Pennsylvania residents are injured in work accidents every day, and the unfortunate reality is that many injured workers will forgo the opportunity to obtain full and fair financial compensation for their injuries because of a common misconception about PA work accident law.
Many injured workers believe that their only legal recourse is filing for workers’ compensation benefits (medical treatment and disability pay). The truth is that an individual or company responsible for causing a work accident may be taken to court and subsequently ordered to pay financial compensation to an injured worker and their family. The natural question then, is whether a worker injured in a work related accident has a valid lawsuit.
How to Tell if You Have a Valid Work Accident Lawsuit, Employer Exceptions
As a general rule, Pennsylvania work accident law prevents injured workers from suing their employers. This is known as the workers’ compensation exclusivity rule – in exchange for providing workers’ comp benefits, an employer is usually immune from an employee’s lawsuit for negligence in causing the accident. There are of course, several complex exceptions. Two of the most common exceptions applied by Pennsylvania courts are the “intentional tort” exception and the “personal nature” exception.
Related: Steps in a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Claim
Under the intentional tort exception, an employer in PA may be sued for negligence in causing a work accident if the employer engaged in intentional misconduct, and that conduct led directly to the accident. Intentional misconduct is something more than gross negligence and usually involves repeated wrongful actions, like falsifying records.
If you want to know whether your employer might be liable for a work accident, please contact our work accident lawyers immediately to have your case evaluated.
How to Tell if You Have a Valid Work Accident Lawsuit – Determine How the Accident Happened
Aside from determining whether legal issues apply, like the statute of limitations, the first step in figuring out whether you have a valid work accident lawsuit is investigating the cause of the accident, i.e., how did the work accident happen?
The key is prompt and thorough investigation into liability of all potential parties. When bringing a work accident lawsuit, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof. This means that the injured worker must have sufficient evidence to prove whether the defendant(s) was negligent, and if so, how that negligence caused the accident.
Therefore, it is crucial to investigate the following types of issues:
- the individuals and entities in control of the location where the accident occurred,
- the relationship between those in control of the location where the accident occurred,
- the condition of the mechanism of injury, the machine/equipment which caused the accident,
- in machinery/equipment accidents, whether a defective design caused the accident, and
- who was responsible for maintenance/servicing the machine/equipment.
Pennsylvania Work Accident Compensation Lawyers
If you would like your work accident case evaluated, please contact our PA and NJ work accident-compensation lawyers for a FREE consultation. Click To Call
DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.