What Happens If Your Work Injury Is Your Fault?
In the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system fault doesn’t matter. If you fall and hurt yourself at work because you weren’t looking where you were going, or if you cut your thumb off because you lifted the protective guard from a piece of dangerous machinery, you are still entitled to benefits. Workers’ compensation is one of the few places where negligence doesn’t matter. The same holds true if your company was the one responsible for your injury. Even if the company knowingly put you at risk. It simply doesn’t matter for workman’s compensation benefits.
Is It Fair That Responsibility Doesn’t Matter?
It might not seem fair that your company can put you at risk and not pay more benefits. But Pennsylvania workers’ compensation, like federal workers’ compensation, is a balancing act. The only way workers are guaranteed protection regardless of fault, is if the issue of fault is removed from both sides. There is a government organization called OSHA which will get involved if a company constantly provides an unsafe work environment, but that won’t be part of your workers’ compensation claim.
Can You Ever Sue When You Are Hurt At Work?
While you cannot sue your employer, you sometimes can sue a third party if that person or outside company caused your injuries. For example, if a piece of equipment was not manufactured properly, you might have a product liability lawsuit against the company that made the product. Or if someone caused a car accident while you were driving for work, you might have an auto accident suit against the driver of the other car. These are called third party lawsuits. So you would have both a workers’ compensation claim with your employer, and a lawsuit against the outside individual or company. If you have a situation like this, you will want an attorney or firm that handles both workers’ compensation cases and personal injury or product liability cases. At Lowenthal & Abrams, we handle all of these types of claims.
If you are hurt at work don’t hesitate to contact the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys of Lowenthal & Abrams. Jim Mogul, a certified expert in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law* leads our workman’s comp department. He is hands-on with every single case.