workers’ compensation is an overarching type of insurance that employers must buy into. In Pennsylvania, that number is one or more employees either part-time or full-time, so basically every single employer must get insurance. workers’ compensation is a way to distribute the risk of employment injuries. All employers must buy into the system to spread risk around to reduce costs. This means that employees cannot file a civil suit, they must utilize the workers’ compensation system for their recovery. As a result, the workers’ compensation system is faster and easier than the courts.
Pennsylvania has a robust workers’ compensation system that requires almost every employer to opt in. This means that general contractors working a site must carry sufficient insurance to cover all their employees. However, if you are an electrician or some other specialty that works as a sub-contractor, your general contractor may not have to carry insurance to cover you. This is true only if you are a sole proprietor. Your general contractor will be required to submit detailed information to their insurer to establish your status.
Now, let’s say that you are hired on a site to do the wiring for a building. Electrical injuries are unfortunately very common on construction projects. The coordination between the electrician and other workers is critical to ensure safety. Exposed wiring, power surges and carelessness all contribute to possible electrical injuries. Workers’ compensation is available for any injury sustained while on the job. The injury must have occurred while trying to fulfill the task you were assigned and must be related to your work. For example, if you are electrocuted while setting up the wiring in a building, your injuries fall into a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer tells you to hop into a digger, despite your objections, and you are injured operating the machine, you are still protected by workers’ compensation. However, if the general contractor shuts down the site for the night and you sneak in to finish some work and are injured you are not covered.
Pennsylvania has a complex workers’ compensation system. Retaining an experienced attorney to parse through the details of your accident can clarify your rights. Take the time to get a consultation and know what to do next.