Often workers are injured on the job or at a construction site through no fault of their own.
There may be many trades on a construction site. One trade or even the general contractor may accidentally cause a worker from a different trade to be seriously injured.
In Pennsylvania, the general contractor on any work site has a non-delegable duty to enforce all safety regulations for all employees on site, not just the employees of the general contractor. This duty runs from all upper tier subcontractors to all lower tier subcontractors which the sub may hire on the job site. This non-delegable duty to enforce all safety regulations on all work sites applies not just to general contractors but to owners, developers and those with supervisory authority in the work place. All employers are obligated to provide a reasonably safe work place for its employees and those with whom it contracts with to furnish labor and materials for it.
If a worker is injured in the work place, he may file a worker's compensation claim. An injured worker not only has a right to file a worker's compensation, e.g. a Labor and Industries claim, but may also have a viable “third party claim” to recover damages against the contractor, subcontractor or any other independent trade which was negligent. This would be a claim against any negligent company or an employee of another company on a job site which caused the worker's injury. The injured worker may file a third party claim against the employer of the negligent worker and arguably claim that the employer or its employee failed to enforce or follow certain regulations.
Remember, an injured worker may not bring a third party claim against his or her own employer. An employer is immune from suit under Title 51. However, it is very important to understand that an injured worker may recover general damages on a third party claim in addition to a recovery of his or her full worker's compensation first party benefits.
All workers who are injured, by reason of the fault of someone other than a fellow employee, should bring a third party claim to recover damages caused by the negligence of another company. This allows an injured worker to RECOVER the financial compensation you deserve, as worker's compensation/Labor & Industries will not compensate you sufficiently. Through a third party claim, you may recover additional compensation you deserve, including general damages for pain, suffering, loss of consortium, loss of opportunity to enjoy life, permanent disability, future medical and wage loss or loss of earning capacity and retirement/fringe benefits. A third party claim also allows the injured worker to RECOVER general damages for the loss of the companionship of family members, loss of services, emotional and psychological distress, death, disability, permanent injuries, dismemberment, and other damages. Labor & Industries will not fully compensate you for these damages, which often are the most substantial portion of any injury claim.
There is a time limit by which you must file a worker's compensation claim and a different statute of limitations governing the filing of a third party claim.
If you were injured by the negligence of another at a work site or while on the job, call or email MPP&V directly about your particular situation. CALL NOW for a FREE CONSULTATION at (814) 314-0051 or email: [email protected]