A worker who sustains an injury while performing a duty within the scope of his or her job may be entitled to benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Prior to its enactment, recovering compensation for work-related injuries was difficult. Before a worker could recover, it was necessary to prove that someone else, such as an employer or a co-worker, was negligent. Current law does not require proof of fault.
Who Is Eligible
Almost every worker in Pennsylvania is covered under the Act. Workers’ compensation does not require an injured worker to show proof of negligence. It is a no-fault insurance benefit system, which allows a worker to recover compensation for an injury, illness, or disease caused by a work-related accident when the worker incurs medical bills or lost wages.
Workers’ compensation covers work-related injuries, illnesses, and diseases. The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to lessen the financial burden on injured workers and to help the worker recover. A worker may be eligible for the following benefits:
- Lost wages: available if the worker is totally disabled and unable to work or partially disabled and able to work but receiving less in wages than prior to the disability
- Death benefits: surviving dependents may receive compensation when the worker dies
- Specific loss benefits: granted to workers who no longer have permanent use of essential limbs, e.g. a hand, leg, or foot, or who loses their sight or hearing, or suffer a serious and permanent disfigurement to their head, face, or neck
- Medical care: covers related reasonable surgical and medical services
For example, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system works this way: If after years of working for a company in Harrisburg you developed a work-related illness, you might be entitled to benefits under the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. You could recover medical care benefits for treatment and wage-loss compensation if you were totally or partially disabled because of the illness. If the illness caused a disfigurement to your head, face, or neck, you might also be entitled to specific loss benefits.
When to Report an Injury
A worker should report a workplace injury or work-related illness to the employer as soon as it occurs. If the workers misses a day of work or misses a shift because of the injury, Pennsylvania law requires the employer to file a “First Report of Injury” with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. A delay or denial of benefits could result if the worker does not report the injury or illness to the employer.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer May Be Able to Help
A workers’ compensation claim can be complex, especially if your employer denies your claim. Whether you would like to learn more about Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits or whether you would like an evaluation of your case, a workers’ compensation lawyer at Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., may be able to help. If your injury occurred within the scope of employment or your loved one died from a work-related injury or illness, you may have a right to collect benefits. Call 717-695-4722 or 877-291-WORK (9675) to speak with a Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer about your claim.