Can I Sue My Employer Over Worker's Comp?

Can I Sue My Employer Over Worker's Comp?

The state mandates that Pennsylvania businesses carry workers’ compensation insurance, which is designed to help employees injured on the job recover medical expenses and lost wages. The thing to remember is that, because it is a type of insurance, typically you will not be able to file a lawsuit against your company for injuries that are covered by workers’ comp.

According to FindLaw, workers’ comp benefits are considered a trade-off for the right to sue your employer when you are hurt, whether the injury is your fault or the company’s. This is a no-fault system in which your benefits are safe, and businesses are safe from employee lawsuits.

There are exceptions, however, that allow you to sue if you believe you were hurt on purpose. You can file an intentional tort for physical injuries, emotional distress or both. Some typical intentional torts include the following:

  • Assault and battery: A threat, attempt to injure or actual injury from being hit by another.
  • Fraud: When someone lies and causes you injury. This might be telling you that a safety measure is in place when it is not.
  • Conversion: Another person takes something you own and makes it theirs. This may sound like theft, but the nuance is a little different. It could be that a tool you buy to help you with a task at work is “taken over” or assumed by another.
  • Invasion of privacy: Your personal information or photos are made public or shown to a large number of people.
  • Emotional distress: You are traumatized by the conduct of another. This could be a boss who repeatedly belittles you in front of others.

Another tort you could bring is against a third party. For example, if defective equipment causes you harm, you may sue the manufacturer. Bear in mind, however, that you may be required to pay back some of the workers’’ comp benefits if you receive damages.

This article contains general information on worker’s compensation. It should not replace the advice of an attorney.

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