FAQ: I’m a Pennsylvania resident and slipped and fell at work. I broke my arm and was out of work for 2 months. Because the fracture didn’t heal, I will need another surgery. Can I sue my employer, even though I made a workers’ compensation claim?
Answered by a Pennsylvania Work Injury Lawyer:
Under Pennsylvania workers’ comp laws, employees aren’t usually allowed to bring lawsuits against employers for a work accident. Typically, a workers’ comp claim is the sole legal remedy against the employer after a work accident happens.
There are some limited exceptions to this rule. One of the most common exceptions to be raised is the intentional conduct exception, where an employer acts intentionally or in an especially egregious manner. An example of this is lying or engaging in fraudulent behavior that in turn causes a work accident or injury. In a fall accident case like a slip and fall or trip and fall at work, this exception is very unlikely to apply.
However, even though an employer is usually immune from work accident lawsuits in Pennsylvania, claims against other parties can be successful. This is true whether the accident happened in an office building or on a construction site.
In a recent Pennsylvania court case, a hospital nurse who slipped and fell at work was allowed to bring a lawsuit against a maintenance company. The outside maintenance company had a contract with the employer-hospital to perform maintenance services including mopping floors. Even though the hospital’s own employee had mopped the floor prior to the fall accident, the court allowed the injured worker’s claim against the maintenance company. See Hodge v. Aramark, Pennsylvania Superior Court, December 5, 2017.
The Hodge case is a pretty common example of the type of work injury lawsuit that can be filed after a work accident occurs and the injured worker received workers’ comp benefits. The PA rule preventing lawsuits from being filed against employers does not apply to non-employer parties, like the maintenance company in the Hodge case.
This is something most injured workers in Pennsylvania don’t know. Unfortunately, our lawyers get inquiries about a potential lawsuit when it’s too late and the statute of limitations has expired. In Pennsylvania work injury lawsuits, a 2 year statute of limitations applies, and the clock starts ticking from the date of the accident. That’s why it’s crucial to get a work accident evaluated by an experienced work injury lawyer ASAP. For more info, visit the Pennsylvania & New Jersey Work Fall Accident Law Library.
Pennsylvania Work Injury Law Firm
If you had a fall accident at work and suffered a serious injury, please contact our law firm today for a free consultation. Our lawyers focus on work accidents across Pennsylvania and have recovered over $150 million in work accident cases alone. 215.399.9255
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