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Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law Does Not Protect Third Parties

Posted On Behalf of Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers on Nov 17, 2012 in Workers' Compensation

As Lancaster workers’ compensation attorneys, we regularly help sick and injured workers collect the workers’ compensation benefits they are due. Workers’ compensation is a compromise between workers and employers. Employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical and wage replacement benefits for workers who become sick or injured on the job, regardless of who is at fault for the illness or injury. This benefits workers because they have timely access to financial assistance. It benefits employers because they are sheltered from personal injury lawsuits.

Employers and co-workers are safeguarded from personal injury lawsuits resulting from work-related injuries and illnesses. However, third parties may be sued if their negligence caused the occupational illness or injury. Some examples of who may be sued in a third party lawsuit are:

  • Third party motor vehicle or machinery operators
  • The manufacturer or distributor of toxic chemicals
  • The manufacturer or distributor of unsafe machinery such as a saw without a safety guard
  • The manufacturer or distributor of unsafe construction equipment such as ladders or scaffolding
  • Property owners who allow unsafe conditions such as missing handrails on a stairway or icy walkways

Workers cannot normally sue their employers or co-workers for occupational illnesses or injuries—instead they file a workers’ compensation claim. However, a lawsuit can be filed against negligent third parties who cause an occupational illness or injury. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, contact an experienced Lancaster workers’ compensation lawyer at Schmidt Kramer. We can also review your case to determine if there is any potential for a third party lawsuit. Contact us today at 888-476-0807 for your free consultation. Alternatively, you may wish to download our book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured at Work? for more information.