Can You Sue A Customer For Causing Your Injuries At Work?
Pennsylvania workers are protected by something called workers’ compensation, and this system ensures that injuries and missed wages are partially compensated. But sometimes, workers’ compensation isn’t enough to cover the full range of a worker’s damages. Filing a personal injury lawsuit may provide better results, especially since a lawsuit can provide compensation for emotional distress. The only problem is that the workers’ comp system prevents you from suing your own employer. But what if a customer caused your injuries?
You Can Sue Third Parties for Workplace Injuries
The first thing you need to know is that the workers’ comp system only prevents you from suing your direct employer. It does not prevent you from suing any third party that caused your injuries. A third party is essentially anyone other than your employer. For example, you might be working at a construction site alongside other contractors. If a contractor other than your direct employer causes an injury, you would have the potential to sue them directly instead of (or in addition to) filing a workers’ comp claim.
A customer qualifies as a third party, which means that you may have the opportunity to sue a customer directly if you can show that they caused your workplace injuries.
Suing Third Parties Can Be Difficult
Back in April of 2023, it was reported that a Home Depot worker in Pennsylvania had attempted to sue a customer for causing her injury at work. The incident occurred when a customer walked in with a dog. The dog then proceeded to bite the worker, and she suffered injuries as a result. Apparently, Home Depot supervisors isolated the injured worker and questioned two customers who had brought their dogs on the premises. Ultimately, they allowed both customers to leave the store without taking their contact information.
When the injured worker learned of this, she became concerned that Home Depot supervisors had not identified or stopped the dog owner. She had planned to sue the customer directly for causing her injuries. In Pennsylvania, dog owners can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by their animals. In the end, the injured worker chose to accept workers’ comp payments – although she actually attempted to sue Home Depot for preventing her from suing the customer. This lawsuit was not successful, but it shows how complicated a third-party workplace injury lawsuit can become.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Pennsylvania?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Scranton personal injury lawyer, look no further than the Needle Law Firm. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims. Suing third parties for workplace accidents can be extremely complex, but you don’t need to approach this situation alone. Book your consultation at your earliest convenience, and you can get started with an effective action plan. Remember, internet research can only get you so far.