We at Stapp Law, LLC understand the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system can be confusing. Knowing how to file and when to file a claim is not always crystal clear. You may not even be sure you can collect benefits. One question we often hear is about the right to sue your employer for an injury or accident. It is important to understand the structure of the workers’ compensation system to answer this question.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. That means you receive benefits without having to prove your employer was at fault, and your employer provides those benefits without admitting guilt. In most cases, you cannot sue your employer for an injury because you wave that right as part of accepting the workers’ compensation benefits.
There are times, though, when you still may have a civil case. If a third party is involved in the situation, it is not immune to a lawsuit. You may be able to gain damages that you cannot get through workers’ compensation.
It is important to understand that your benefits may not cover every aspect of your injury. Generally, workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses related to the injury and may cover some lost wages. However, there may be additional costs that are not covered by your benefits, which could make seeking a lawsuit against a third party beneficial for you.
You could recover damages to help pay for lost wages not paid by workers’ compensation, pain and suffering and other financial needs arising from the injury. Our page on workers’ compensation can provide you with more information about your rights.