Pennsylvania has long maintained a reputation for being home to hard-working men and women. In decades past, the steel mills, coal mines and railroads helped shape the nation’s infrastructure on the backs of laborers. These days, the industry may be a bit more modern, but dedicated employees are still injured on the job each day, and may qualify to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court recently made a ruling that involves recipients of workers’ compensation. Sometimes, an injured worker has suffered because a third party caused an on-the-job injury. In many cases, an employer or insurance provider may want to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for causing an injury to the employee.
The court has decided that while these sorts of claims are still allowed, the injured employee must also join the lawsuit as a plaintiff. The ruling comes after a case in which an injured worker collecting workers’ compensation did not want to hold the third party legally responsible, but the insurance company providing her benefits wanted the third party to reimburse the costs of the injuries the woman suffered. This new ruling prohibits a lawsuit against the third party at fault unless the workers’ compensation recipient is named as a party in the action, providing testimony against the third party.
This ruling may seem a bit complicated for a worker who is already suffering due to injury. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can navigate the workers’ compensation claims system for an injured worker. The lawyer can also offer advice about the viability of a third party claim against a party deemed responsible for causing the worker’s injuries. Victims of an on-the-job accident can focus on healing while a knowledgeable attorney helps them navigate the legal process.