When you’re injured on the job, workers’ compensation typically covers your medical bills and wage replacement benefits. However, if you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a third-party workplace injury lawsuit to recover additional damages. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our workplace injury attorneys have a record of success helping clients in the Lehigh Valley obtain maximum compensation after an accident. We can evaluate your case and determine whether a third-party workplace injury claim is appropriate for your situation.
Workplace Injury Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry employers reported 123,400 non-fatal workplace injuries in Pennsylvania in 2022 alone. Approximately 74,200 of these injuries were severe and involved time off work, job transfer, or restriction. In addition, U.S. workplace fatalities totaled 5,486 in 2022.
OSHA Reporting and Safety Requirements
All employers are required to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if a worker is killed on the job or suffers an injury that requires hospitalization. Fatalities must be reported within eight hours and work-related hospitalizations, amputation, or loss of an eye must be reported within 24 hours. Employers who fail to do this can face harsh penalties.
Employers also are required to provide a safe work environment that conforms to applicable OSHA standards. This includes ensuring tools and equipment are safe and properly maintained, establishing and updating safety and operating procedures, providing safety training in a language workers can understand, and warning employees of potential hazards. If an employer fails to follow these and other standards, you can file a confidential complaint with OSHA. If you’ve been hurt because your employer failed to comply with safety regulations, talk to a workplace injury attorney about what kind of recourse you may have.
What Is a Third-Party Workplace Injury Claim?
Generally, injured employees are prohibited from suing their employers if they receive workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania. However, a third-party claim may arise when someone other than an employer or a coworker is responsible for the workplace injury. For example, if you were working on a construction site and someone working for a subcontractor hit you with their truck, you may be able to sue them for damages.
Our Lehigh Valley workplace injury lawyers can help you understand how third-party claims work and advise you of your options if you’ve been hurt on the job.
Common Types of Third-Party Workplace Injury Claims
Construction, agriculture, logging, education, and healthcare services have some of the highest workplace injury rates in the country. Third-party workplace injury claims often result from situations such as:
- Product liability – If a defective product or equipment contributes to a workplace injury, the injured employee may have a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or designer of the defective product. This includes cases in which an employee suffers an occupational disease due to exposure to a toxic substance.
- Faulty safety equipment – Employers are required by law to provide a safe workplace, which may include safety equipment and PPE, depending on the type of job. If you’re injured due to faulty safety equipment provided by a third party, such as an equipment supplier, you may pursue a third-party injury claim against them.
- Negligence of subcontractors – If the negligence of a subcontractor working on the same job site causes you to become injured, you may be able to file a third-party claim against that subcontractor.
- Premises liability – A job-related injury that occurs on someone else’s property can result in a premises liability claim. This can include slip-and-fall accidents, dog bites, and other dangerous conditions that cause injury.
- Property owners and maintenance companies – Work injuries that occur on premises owned or maintained by a third party may lead to a claim against the property owner or maintenance company if negligence is involved.
- Motor vehicle accidents – If you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident while driving or riding in a company vehicle, the party who caused the crash may be liable for damages.
- Inadequate training – If a third party fails to provide suitable training and this failure results in a workplace injury, the injured worker may be able to sue that party for damages.
- Assault – If you are assaulted on the job, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim against the person who attacked you.
Catastrophic Work Injuries
Unfortunately, it is quite common for workers to suffer catastrophic injuries in workplaces like construction sites. Traumatic brain injury, back and spinal injuries, amputation, vision or hearing loss, and other serious conditions often have long-term effects and require extensive, ongoing medical treatment. Our workplace injury lawyers know how devastating these injuries can be. We accurately value your claim and pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Recovering Damages in Third-Party Workplace Injury Claims
Although workers’ compensation should cover your medical bills and wage loss, a third-party claim can provide compensation for damages such as:
- Future medical expenses
- Future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship and consortium
In rare cases, a court may award punitive damages to an injured worker who files a third-party personal injury lawsuit. Punitive damages are awarded only if a defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or intentionally harmful. They are not intended to compensate the victim, but to deter them and others from committing similar acts. In cases where a workplace injury leads to the death of the employee, surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against liable parties who are not the employer.
Our workplace injury attorneys know how to properly calculate both economic and non-economic damages. We fight to help you recover the fair compensation you need and deserve.
What is Subrogation?
If an injured worker successfully recovers compensation in a third-party claim, their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may pursue repayment for all or some of the benefits they paid out. This process is called subrogation. A subrogation claim can significantly reduce the amount of compensation you receive from a third-party settlement or award. Our workplace injury lawyers are well-versed in the complexities of subrogation in Pennsylvania. We help you understand the confusing elements of subrogation, safeguard your interests, and negotiate on your behalf.
What to Do if You’re Hurt on the Job
If you’re injured at work, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your rights. Report your injury to a supervisor or your employer as soon as possible. Make sure to seek medical treatment for your injuries and keep all medical bills, records, and treatment plans. It’s also important to preserve evidence related to the accident or injury, such as photographs, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation.
File a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance carrier. If you believe your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s crucial to contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling work-related third-party injury claims. A workplace injury lawyer at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can provide a case evaluation and determine whether you have a viable third-party claim. We thoroughly investigate your case, identify any third parties who may have contributed to your injury, help you pursue all possible avenues of compensation, and guide you through the process every step of the way.
Why You Need an Experienced Workplace Injury Lawyer
Dealing with the stress of a work injury can be overwhelming. Our personal injury lawyers in the Lehigh Valley handle all communications and negotiations with insurers and advocate on your behalf so you can focus on getting better and moving forward. Insurance companies try to pay as little as possible or deny claims as often as they can. Our workplace injury lawyers are familiar with their tactics and won’t back down from pursuing the compensation you deserve. If we can’t come to a reasonable resolution with an insurer, we won’t hesitate to file a work injury lawsuit and fight for you in court.
Having an experienced work injury attorney in your corner gives you the best chance of recovering the full and fair amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive. These claims are complex. Our personal injury attorneys understand how your workers’ compensation case may impact the amount of compensation you receive in a third-party claim. We work to maximize your recovery and hold liable parties accountable.
Why Choose Us?
At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, we care about our clients. We’re proud to represent injured workers throughout the Lehigh Valley and eastern Pennsylvania, and we have a strong record of success.
We understand that being hurt at work can throw your life into a tailspin. Let us take some of the weight off your shoulders. As one of the most successful personal injury law firms in eastern Pennsylvania, our track record speaks for itself. Although no amount of money can change what happened or bring a loved one back, monetary compensation helps give victims and their families a sense of justice.
At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, we provide compassionate yet tenacious legal representation and protect your rights and interests both inside and outside the courtroom. Whether you’ve been injured in an accident or developed an occupational illness due to exposure to toxic substances at work, we’re here for you. Our team of skilled attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff provide responsive, professional legal services you can trust.
Contact a Workplace Injury Attorney in the Lehigh Valley
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a work-related accident, our team at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices can help make things right for you. With several convenient locations to choose from, our Lehigh Valley personal injury attorneys make it easy to find the quality legal representation you deserve. Call us today at (610) 867-2900 or contact us to schedule a consultation today with a workplace injury lawyer.