Most employees in Pennsylvania are covered under workers’ compensation. The state requires employers to have workers’ compensation and to provide coverage to employees. Employers pay premiums into the program so each employee qualifies for workers’ compensation when injured on the job in PA. After an injury, employees can recover money for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs.
Pennsylvania allows a few exceptions in which employers may opt out of workers’ compensation. If you work for a private employer and suffered an injury while on the job, you likely qualify for benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer from Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you make a claim and fight for full compensation. Call 215-642-2335 for a free consultation about your case.
What Types of Employees Qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act mandates that nearly all employers in the state must provide workers’ compensation coverage to employees. Employers have the option of obtaining coverage from a private insurance company or going through the State Workers’ Insurance Fund. Companies with the financial means to do so may also elect to self-insure. In other words, a company can set aside a pool of money to cover workers’ compensation liability.
In rare cases, an employer could receive an exemption allowing the company not to provide their workers—or at least some of them—with workers’ compensation coverage. One of these exemptions could apply to:
- Employees covered under other workers’ compensation programs;
- Federal employees;
- Domestic workers;
- Agricultural employees who work fewer than 30 days per year or earn under $1,200; and
- Workers who specifically opt out of coverage due to religious beliefs or other reasons.
Our attorneys can examine your case to determine if you fall under one of these exemptions. If not, we will help you file your workers’ compensation claim so you get the benefits you deserve for your injuries.
What Types of On-The-Job Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania?
Workers’ compensation covers a range of on-the-job illnesses and injuries. As a general rule, if your medical condition is related to your work, you can file a claim with workers’ compensation and recover benefits. This is true even if you had a pre-existing condition or a susceptibility that made you more likely to suffer a particular illness or injury.
Pre-Existing Conditions Do Not Disqualify You From Workers’ Compensation Benefits
For example, imagine you injured your shoulder playing football in high school. Although you made a full recovery, your injured shoulder lacks the stability it had before and remains prone to injury.
One day at work, you loading pallets in a warehouse and a ligament in your shoulder tears under the stress of the load you are lifting overhead. Even if nobody was negligent in your case and another worker without a pre-existing injury would not have suffered the same injury, you still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
In Pennsylvania, none of your background information is relevant. All that matters is that your injury happened while you were carrying out your work duties.
Can My Employer Deny My Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Any Reason After an On-The-Job Injury?
In certain situations, your employer might try to deny your workers’ compensation claim. An employer can deny an employee’s workers compensation claim in cases where the employee’s inappropriate or reckless behavior caused or contributed to the injury.
Carelessness Is Not a Valid Reason to Deny Your Claim.
To justify a denial, your behavior must be reckless or clearly inappropriate, not just careless or negligent. If you hurt yourself because you were not watching where you were going or because you took your eye off the road while driving a company car for a work errand, your employer cannot deny you workers’ compensation on the grounds that your injury was your own fault.
If, however, your injury happened due to intoxication or grossly reckless behavior, your employer would be justified in denying your workers’ compensation claim.
Even if you were not behaving inappropriately at the time of injury, you should prepare yourself for the possibility of a denial. Before filing your claim, consider speaking with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. We can make sure you have an airtight claim to benefits.
How Can I Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About My Benefits?
The lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC understand workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania and can help you fight for the benefits you deserve. Speak with us before filing your claim. We can answer your workers’ compensation questions and help you file for the benefits you deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our office today at 215-642-2335.