Work injuries can happen when we least expect them. Anyone who does physical labor is at risk for an incident that impedes their ability to perform the basic job functions. Even people who work “low-risk” jobs can be injured at work due to someone else’s negligence. Preexisting health conditions can also get worse due to a personal injury at work or hazardous work conditions.
If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to collect compensation if a negligent third party was involved. The Western PA personal injury attorneys at our firm have years of experience and legal knowledge handling third-party work injury claims throughout Indiana, PA. Whether your work injury was sustained doing construction, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, or another occupation, we want to work with you on your claim.
What Businesses Are Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
While certain states only mandate workers’ compensation coverage for employers of a certain size, Pennsylvania requires all employers of all sizes and in all industries to maintain workers’ comp for all their full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees. The only employers who are not required to carry workers’ comp coverage are those who employ only workers who are exempt from such insurance, such as domestic workers, railroad employees, longshoremen, and federal employees. Furthermore, sole proprietors, such as self-employed individuals, are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, although they have the option of buying such a policy if they wish to do so.
What Situations Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
Any time employees suffer an injury or illness that stems directly from the performance of their job-related duties, they are eligible to seek restitution for various losses through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Injured employees are not required to prove negligence by their employers or fault for their injuries, nor are they required to prove they themselves were not at fault unless they were hurt performing non-work-related duties. However, employees covered by workers’ compensation insurance cannot file civil lawsuit directly against their employers for negligence leading to an on-the-job injury, as any claims are typically limited to the workers’ compensation system.
What Damages Could a Worker Recover Through Workers’ Comp?
Through a workers’ compensation claim, injured employees can seek restitution for all past and future medical expenses related to their injury, including the costs of surgical procedures, inpatient and outpatient care, medications, physical therapy, and medical equipment. They can also seek compensation for two-thirds of their missed wages, if their injury leaves them disabled for longer than seven calendar days.
Partial or total disability payments are available either until a worker has recovered enough to go back to his or her original job (or other employment with equivalent), or indefinitely if an accident results in permanent disability. If a victim is able to work but at lower wages, such as light-duty or part-time jobs, wage loss benefits may cover a portion of the loss arising from the deficit. However, workers’ comp claims do not account for non-economic losses stemming from a catastrophic injury, such as pain and suffering.
Understanding Third Party Work Injury Claims
Third-party work injuries occur when a person or entity working for another company caused your injury due to their reckless or negligent behavior. Under Pennsylvania law, you often cannot sue your employer or a co-worker for negligence if you are hurt on the job, but that protection does not apply to negligent third parties, who may be held accountable for their actions through the civil court system.
For example, accidents caused by third parties often happen on construction sites where more than one company is involved in a single project. They include:
- Automobile accidents
- Dog bites
- Falls from heights
- Struck by falling objects
- Accidents with work equipment
- Slip and fall incidents
However, third-party work injuries do not only happen on construction sites. Some other examples of third-party claims include:
- A negligent driver hits you while you are running a company errand.
- An employee or manager of another business you visit as part of your job functions causes your injury.
- A manufacturer produces a defective product or piece of equipment that causes your injury while you are performing your job.
- You are injured due to hazardous conditions on outside premises while performing a job function, caused by the negligence of the property owner.
- Any other third party causes your injury while you are in the scope of your employment.
Contact Our Western, PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Nobody plans to sustain a work injury, but when it happens, injured workers deserve to receive compensation to help them recover and make ends meet. That is why your first course of action should be to contact an attorney immediately after you have been injured. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations to file a third party liability claim is two years from the date of your injury. The sooner you protect your rights, the better your chances of making a recovery.
We can walk you through the steps needed to secure your claim. The Indiana, PA personal injury attorneys at can fight for you every step of the way to prevent your claim from being downplayed or denied and to help you receive the right care. Our attorneys will investigate the cause of your injury and gather the crucial evidence needed to hold negligent third parties accountable.
Do not take a chance with your recovery. Call today. We offer a confidential, free case evaluation. Contact us today so we can discuss your options.