In Pennsylvania, most workers (except for volunteers, agro-laborers, domestic laborers, and religious-exempt employees) are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and given this ubiquity, most workplace injury claims involve workers’ compensation at some level.  Not all workplace injury claims end at workers’ compensation, however.  In some circumstances, there may be other liable parties.  A full and adequate recovery may require that you pursue litigation against such parties. Contact our Bethlehem on the job injury lawyers today to discuss the particulars of your case.

Job Accidents are Common in Pennsylvania

Workplace injuries are common in Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.  According to a report conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 the state of Pennsylvania experienced 173 work-related fatalities, and the country at-large experienced 4,836 work-related fatalities.  Certain industries — particularly construction, transportation, and extraction, among others — are more prone to workplace injuries and fatalities, given the inherently dangerous nature of the work environment.

What happens if you’ve been injured in the workplace in Bethlehem or elsewhere in the state?

man holding up piece of paper saying work injury

Our Bethlehem On the Job Injury Lawyers Explain Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is governed by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which established various rules relating to workers’ compensation benefits and those who are entitled to such benefits.

Generally speaking, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you have suffered an injury or illness in the workplace, regardless of whether your employer was negligent in creating a hazard, or in otherwise contributing to your injuries.  For example, if you trip and fall — thus injuring yourself — due to a poorly-tuned ladder, then you would likely be entitled to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, even if the employer did not play any role in your injury.

Workers’ compensation benefits are not thorough, unfortunately.  Such benefits cover medical expenses and wage loss, but not damages such as emotional distress, or pain and suffering.  As such, your payout is likely to be less than if you were able to pursue standard litigation against the employer.  It’s worth noting, however, that workers’ compensation typically prohibits you from litigating covered claims against the employer (unless you have proof of willful and malicious conduct).

Third-Party Liability in Workplace Accidents

In some cases, a third-party (not your employer) may have contributed significantly to your injuries — you may not only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also litigate a separate injury claim against the liable third-party.

For example, if you have been injured on the job due to a product defect in one of your power tools, then you would not only be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but you would likely also have a claim against the manufacturer of the power tool on the basis of product defect liability.

Third-party liability is quite valuable in the workplace injury context, as it enables injured plaintiffs to recover damages that would otherwise be unrecoverable with workers’ compensation, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering damages.

Get Connected With Our Bethlehem On the Job Injury Lawyers Today

Workplace injuries, whether they occur in Bethlehem or anywhere else in Pennsylvania, are likely to entitle you to compensation, but in certain situations, a web of complexity may result.  Given the potential for extensive and protracted litigation, it’s important that you work with experienced attorneys who have a long track record of successfully navigating the difficulties of workplace injury litigation.

Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, we have represented clients in a range of workplace injury litigation for over three decades, helping injured workers file workers’ compensation claims and obtain a full recovery, and in cases involving negligent third-parties, proceeding with litigation against such parties.  A work injury lawyer in Bethlehem is well-equipped to negotiate favorable settlements, and when necessary, he or she will take a case all the way through to trial.  We are committed to helping our clients achieve their strategic objectives, and work closely with clients to ensure that their needs are met.

Call 570-421-8119 today to get connected to a Bethlehem work injury lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC.  During your free initial consultation, we will assess your claims and determine how to proceed with litigation.