Can I sue a co-worker who injures me in a workplace accident?
As a general rule, if you are the victim of a job-related injury or illness then your medical expenses, lost wages, and other compensation to which you might be entitled will be paid to you under provisions of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
Workplace injuries are a common occurrence. According to the most recent government statistics, an average of 12 people dies each day in the United States as a result of workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation provides a mechanism for compensating workers injured on the job in Pennsylvania.
Coverage extends to nearly every worker in the state, including those who are part-time or seasonal employees.
The law giving you the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits also restricts your right to file a lawsuit for damages against your employer or your co-workers. When an employee injures a fellow worker, compensation for the injuries usually is limited to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
A lawsuit against a fellow worker might be allowed if the victim’s injuries were caused by an intentional act. For example, an individual who intentionally punches a fellow worker during a workplace argument might be sued by the injured party under a provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act that excludes intentional conduct from coverage.
The coverage exemptions and limitations associated with workers’ compensation benefits are complicated, and the general information contained in this post cannot explain all aspects of the law. Legal advice about workers’ compensation should only be given by an attorney familiar with the law and with the facts of your particular case.