If you suffer an on-the-job injury in Pennsylvania, you most likely cannot sue your employer. Instead, you will have to use the workers’ compensation program to recover benefits. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that pays benefits when employees get hurt at work. Employers pay premiums on behalf of each worker. When a worker suffers an injury, they can file a claim and receive benefits. Under state law, most employers are required to have workers’ compensation.
There are some instances that might allow you to sue your employer in a workers’ compensation case. A workers’ compensation lawyer Cordisco & Saile LLC can examine your case to determine if you qualify to file suit. Call us at 215-642-2335 today.
Why Am I Barred From Filing a Lawsuit If My Employer Carries Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation protects employers from lawsuits from injured workers. As long as companies remain in good standing with the program, they are shielded from most legal actions.
In theory, workers’ compensation also benefits employees, as it provides a direct way to collect benefits after an injury, rather than having to navigate the complex and often unpredictable legal process. However, the system does not always work as intended, and many injured workers face challenges getting benefits. In rare cases, you can sue your employer on top of filing a workers’ compensation claim.
When Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Employer on Top of Workers’ Compensation?
You might be able to sue your employer for injuries suffered on the job in two specific situations:
- Your employer intentionally injured you; or
- Your employer was not in good standing with workers’ compensation at the time of your injury or lacked sufficient coverage.
If Your Employer Intentionally Injured You
While workers’ compensation usually protects your employer from lawsuits, there is one exception to this rule. If your employer injures you on purpose, you can sue, even if your employer is compliant with workers’ compensation. An example could be a physical assault by a boss or manager, or someone striking you with a vehicle.
To qualify for a lawsuit, the action of your employer must have been intentional and committed with the express intent to cause you harm. If your boss sent you on an unsafe assignment and failed to warn you of the danger, you probably do not have sufficient grounds to sue.
If Your Employer Lacks Sufficient Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation in this state. If yours does not, the company is violating a legal duty it has to you. In this case, you can sue for breach of this duty.
Should I Sue My Employer After an On-The-Job Injury?
If you are able to sue your employer for a work injury, it is often to your benefit. A private lawsuit offers certain types of damages that you cannot receive through workers’ compensation.
Under workers’ compensation, you are eligible to receive several types of damages, which could include:
- Current and future medical costs;
- Lost income from work;
- Reduced earning capacity; and
- Prescription drug costs.
A private lawsuit lets you pursue additional damages, including:
The potential compensation from a private lawsuit is significantly higher than the benefits you could receive from a workers’ compensation claim. Once again, however, the legal process is unpredictable, and you have no guarantee when you file a lawsuit that you will win a certain sum—or anything at all. With a dedicated work injury lawyer from Cordisco & Saile LLC on your side, though, you can be confident you are putting forward the strongest possible claim.
Do I Have Other Legal Options After a Workplace Injury?
Even if you do not qualify to sue your employer, you might have other options to recover compensation beyond your workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, there might be a third party liable for your accident and injuries. If so, you can sue a third party for your work-related damages.
How Can I Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About My Case?
The Cordisco & Saile LLC team helps injured workers fight for the compensation they deserve. We want to help you in any way we can. Our team offers free initial case evaluations to get started. This is a no-risk way to get answers for your workers’ compensation questions. Call 215-642-2335 to schedule an appointment today.