Can compensation for damages be sought by an employee for possible negligence in the workplace that resulted in an injury?

A family member was placing items on an assumed secured shelf, however it dislocated from its position resulting in the shelf falling and causing a head injury. The injury sustained was a superficial laceration that required an ER visit, CT imagery (negative for fracture and bleeding in the head) and a couple of staples.Given that it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure workplace safety and this shelf was utilized as intended, with no warnings posted, can damages be sought, Including pain and suffering, time missed from work and medical expenditures?

Asked on October 11, 2014 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Employees are limited from collecting from their employers for injuries sustained in the workplace under Worker Compensation Laws. In other words, their only source of collecting anything from their employer is through their workers comp policy. The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, or Act, provides for your medical expenses and, in the event you are unable to work, wage-loss compensation benefits until you're able to go back to work. Nearly every worker is a covered person under the law but I would have your family member speak with an attorney to clarify.  Good luck.

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