What Is An Exclusive Remedy In Workers’ Compensation Cases?
After a workplace injury, it can be difficult to understand your options for seeking financial compensation, especially if your injuries may have resulted in more losses than what the workers’ compensation system can cover. Injured workers also have questions about how the workers’ compensation system functions more broadly, and whether they will need to prove that an employer or coworker was negligent in order to receive benefits. Moreover, injured workers have concerns that their injuries may not be compensable because their own negligence played a role in causing the accident. All of these inquiries involve the exclusive remedy provision of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, and our Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyers can say more about how this works.
Exclusive Remedy Means Employer’s Liability is Limited to Workers’ Compensation
Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, the exclusive remedy provision means that an employer cannot be held accountable for workplace injuries caused by the employer’s negligence. According to the statute, “the liability of an employer under this act shall be exclusive and in place of any and all other liability to such employees, his legal representative, husband or wife, parents, dependents, next of kin or anyone otherwise entitled to damages in any action at law or otherwise on account of any injury or death.”
In sum, the exclusive remedy provision clarifies that an injured worker cannot file a negligence lawsuit against an employer, and instead only can seek workers’ compensation benefits for injuries resulting from the employer’s negligence.
No Need to Prove Negligence for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
One benefit of the exclusive remedy provision is that the employee does not need to prove negligence or gather evidence of carelessness or any kind of wrongdoing in order to be eligible to receive financial compensation. The fact that the injury occurred in the course of the employee’s job is enough to allow for workers’ compensation benefits.
Work Injury Lawsuits May Be Possible Under Certain Circumstances
Just because the exclusive remedy provision exists, however, does not mean that lawsuits are impossible. In fact, there are a couple of key scenarios in which an injured worker can file a lawsuit against the party responsible for injuries. Those situations include the following:
- Third party is at fault for the worker’s injuries, such as designers or manufacturers of defective tools or machines that cause workplace injuries, or motorists who cause collisions with workers who are driving for their jobs or working at a roadway site; and
- Injuries resulted from another party’s intentional act, such as an intentional assault in the workplace.
Contact Our Harrisburg Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim, or if you need assistance with your case, an experienced Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney at our firm can assist you. It is critical for injured employees to get started on their claims as soon as possible and to seek help with an application for workers’ compensation benefits or a negligence lawsuit after a serious workplace injury. Contact Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. to learn more about our services.