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I was hurt at work by negligence of another employee do I only have a workers comp claim?

Scranton, PA |

Why can I not sue my company for damages or pain and suffering? It was a car accident on my employers property that could have been prevented.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. The workers compensation act prevents you from suing your co-employee and employer for injuries that you suffered in a car accident if your co-employee was in the course and scope of his employment.
    However, there may be other avenues for you to pursue. For example, depending upon how the auto insurance policy is written for the company vehicle your were in (assuming that was the case) and how your personal auto insurance policy was written you may have an Uninsured Motorist Claim that you could make against your employer's auto policy and/or your own policy.
    If you you do not have an attorney who can handle both a workers compensation case and a third party auto accident case, then you should immediately hire an attorney who handles both or 2 attorneys - 1 that handles each type of case. I handle both types of cases at my firm. Some others do as well. Some don't.
    Good luck.

  2. Are you receiving wage loss benefits under your own auto policy? Are you receiving workers' comp as a result of filing a petition? Whose vehicle caused injury? Employer's or someone else's? Caused by defect in property controlled by someone other than employer?

  3. Generally, under the regime of workers comp law, an employee cannot sue employer or a co-worker. However, there are multiple ways to gain further compensation and you need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney as well as a workers comp attorney.

    The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona. Unless both you and the author have signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not the author's client, and the author's discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential.

  4. The WC law does not allow you to sue for pain and suffering or for your employer to be held liable civilly for a co-workers' negligence. Depending on the exact facts of the accident you may be able to sue the co-employee as a negligent driver, but this would depend on a host of factors such as whose vehicle your co-worker was driving and the facts/timing of the accident. If you are able to sue the other driver workers' compensation still has a subrogation claim (right to be reimbursed) from any recovery you have against the driver for workers' compensation benefits they have paid. It would make sense for you to sit down with an attorney/firm that handles both workers' compensation and personal injury claims to determine what recourse you have. Good luck.

  5. As others have said here, PA workers' compensation law generally does not allow you to sue for pain and suffering against your employer as a result of a co-employee's negligence if he was acting in the course and scope of his employment. There can be exceptions where you may be able to sue the co-employee or pursue a UM/UIM claim. You should consult an attorney who is expedienced in both workers' compensation and personal injury claims.

    The above information posted by Thomas J. Pivnicny, Esquire is intended for general purposes and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create any attorney-client relationship. You should not rely on the above information for any purpose. Always consult with an experienced attorney for answers to your legal questions.

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