Is Workers’ Compensation The Only Option for a Workplace Accident?

When you are injured at work, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system generally covers your injury. Workers’ compensation covers almost all workers in Pennsylvania. If you are injured in a work-related accident, you can file a claim for workers’ comp benefits. However, you must be an eligible employee, and you must have sustained the injury in the ordinary course of employment.

What Benefits Are Available Under Workers’ Compensation?

Injured workers can receive a variety of benefits for a work injury. The benefits you might receive for a workers’ compensation claim include:

  • Wage Loss Benefits can cover up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you cannot work because of a work-related illness or injury.
  • Medical Benefits pay for the reasonable and necessary medical care required to treat a work-related injury or illness.
  • Specific Loss Benefits apply in cases involving permanent loss of body parts, hearing loss, or vision loss.
  • Disfigurement Benefits apply in cases involving workers who sustain permanent disfigurement to their neck, head, or face.
  • Death Benefits for the family of a worker killed on the job or because of a work-related illness or injury.

However, workers’ compensation benefits do not compensate workers for all losses and damages caused by a work accident. However, workers covered by workers’ comp insurance may not sue their employers for additional compensation, except for intentional acts or gross negligence. Workers are limited to the benefits provided by workers’ compensation.

Filing Third-Party Claims for Work Accidents

Some workers might have a third party claim for an injury caused by a work accident. Third-party claims are filed against parties who were at-fault for causing the worker’s injury. They are personal injury cases based on negligence claims.

For example, a worker sustains an injury because of a defective tool. The worker can file for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the worker may also file a product liability claim against the product’s manufacturer.

Another common example of third party claims is traffic accidents. Suppose a worker was driving to a job site for his employer and was within the scope of his employment. If the other driver caused the automobile crash, that driver could be liable for the worker’s damages.

One of the main reasons to file a third-party claim is to recover full compensation for all damages. A third party claim can recover compensation for:

  • All loss of income and benefits
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Decreases in future earning potential
  • Ongoing personal care and medical care
  • Emotional and mental anguish
  • Loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life

Additionally, a worker may receive additional compensation for permanent impairments and disabilities not covered by workers’ comp benefits.

Contact an Erie Workers’ Comp Attorney for More Information

The workers’ comp system should be straightforward. However, many employees may not receive the benefits they deserve without a fight. If your workers’ comp benefits have been denied, contact our office to discuss how we can help you appeal the decision. We can also review your case to determine if you have a third-party action.

Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule your free legal consultation with an Erie workers’ compensation lawyer.