Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation & Construction Accidents


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PA Workers’ Compensation – The Exclusivity Rule

The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation scheme is like a double edged sword. On the one hand, workers’ compensation helps workers who are injured in on the job accidents by paying for medical treatment and also disability, both short term and long term. However, on the other hand, this guarantee comes with a price – employers who provide workers’ compensation benefits are generally immune from being sued for negligent acts that lead to an employee’s work related injury. This immunity is known as the “exclusivity rule,” because workers’ compensation is designed to be the exclusive remedy in a work accident case.

For example, an employee of a construction company falls from a roof because the employer failed to install guardrails and provide personal fall arrest equipment. In general, the workers’ compensation laws in Pennsylvania would prohibit the injured worker from bringing suit against his employer, the construction company. In other words, the construction company would be immune from liability for negligence in failing to install guardrails and/or failing to provide fall protection gear.

This immunity from liability often creates situations in which employers shirk safety obligations, and this can lead to disastrous results in specific industries, such as the construction or industrial industry. These industries are powered by heavy equipment, like cranes, forklifts, etc., which are very dangerous and can result in a catastrophic accident or worse, fatality.

Related: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law – The Basics (Part A)

PA Workers’ Compensation – Exceptions to the Exclusivity Rule

It is important to note, however, that there are some narrowly carved exceptions to this general rule of no liability. For instance, in Pennsylvania, if a work injury/accident is of a personal nature, i.e., is directed at the worker as an individual, rather than as an employee, the employer may be sued for negligence which contributes to the injury. For example, if a worker with a history of aggressive behavior singles out another worker and subsequently beats him, while on the job, the employer may be held liable for failing to prevent the assault.

There are other exceptions, such as the dual persona and intentional conduct exceptions. It is vital for workers injured on the job to consult with a knowledgeable work accident lawyer to discuss these exceptions and whether they apply.

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Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation & Accident Lawyers. FREE Consultations. Click To Call

The Philadelphia law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent represents workers who are injured on the job. Our work accident lawyers specialize in handling negligence cases against third parties and may handle workers’ compensation cases. Depending on the facts of a given work accident case, the firm may refer the workers’ compensation case to another law firm. Please call the firm for a free consultation. Click To Call

Our work/construction accident lawyers are passionate about workers’ rights and accident safety. Our law firm proudly represents union and nonunion workers, such as:

  • carpenters,
  • plumbers,
  • electricians,
  • steel workers,
  • iron workers, and
  • laborers.

To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey construction accident lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.