuit also pays non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. So, the key to recovering the most financial compensation is to find a way around workers’ comp and file a negligence or intentional tort claim. If you have suffered a work-related injury in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster work injury lawyer help you be sure you’re recovering the maximum financial compensation you are legally entitled to.

Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Rule

Exceptions are rare in Pennsylvania. You are only allowed to bring a lawsuit for your work-related injuries if:

  • Your employer doesn’t carry adequate workers’ comp insurance,
  • Your injury was caused by your employer’s intentional acts, or 
  • There is some third party that is at least partially responsible for your injury.

Third-party injuries are more common than you may think. For example, some third parties that may be responsible for work-related injuries include:

  • Equipment Manufacturers. Equipment manufacturers are responsible for making sure their products are safe for their intended use. If a defective product injures you, you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer, as well as any entity within the product’s chain of distribution.
  • Toxic Substance Manufacturers. If you become ill from exposure to a toxic substance at work, such as acid or heavy metals, you may be able to bring a claim against the toxic substance manufacturer.
  • Drivers. If you drive for work and are injured in a car accident that is another driver’s fault, you may be able to recover from both your employer’s workers’ comp and the other driver.
  • Government Entity. If a government utility provider fails to maintain or warn about gas or electrical lines properly, you may be able to bring a claim against such an entity.
  • Construction Site Manager. If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be able to bring a claim against the contractors, subcontractors, vendors, or suppliers.
  • Property Owner. If you are working on someone else’s property and some dangerous condition causes you injury, you may be able to bring a premises liability claim against the property owner.

Contact a Lancaster Work Injury Lawyer for More Information on Third-Party Claims

Third parties are commonly responsible for work-related injuries and are not exempt from liability by workers’ comp laws. However, it can be difficult to identify who these third parties may be. That’s where a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.