Suffering an injury at work might not be anyone’s fault. A worker’s mistake could lead to self-harm and a workers’ compensation claim. Pennsylvania remains a no-fault workers’ comp state, so negligence doesn’t play a role in the claim. Employers may feel pleased about such statutes since workers’ compensation greatly limits an employee’s ability to sue. Third parties, however, do not have those same protections.
Third-party negligence and workers’ compensation
Employers and employees are not the only people who may be present on a job site. Contractors, customers, and others might perform their duties at the location. And yes, these visitors could inflict harm on a worker.
A repair technician could drop a tool that hits an employee. An irate customer might physically assault a customer service representative, and a standard lunchtime food delivery drop-off could result in a pedestrian accident. All these situations might leave a worker injured and, possibly, severely.
Workers injured by a third party may file a workers’ compensation claim. The third party that caused the injury could then face a lawsuit.
The possibility of a third-party claim
Workers’ comp and third-party claims represent two distinct legal processes. The worker would file a workers’ comp claim, providing the necessary evidence for the benefits. As for the third party that caused the injury, the worker may file a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit may seek payments for things not covered by workers’ comp. For example, the worker could ask for punitive damages as well as pain and suffering.