Ordinarily, if someone hurts you, you can sue that person. If you get hurt on the job, different rules apply. The PA workers’ compensation laws allow you to collect workers’ comp benefits. But the same laws make it almost impossible to sue your employer.
Guaranteed workers’ comp benefits allow you to get benefits even if you wouldn’t have a lawsuit. For instance, even when your employer has done everything right, and you are still hurt in an accident, you should be able to file a claim and recover workers’ comp. But the benefits you recover through workers’ compensation are not the same as what you could recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
If someone besides your employer contributed to your work accident, it is a different story. Filing a personal injury lawsuit may be available to you. These lawsuits are called “third-party claims.” A Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer at Shor & Levin, P.C., can help you to understand and explore this option.
What are Third-Party Claims?
Third-party claims are lawsuits against non-employers who are responsible for on-the-job injuries. Like any personal injury claim, you can settle your lawsuit or go to court.
A third-party claim is different from a workers’ comp claim in many key ways.
For example, workers’ compensation provides coverage for all medical bills but for only a portion of your lost wages. Workers’ comp benefits don’t cover your pain and suffering or emotional distress. They also don’t cover family members for loss of companionship. In a third-party claim, however, you can recover compensation for all those losses.
An experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer from Shor & Levin, P.C., can help you to determine if someone besides your employer is to blame for your injury. If so, we’ll help to gather and present evidence you need to build a strong case. Our attorneys can then seek a settlement for you or stand up for you in court.
Our goal is to seek 100 percent compensation for all losses caused by your injury.
Examples of Third-Party Claims
There are a lot of different situations where you might have a third-party claim after a work accident. Some examples include:
- Car accident – A workers’ comp claim could be filed, but you could also sue the other driver who caused the crash.
- Equipment malfunction – If you are using a tool or machinery on the job and a defect or problem with the equipment hurts you, you can take action against the manufacturer of the product.
- Non-employer supervisor negligence – On construction jobs, someone other than an employer might be supervising the work. For example, an architect, engineer or developer may be managing workers. If these non-employers are negligent in a way that causes injury, you can sue them.
- Errors made by outside contractors – If there is an outside contractor or a vendor doing work on your jobsite and that person is careless and hurts you, you could bring a claim against the contractor or the contractor’s employer.
- Gas line leak or other problems with public utilities – If a public utility provider fails to maintain a gas line or correctly mark where electrical lines are, you can get hurt. That provider can be held responsible for your injuries.
These are just a few examples where a third party might be responsible for your work injury. In these cases, you can typically pursue:
- A workers’ comp claim to ensure you get benefits to cover your costs and
- A third-party claim to obtain funds not available through workers’ comp.
Your PA workers’ compensation lawyer will advise you on how best to maximize the money you can receive.
The Bulldog Lawyers Will Make Your Third-Party Claims
At Shor & Levin, P.C., our experienced lawyers have spent more than four decades representing injured workers in Philadelphia and across PA. We can handle your third-party liability claim from start-to-finish. To get started on your FREE case review, call us today (866) 462-8553 or use our online form.