What Types of Injuries or Conditions Are Covered?
The Pennsylvania Workmen's (Workers') Compensation Act provides compensation for employees who are injured as a result of employment, without regard to fault. This includes work-related injuries and occupational diseases or conditions.
Injuries can occur from:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Falling objects
- Construction site mishaps
- Or any number of accidents on the job – even if the worker alone caused the injury.
Occupational health conditions can occur through:
- Repetitive motion
- Exposure to noise
- Other hazards present in the workplace
Conditions such as the above can cause deafness, loss of motion, reduced range of motion of a limb, or both pain and limited movement as is the case regarding carpal tunnel syndrome, a common occupational injury. An employer may be liable for aggravating a medical condition as well.
Medical Benefits & Wage Indemnity for Missed Work
Workers’ compensation claimants are entitled to medical benefits and wage indemnity for missing work. Benefits begin to be payable upon notice of injury for medical treatment and after five days off work on account of a work-related injury. Wages are paid at the rate of 2/3 of the average weekly wage. Injured workers cannot sue an employer for pain and suffering. However, claimants do not need to prove negligence or fault to be entitled to benefits. This benefits workers because, even if you are at fault for your injuries, you are still entitled to compensation.
An employer may issue a notice of compensation payable if the employer agrees that an injury occurred, but the employer may limit or restrict the description of the injury, and therefore the injured worker should seek the advice of an attorney. A competent attorney can ensure that the worker’s injury is properly represented, including all supporting documentation, to avoid underpayment or even an outright denial of a workers’ compensation claim.
Who Is Covered?
An employer must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover its workers, or else the employer may be subject to additional damages or penalties. Some types of workers are not entitled to workers compensation under state law, but they may be entitled to other compensation through federal programs such as the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) for railroad workers or the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) for post office and other government employees. By consulting with our firm, we can help you determine which laws apply to you and your unique situation.