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Workers’ Compensation Claims and Employer Lawsuits: Which Will Work for You?

While nearly all regular Pennsylvania employees are covered by either state or federal workers’ compensation insurance, unless they are injured at work, most do not fully understand how workers’ compensation actually works. Many assume that it is similar to a lawsuit, and with so many attorneys offering legal representation in workers’ compensation claims, it is no wonder so many people misunderstand the process.

Workers’ compensation is simply another form of insurance that your employer carries to ensure that you are protected and cared for in the event of a workplace accident or occupational disease. Workers’ compensation typically offers injured employees immediate medical coverage and benefits that allows them to support themselves and their families while they are laid up. While an injured employee will receive less than their standard wage through their benefits, it is usually enough to get by until the employee ether returns to work or secures disability benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Simply Does Not Cut it for Some Employees Injured on the Job

Unfortunately, there are very few instances where an employee can sue their employer in cases of workplace injury. These exceptions typically involve illegal behavior from the employer, including:

  • Failure to carry substantial workers’ compensation insurance, or any workers’ compensation insurance at all. If your employer does not have appropriate workers’ compensation insurance, they are breaking the law, and you may be able to file a suit against them to recover your damages.
  • Causing you intentional harm. If your workplace injury was the result of your employer intentionally harming you—not simply acting carelessly—you may be able to recover your damages by filing a lawsuit against your employer.

Cases where filing a lawsuit against your employer are allowed generally involve the potential for punitive damages, in order to deter future bad behavior from your employer (and other employers) as well as to compensate you for your injuries. If you think that you may have a case against your employer outside of workers’ compensation, our law firm may be able to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling or filling out our short online contact form.