Workers’ Compensation for Injuries Caused by Co-Workers
In most cases, if you are injured in the workplace, your employer is required to provide you with worker’s compensation coverage. In Pennsylvania, even if a co-worker is responsible for your injury, your employer is required to provide you with lost wages, medical payments and other compensation while you recuperate from the injury. However, there may be exceptions to the law.
Non-Work Related Activity
If you were injured by a co-worker or a fellow employee did something that led to your injury, they must have been engaged in a work-related activity. If the you or the other employee were on a break, either for lunch or other break, you may not be eligible for worker’s compensation. If a co-worker intentionally harms you for something that was not work-related, such as an argument about something that happened outside of working hours, your injury may not be covered by workers’ compensation. In most cases, injuries caused by horseplay are not covered. However, if horseplay occurs in your workplace often or if you did not participate in the horseplay but were injured, you may be eligible for compensation.
If the injuries you sustain are not eligible for workers’ compensation, it does not mean you have no remedies available to you. You may be able to file a civil claim against your co-worker for the injuries you have sustained. A civil claim allows you to seek lost wages, medical reimbursement as well as pain and suffering from your injuries while workers’ compensation only allows you to collect lost wages, medical bills and other costs related to treatment.
Intentional or Negligent Acts
Under a civil claim, you will need to determine whether your co-worker’s actions were intentional or negligent. In an intentional injury, the co-worker intended to cause your injury. This may be the case if a fight is instigated or the co-worker attacks you in some way. If the accident was caused because the co-worker did not take reasonable care but did not intend to cause you harm, you may have a negligence claim. Examples may include failing to secure safety equipment in machinery or neglecting to close a security door that led to an injury.
If you or a loved one have been injured at work and the injury was caused by a co-worker’s negligence or intentional act, contact Lundy Law today to see what rights you may have. Although you may qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, you may also qualify for civil claims as well against the employee. You can arrange for an initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or by completing the easy form online.