Workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect both the employer and employee if a worker is injured on the job. While the laws vary from state to state, they are meant to ensure that workers receive compensation for when they are hurt in a workplace accident or setting, and that companies are subject only to structured, limited amounts for those injuries. However, there are situations when it may be necessary to also file a civil lawsuit for a work-related injury.
In a typical situation, an injured worker will, often with their employer’s help, go through the process of filing a claim against the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. That insurance usually covers things like preexisting conditions aggravated by the workplace; injuries that happen on the job or at a company-sponsored event; illnesses caused by exposure to toxins during normal working conditions; and mental or physical strain brought on by increased workload or pressure from management. Claims offer monetary amounts to reimburse for hospital or medical expenses necessary to diagnose and treat an injury, and even disability payments if you are unable to work.
However, there are instances when it may be in a worker’s best interest to file a civil lawsuit even if they already have a Workers Compensation claim in the process. If an injury was caused by someone other than the employer, or by faulty equipment used on the job, you may be eligible for compensation above and beyond the claim. Additionally, a civil lawsuit may be filed when a Workers’ Compensation claim has been denied.
Workers’ Compensation systems are very complex, especially if a claim involves a severe injury or other special circumstance. If you were injured at work and would like to speak to a Pennsylvania attorney experienced in personal injury lawsuits for workplace accidents, please reach out to us.