Can Employees Sue for Workplace Injuries?
In Pennsylvania, employers are required to carry special insurance coverage that provides benefits to compensate workers for a variety of losses such as medical care, lost wages and disability. However, workers’ compensation coverage bars employees from suing their employers — even if the harm was intentional, such as during an argument. While workers’ compensation can simplify the process of reimbursing employees for on-the-job injuries, workers can take additional legal action under certain circumstances.
Unfortunately, some injured workers may learn too late that their employers are uninsured or underinsured. In these cases, the Pennsylvania Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund provides a means of seeking compensation. Additionally, even when you obtain workers compensation benefits, you might be able to file a third party claim against an outside party responsible for your injury, such as in the following situations:
- A new power tool malfunctions the first time an employee uses it.
- A manager falls from a second-story landing when a poorly-secured railing collapses in rented office space.
- All workers who ate the chicken at a catered company luncheon buffet go to the hospital for severe food poisoning.
- Toxic fumes emitted from an adjacent building create long-term health conditions for all workers situated along the common wall.
Just as employers must take reasonable action to keep workers safe, they also have some responsibility to exercise a certain standard of care in other interactions — from manufacturers making sure their products are not harmful, to property owners maintaining a safe environment for visitors and individuals nearby. Whether you sustain injuries on the job or off in Lancaster County, you always have the right to hold negligent parties accountable by taking appropriate legal action.