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Pennsylvania Workers Injured in Road or Highway Auto Accidents – What’s the Law on Compensation?
In Pennsylvania workers injured in car accidents caused by a negligent driver can seek two types of compensation: workers’ compensation benefits and compensation from the negligent party. These claims are entirely separate from each other, like medical benefits or wage loss.
In this article, we discuss workers’ compensation benefits and third party claims using the following example.
A construction worker from Philadelphia is performing asphalt work on a highway. He is critically injured by a driver who was speeding through a work zone and failed to see the worker. As a result of the accident, the worker sustained multiple fractures and is disabled from working for nearly 1 year.
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Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, workers injured during the course and scope of employment can make a variety of claims, regardless of fault. Benefit claims include medical treatment and expenses, wage loss, specific loss (loss of use of a body part), and death benefits.
In our example above, the injured worker would be eligible for medical benefits and wage loss, which usually covers two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage.
Third Party Injury Claims for Auto Accidents Involving a Worker on a Highway or Road
Pennsylvania injury law allows an injured worker to see negligence claims against non-employer parties, or what is commonly referred to as, third parties.
Using our example, the injured worker could file a car accident lawsuit against the negligent party to recover medical bills, wage loss, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. If the worker is married, his spouse can make a derivative claim known as a loss of consortium claim. This claim compensates the spouse for damage to the marital relationship.
Again, it’s important to repeat that the workers’ compensation claim and the third party claim are separate from each other. There is no requirement that an injured worker file both, or in any order. However, in most cases, an injured worker will file the workers’ compensation claim first and then file the third party claim second.
Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Lawsuit
Pennsylvania imposes a strict two year deadline on car accident lawsuits. The clock starts ticking on the date of the accident with very little exception. It is critical to seek legal advice as soon as possible to discuss the statute of limitations in your case.
The above principles apply to any worker who performs duties on a highway or road in Pennsylvania, such as, construction workers, maintenance workers, utility workers, traffic control workers, and even first responders such as police officers and EMTs responding to car accidents.
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