Nobody expects to be injured on the job. In fact, many employers dedicate a large portion of their budget to educating employees on safe practices and restructuring facilities in order to meet safety codes. Unfortunately, accidents still happen.
In a typical year, more than six million work-related injuries and illnesses occur in the United States. According to the PA Department of Labor & Industry, there were over 166,000 work injuries and illnesses in Pennsylvania in 2015 alone. The good news is, if you were to fall off a ladder and break your leg, cut off your finger working in a deli, or develop an illness because of your job, workers' compensation is supposed to cover your medical costs and pay you for any days of work you miss. Additionally, death benefits for work-related deaths are paid to your dependent survivors.
Nearly every Pennsylvania worker is covered by the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act. In general, any employer who hires at least one employee, part-time or full-time, is required to provide workers' compensation coverage. With a few exceptions, any injury or illness that occurs in connection with work is covered. For example, a construction worker would be covered by workers' compensation while laying bricks or handling construction materials onsite, but not while traveling to and from work or going to a purely social outing later that evening.
If you're reading this thinking, "I've never gotten hurt on the job, so this doesn't apply to me", it's still important to know all the facts and proper steps to take to secure your rights to compensation in the unfortunate event of a work-related injury or illness. Although the "work-related" requirement may seem like a simple rule, it can get tricky. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and since the law in this area is very complex, you may have heard some things about workers' compensation that are simply not true. At Dugan & Associates, P.C., we believe that knowledge is power and we want to help you be prepared for the unthinkable by sharing some common myths and misconceptions regarding workers' compensation.
Download our free guide, 12 Things You Think You Know About Workers' Comp - And How It Really Is and arm yourself with the right information.