Pennsylvania workers may wonder what happens if they are injured or become ill as a result of their jobs. Employers, in most states, must provide workers' compensation insurance to their employees. A worker must be injured on the job, and the injury may not be due to intoxication, drug use or be self-inflicted.
Some workers may not be covered under workers' compensation, such as domestic workers, and checking with an attorney may be beneficial. In Pennsylvania, a worker is covered from the first day that they are hired.
Workers' compensation benefits cover such expenses as medical care and wage replacement. The amount is linked to the level of disability. Total and partial disability benefits are available. In Pennsylvania, after 104 weeks of total disability, the employer or the insurer may request that the employee be evaluated for his or her degree of disability at that time. If it is less than 50 percent, the employee may be reclassified as partially disabled. Specific benefits for certain injuries, such as the loss of a body part or disfigurement, may be covered. If the worker dies in an accident, their family may be eligible for death benefits.
Under workers' compensation law, the worker does not have to file a lawsuit to be covered when injured on the job. If the worker accepts benefits, they are not able to sue their employer. Possible negligence by the employer or the injured employee is not an issue since workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance policy.
Since each worker situation is unique, the benefits listed above should not be considered legal advice. Consulting an attorney who deals with workers' compensation in Pennsylvania on a regular basis may help. The attorney may review the case and assist the worker or their family to determine eligibility.