Can I File a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim?

August 3, 2017

Workers’ compensation operates a bit differently than traditional personal injury law. If you are injured while working, you can collect workers’ compensation benefits even if your employer did nothing wrong or you were at fault. This is unlike personal injury law, where you would only file a claim if you were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence.

While collecting workers’ compensation benefits means you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer, you may be able to sue against someone else (a third-party) if that third-party was responsible for your injuries.

Examples of third-party lawsuits

There are many ways in which a person or company other than your employer could be to blame for your on-the-job injury:

  • Faulty equipment. Lots of workers depend on heavy duty equipment to get the job done. When that equipment fails due to a malfunction, manufacturing defect, or defective design, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer.
  • Negligent drivers. If you were injured in a car accident during the course of your employment, you may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver as well as workers’ compensation.
  • Public utility problems. Say you were harmed by a gas leak, electrical shortage, or other issue with a public utility. There is a chance the utility company could be held legally liable.
  • Toxic exposure. Maybe you were working in an apartment building that had asbestos in the basement or you were otherwise exposed to hazardous materials. You might be able to sue the building owner.
  • Assault by a co-worker or subcontractor. If you get into a fight with a colleague or a visiting subcontractor, you may be able to pursue compensation from the person who injured you.
  • Slips and falls. Property owners are required to maintain safe premises for visitors, patrons, and workers. If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you may have the basis for a personal injury claim.

Benefits of a third-party personal injury claim

While workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages, it may not cover all your losses.  A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, has the ability to also compensate you for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and additional lost wages. Consulting an attorney can help determine whether you should pursue a third-party liability claim.

Larry Pitt & Associates a is a full-service workers’ compensation law firm. We house a team of experienced attorneys committed to pursuing workers’ rights. To make an appointment with a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer, complete our contact form or call 888.PITT.LAW. Our attorneys work with clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.