Since 1915, the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act has been in place to protect PA employees who have suffered workplace injuries impacting their health, well-being and overall quality of life. The state-wide system of benefits is designed to protect employees, compensating them for any lost wages and medical expenses due to their injury.
Employees cannot file a lawsuit against their employers because of a workplace injury, which makes workers' compensation their primary form of recourse to cover expensive medical surgeries, treatments, and lost wages from missing work for an extended period of time.
First and foremost, seek advice from an experienced workers' compensation attorney immediately following your injury to develop a proactive legal strategy to move forward with.
Injuries Covered Under PA Workers' Compensation Act
What qualifies as a workplace injury? According to Section 301c (1) of the PA Workers' Compensation Act, a workplace injury is "any medical condition or disease that is caused by a person's job." The Compensation Act applies to all injuries and occupational illnesses that are caused by the employee's job responsibilities, even aggravated pre-existing conditions the employee had before they started working for their current employer.
The most common workplace injuries we've represented clients for include but are not limited to:
- Repetitive stress injuries and Carpal Tunnel syndrome
- Injuries to the head, neck, shoulders and back
- Hand/wrist injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Hip injuries
- Amputations and lost limbs
The most common industries where employees are prone to workplace injuries include but are not limited to:
- Trade, Transportation and Utilities
- Healthcare Services and Education
- Police and Correctional Officers
- Nurses and Nursing Assistants
- Service Industry
- Office Workers
When To Notify Your Employer
Section 311 of the PA Workers' Compensation Act states that an injured worker is required to notify their employer of a workplace injury within 120 days of the injury. You should tell your supervisor immediately, even if you think that it's a minor condition that will go away on its own.
Your employer has 21 days after receiving notice of the injury to either accept the claim and issue a Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP) or Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable (NTCP) or deny the claim through their insurance provider and issue a Notice of Compensation Denial (NCD).
After undergoing an Independent Medical Exam (IME), there must be medical proof from a doctor confirming the severity of your injuries and whether you can return to work or not - even if there are restrictions on what job responsibilities you can complete.
PA Workers' Compensation Act Disability Payments
Under the PA Workers' Compensation Act, injured employees are entitled to benefit payments based on the status of their disability that is determined by the doctor following the IME.
- Temporary Total Disability: An employee is completely unable to work or has restrictions that the employer cannot accommodate. That individual can receive a percentage of their wages based on a calculation under the workers' compensation act.
- Temporary Partial Disability: An employee has restrictions due to the work injury and is working a modified duty job at a loss in earnings they will receive a partial compensation check calculated under the PA Workers' Compensation Act taking into account their earnings. Partial compensation has a maximum payout of up to 500 weeks.
- Specific Loss Benefits: Amputations of certain body parts or they are useless for all practical intents and purposes, or scars on your head face or neck.
Let Dugan & Associates Help You!
If you or someone you love suffered a workplace injury, our Dugan & Associates team is always here to help! Our experienced and knowledgeable group of tireless workers' compensation lawyers will help ensure you receive the maximum monetary benefits available to you. Don't hesitate to call our offices at 412-353-3572 or contact us online today for a FREE consultation to get the process started.