Injuries at Work

Injuries at Work


Each year, thousands of workers are seriously injured or killed at work. Generally, you cannot sue your co-worker or employer for civil wrongs committed against you while you were working. Your remedy is to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Workers’ Compensation is a remedy generally available to the injured worker through the employer. Through Workers’ Compensation, the employee is paid a percentage of his/her pre-injury pay and all related medical expenses are paid by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier until the employee is able to return to work.

To be eligible for compensation, ALL of the following elements must be present:

  • An employment relationship, during which
  • An accident or injury
  • Arises
  • In the course of employment and
  • Is related to the employment

Specific exclusions include any of the following:

  • Intentional self-inflicting injury or death, or
  • Injury or death caused by the employer’s violation of the law, or
  • Violation of a positive order, or
  • The illegal use of drugs, or
  • Injuries that would not have occurred but for the intoxication of the employee.

In the event your employer was not covered under a workers’ compensation insurance policy at the time of your injury you may still be able to recover. On November 9, 2006, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed Act 147 into law which established and funded the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund (Fund), which provides benefits to injured employees of uninsured employers. Article XVI of the act requires that an injured worker notify the Fund within 45 days after the injured worker knew that the employer was uninsured. Further, Act 147 prohibits an injured worker from filing a claim petition against the Fund until at least 21 days after notice of a claim is made to the Fund.

There are instances however, when other civil remedies are available. An important distinction between Workers’ Compensation claims and civil negligence claims is that in WC claims, your recovery is generally limited to your wage loss and medical expenses. You cannot, for example, recover money for pain and suffering. In civil cases however, you may be entitled to past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, embarrassment, humiliation, disfigurement and more.

Often, a third party is responsible for causing the work injury. A common example is an employee who falls on the wet floor at work and is injured because the maintenance company, who recently mopped the floor, failed to post a warning sign that the floor was wet. In such a case, the employee could make a claim for Workers’ Compensation and a claim for negligence against the maintenance company and recover pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Often, employees involved in construction accidents who suffer injuries have third party claims for defective ladders, scaffolding and machinery as well as faulty wiring and other negligence claims against sub-contractors on the site.

Our firm is experienced in handling cases involving injuries at work. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, contact us today for your free consultation.

The information contained herein is dedicated to providing public information regarding Family Law issues in Pennsylvania. None of the information on this site is intended to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of attorney client relationship. Please contact our law firm for information regarding your particular case. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.