Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Liability in PA

Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Liability in PAWorkers who are injured while on the job are usually eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits in the state of Pennsylvania. Most injured employees are aware of these benefits that will help them live and pay for their medical bills while they are out of work. However, many people do not know about the option of seeking additional compensation through third-party claims in Harrisburg.

What is the difference between workers’ compensation and third-party claims?

When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you do not need to show proof that an injury occurred because of your employer’s or anyone’s negligent behavior. If you are approved for workers’ compensation, you have the ability to recover the cost of your medical expenses as well as part of your lost income, no matter who caused your work-related injury.

If you want to file a third-party claim, you will need to prove that the third party’s negligence caused your injuries. Instead of only covering your medical bills and lost wages, a third-party claim has the ability to recover compensation for emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other losses caused by your work-related injuries.

Some people can file both a workers’ compensation claim as well as a third-party claim. If you want to file a workers’ compensation claim, you have 120 days to report your injury to your employer and three years to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, for personal injury third-party claims, you have only two years to file.

Who is considered to be a third party?

To be able to file a third-party claim, you must be able to prove that a third party was negligent, which caused your accident and injuries. Here are a few different examples of third parties against whom you may be able to file a third-party claim:

  • Motor vehicle driver: If you are involved in a car accident while driving a company vehicle for work, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the motor vehicle driver who caused your car accident.
  • Product or equipment manufacturer: When you use certain equipment, machines, or products at work, the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that they are safe and harm-free for individuals to use. If the product or equipment is faulty or malfunctions, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the manufacturer.
  • Chemical manufacturer or developer: If you develop an illness from being exposed to toxic or dangerous chemicals at work, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the manufacturer or developer of the chemicals or products. You may also be able to file a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the safety equipment you wore that failed to keep you safe and harm-free from the toxic and dangerous chemicals while working.
  • Construction site parties: Construction workers are often injured while on the job. When this happens, it is not uncommon for third parties to be held liable for the worker’s injuries and other losses. Some of the most common third parties that may be responsible for your injuries in a construction accident include contractors, suppliers, vendors, electricians, and more.
  • Owner of a property or road: If you are working or driving for work on a privately-owned road or property, the property or road owner’s negligence may have caused your accident and injuries. If this is the case, you may be able to file a third-party claim against them to recover compensation for your losses.
  • The government: The government can be responsible for work-related car accidents that occur on their publicly owned property or roads. In addition, the government may be held liable for failing to maintain a certain public area or failing to warn about certain electrical or gas lines within a workplace or area.
  • Cleaning companies: Many employers hire cleaning companies to go to their job sites and keep them clean. However, if a cleaning company makes a simple mistake such as forgetting to place a sign out to warn employees about a wet floor, they can be considered as a negligent third party who caused your injuries.
  • Security: If you were at work and became injured by criminals or trespassers, the security professionals may be held liable for your injuries. The reason for this is because they were responsible for ensuring that you and the building were safe and secure during your working hours.

Are there advantages to a third-party injury claim?

The main advantage to a third-party claim is that you have the opportunity to seek additional compensation. For example, if you pursue a claim against a third party, you can seek compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional and mental distress, scarring and disfigurement, disabilities, decrease in quality of life, and other non-economic damages. This additional compensation will give you peace of mind as well as help you get your life back on track while you are recovering from your work-related injuries.

Another advantage to third-party claims is that you do not have to follow the rules and regulations put in place for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania. For example, workers’ compensation has a specific limit on the amount of money you can receive, but a third-party claim allows you to go over that limit and seek the amount of compensation you need during your time of healing. This is helpful to those who have life-threatening and long-term injuries that require several years of medical treatment, surgeries, physical therapy, and more.

If you need assistance filing a workers’ compensation or third-party claim, consider hiring a Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney from KBG Injury Law as soon as possible. Our attorneys have over four decades of experience helping injured workers, and we will do everything we can to ensure that you have the financial compensation you need and deserve during this difficult time.

Contact us to learn more about your rights and explore the potential legal options you may pursue. Our team has locations in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Gettysburg, Hanover, and York, and we are ready and available to answer your questions and concerns about workers’ compensation and third-party claims today.