Am I Suing My Employer?

March 2, 2019

Employees who become injured on the job may wonder if they are suing their employer if they choose to seek compensation for their injuries. Generally, the answer is no.

No-Fault Workers’ Compensation System

The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system is no-fault, therefore, employers may not be sued for work-related injuries. In exchange, employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance that will pay for medical treatment, lost wages, and other costs associated with workplace injuries.

Injured employees therefore receive benefits from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, not their employer directly. Those benefits are generally considered the employee’s exclusive remedy, unless a third-party is responsible (at least partially) for the employee’s injury.

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation, with the exception of longshoremen, railroad workers, and other types of federal employees. According to the Act, employees must report their injuries to their employers within 120 days to remain eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Pennsylvania employers with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance or face serious penalties for non-compliance. Employers who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance must not only reimburse the Workers’ Compensation Department for payments in relation to work-related injury claims, but may be subject to liability under tort law.

Upon receiving notice, employers are required to immediately report the injuries to their insurer or the individual in charge of their workers’ compensation program. If the injury caused the worker to miss more than a day, shift, or turn of work, then the employer is required to file a First Report of Injury with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within seven days. Injuries resulting in death must be reported to the bureau within 48 hours.

How Can I Get Workers’ Compensation?

Notice should be given in writing and include all pertinent details, such as how the accident happened and what injuries were sustained. Employees may receive payment for reasonable and necessary medical treatment, and if more than seven days were missed, they may be eligible for wage-loss benefits as well. Wage-loss benefits commence within 21 days of notifying their employer and will vary in amount depending on the employee’s pre-injury average weekly wage. Other types of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania include specific loss, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits.

Third-Party Claims

Although workers are generally prohibited from suing employers directly for their workplace injuries, there are situations that may give rise to a third-party claim. A third-party claim may be filed against a person or entity, other than the employer, who caused or contributed to a worker’s injuries. In Pennsylvania, injured workers may be able to collect additional forms of compensation, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, if negligent third-parties are held liable.

Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Injured Workers Obtain the Compensation They Deserve

If you were injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, as well as other forms of compensation. Contact a Reading workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. to discuss your case. Our skilled attorneys can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. For a free consultation, please fill out our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.

Our team provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Pennsylvania, including Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.