Industrial Accidents

Can You File a Personal Injury Suit for an Industrial Accident?

While Pennsylvania law provides that you can't sue your own employer for injuries suffered at the workplace or elsewhere while working, many job-related injuries are caused by the negligence of someone else, such as a manufacturer of defective equipment, a poorly trained delivery truck driver working for your employer's supplier, or a careless property owner. Contact a Pittsburgh workplace injury attorney at Dugan & Associates, and we'll be able to advise you whether a personal injury lawsuit can be part of your overall compensation recovery strategy.

The most obvious advantage of personal injury damages over workers' compensation or SSDI benefits is the broader and more complete recovery you can receive over and above lost wages and medical expenses. Instead of limiting your compensation to a rather rigid formula under the workers' compensation system, your damages will be determined first by negotiation with the defendant's insurer. If a favorable resolution of your claim can't be reached by settlement, we'll let a jury at trial consider your case and if they find the defendant liable for your injuries, the jury will determine your damages.

It is still important to remember that any recovery you may receive from a personal injury claim can be offset by the claims of an insurer company, workers' compensation, or unemployment. If you're contacted by public assistance, the insurance company for your employer, or received unemployment, we can help you with subrogation claims.

Examples of situations where we can file a civil lawsuit either instead of or in addition to a workers' comp claim include:

  • Construction injuries caused by a poorly prepared job site or unrealistic building schedules
  • Industrial injuries caused by dangerous or defective tools, equipment, or machinery
  • Motor vehicle accidents suffered while you're performing your job duties
  • Warehouse accidents caused by a shipper's negligence in balancing the load, packing the truck or rail car, or failure to warn of dangerous materials or special handling requirements

Our attorneys can also represent surviving families in wrongful death lawsuits related to fatal workplace accidents.
In cases where you're collecting workers' compensation benefits while a personal injury lawsuit is in progress, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation can recover its payments to you from a litigation settlement or verdict. Our Pittsburgh construction accident lawyers take that into account while negotiating with the personal injury defendant, and we can also negotiate a compromise on the workers' comp reimbursement. As always, our goal in personal injury litigation is to maximize your total recovery.

For a free initial consultation about your ability to file a lawsuit against a non-employer defendant for work-related injuries, contact the Pittsburgh industrial accident lawyers at Dugan & Associates.