Third-Party Work Injury Claims in Philadelphia
Representing Workers Throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey
When you are injured at work in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits take the place of your right to sue your employer. As a result, in most work injury cases, workers cannot sue and cannot seek compensation for their pain and suffering. However, sometimes, it is possible to file a third-party claim against the party responsible for your injuries. The attorneys of Rodden, Rodden & Breslin are experienced in handling third-party work injury lawsuits. contact us today for help.
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What is a Third-Party Workplace Injury?
When you are hurt at work because of the actions of someone who is not your employer or a co-worker, you have what is called a third-party injury. Common causes of third-party injuries include car accidents, slip and falls, and construction site accidents to independent contractors. However, any injury caused by a third party that you experience at work or in a work-related situation, may serve as the basis for a third-party lawsuit.
Work-Related Car Accidents
Car accidents are the most common form of work-related injury that lead to third party lawsuits. The accident need not occur at work. Rather, you need only be in the course and scope of your employment. For example, if your employer sends you on an errand for work in the middle of the day, you are in the course and scope of your employment. Not only are you covered by workers’ compensation, but if the other driver caused your accident, you have the basis for a lawsuit against that driver. If you were not in the course and scope of your employment and the other driver was responsible, you would not qualify for workers’ compensation, but you could file a traditional car crash claim against the other driver.
Slip-and-Falls at Work
If you fall on property owned and/or managed by your employer, you cannot file a third-party lawsuit. However, if the employer does not control or manage the area where you fell, or if you are working off-site, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the party responsible. Common sources of these types of injuries include:
- Failure to handle ice and snow properly
- Not cleaning up spills
- Uneven flooring
- Improper maintenance of stairs and sidewalks
- Leaving hazards in areas that cause people to fall
Subcontractors on Construction Sites
Construction site injuries can be a unique area in terms of potential claims against the responsible party. If you are working as a subcontractor as opposed to an employee, and you are injured due to negligent conduct you may be able to file a third-party work claim. The general contractor who your company is normally responsible for making sure to maintain a safe environment. Failure to do so can lead to serious injuries with devastating consequences. Under certain circumstances, it is possible to file a third-party lawsuit against the General Contractor or other responsible parties, while still collecting workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.
Why Third-Party Work Lawsuits Matter
As noted, in most states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, when an employee is injured at work, they may not sue their employer. Workers’ compensation benefits cover the cost of medical care and a percentage of lost wages for those who are hurt at work. The importance of these benefits cannot be overstated. However, in exchange for those benefits, employees lose the right to sue their employer, even if their injury was the employer’s fault. This means that the employee may not receive compensation for pain and suffering or loss of life’s enjoyment. In addition, the employee’s spouse may not seek compensation for loss of companionship.
When a third-party causes a work-related injury, it is often possible for an employee to file a lawsuit against that individual (or business) for the harm caused. As part of this lawsuit, the employee may seek compensation for all damages they suffered, including their pain and suffering. Their spouse may also seek compensation for loss of companionship.
Rodden, Rodden & Breslin Handles Third-Party Work Injury Claims
Workers’ compensation is not the same as a third-party claim. As a result, if you are injured at work because of someone other than your employer or a co-worker, it is important that you seek a law firm with experience in third party claims. Only an experienced personal injury firm that understands when you may and may not bring a lawsuit can provide you with the representation you need.
Rodden, Rodden & Breslin has substantial experience in filing claims against third parties in work-injury cases. Reach out to us today to discuss your case. We will help you determine whether you have the basis for a lawsuit and explain your options to you.