Workers injured in on the job accidents often suffer grave injuries. What many injured workers don’t know is that they may receive financial compensation for their injuries, on top of any workers’ compensation benefits. The key is getting a lawyer to review the case early on to determine whether there is a valid claim. In addition, the success of these kinds of cases often hinges on the strength of the evidence. Therefore, it is crucial to develop and present sufficient evidence of the injuries.
Under Pennsylvania injury law, the plaintiff in the lawsuit must prove their injuries and damages. Speculation or guesswork is not allowed. There must be concrete evidence of the injuries and damages caused by the defendant. These principles apply in a work accident and injury lawsuit in Philadelphia.
Evidence of Injuries
There are two general types of injuries in work injury lawsuits: physical injuries and emotional/psychological injuries. Evidence of the full nature and extent of the injuries must be developed and presented. The following questions must be considered.
- How serious are the injuries?
- What treatment was necessary?
- Is future treatment necessary?
- How have the injuries affected the worker’s ability to lead a normal life?
- How have the injuries affected the worker’s relationships (spouse, family, etc.)?
At a minimum, the medical records, diagnostic tests, etc., must be presented. However, there are other types of evidence, which include:
- testimony of family/friends/co-workers,
- diagrams, and
Hands down, testimony of the injured worker is probably the most critical evidence. After all, only the injured worker can describe how they were affected by injuries. Therefore, credibility is key. However, oftentimes, it is very important to present evidence that supports the claims being made. For example, due to injuries sustained in a work accident, an injured worker who was previously an avid softball player can no longer participate on an adult softball league. It may be helpful to present evidence of that, such as testimony of a fellow player who can attest to the fact that prior to the accident the injured worker was passionate about playing and participated for many years, but after the accident, no longer participated at all.
Important – Why You Should Speak to a Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyer
Time and time again, someone injured on the job in Philadelphia comes into our office because they heard or read that they might be able to get compensated for their injuries. These workers are surprised to learn that they have legal rights to file lawsuits against non-employer parties; these cases are typically referred to as “third party” cases or negligence lawsuits. Most of the time, they believe that their only legal remedy is filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
A typical example involves a construction accident in Philadelphia that occurs due to the negligence of a subcontractor in failing to construct a piece of equipment properly (i.e., a scaffold). As a result, the scaffold collapses, and an employee of another subcontractor falls several stories and sustains catastrophic injuries. Here, the worker would have two valid claims. First, there is a valid claim for workers’ compensation. Second, there is a valid negligence claim against the scaffold company.
It’s important to note that workers’ compensation claims and negligence lawsuits operate entirely independent of one another. You don’t have to file one in order to file the other. You can file either one or both of these types of claims. For example, a worker is injured and killed in a factory accident in Philadelphia. The worker’s family never files for workers’ compensation benefits (death benefits) and instead files a negligence lawsuit against an equipment manufacturer of a defective product that caused the accident.
Visit our Pennsylvania work accident and injury law library page for more info.
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