How Personal Injury and Workers Compensation Can Work Together
Work related injuries are common, however, many injured workers don’t know that they may have options other than Pennsylvania Workers Compensation when trying to protect their economic loss and livelihood. In Pennsylvania, an injured worker’s employer is generally immune from a traditional civil lawsuit since the law requires the employer to maintain no fault workers compensation insurance. However, if the injured worker is hurt as a result of the negligence of a third party who is not an employee of the injured worker’s employer, the injured worker may be able to sue that third party AND pursue a Pennsylvania workers compensation claim. For example, if you are a truck driver and are injured on the road as a result of the negligence of another driver you can file a workers compensation claim and sue the other driver for your personal injuries. One of the many reasons, an injured worker may want to pursue a personal injury action against a responsible third party is because Pennsylvania workers compensation wage loss benefits will only pay an injured worker 2/3 of their average weekly wage. There is no such reduction for a personal injury claim. Therefore an injured worker can make a claim for 100% of their lost wages against a third party while also collecting 2/3 of their average weekly wage by virtue of their Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Claim. If you do pursue a third party personal injury claim, you should be aware that the employer is entitled to be paid back any Pennsylvania workers compensation benefits that were paid to the injured worker, including wage loss and medical benefits. As a result, the workers compensation carrier will assert a lien toward the proceeds of any third party personal injury recovery by the injured worker. If you have a work related injury and the injury was caused by someone not associated with your employer it is important to discuss your options with attorneys who are well versed in both workers compensation law and personal injury law in order to maximize your recovery. Call our office for a free consultation at 717-238-1657.