In an ideal world, the workers’ compensation process in Pennsylvania would be simple and straightforward, designed to get you money for medical care and wage loss quickly and effectively. After all, if you have been injured on the job, you have already experienced the pain of physical injury, coupled with the financial stress of time away from work and rising medical bills.
Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. Many workers’ comp claimants in Pennsylvania find all sorts of barriers in their way when they apply for their rightful benefits. They may be misclassified at work or find their benefits delayed. If you encounter any problems or have any concerns about your workers’ comp case, contact the Pennsylvania offices of Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., for a free consultation.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
The workers’ compensation system has been in operation in Pennsylvania since 1915. That year, state lawmakers enacted a statute that charged the Department of Labor and Industry and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to undertake the administrative duties and appeals obligations that were defined in the statute and pay injured workers’ compensation for injuries suffered while on the job. Over time, amendments brought together compensation for injuries and occupational diseases. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law outlines and defines the available benefits for injured workers in Pennsylvania, the conditions that must be in place for that compensation to be awarded and the procedures that need to be followed for that compensation to be granted.
Almost every worker in Pennsylvania is covered by workers’ compensation. Any business that employs one or more people is required by law to carry and pay for workers’ compensation on behalf of all employees who qualify. If you suffer an injury on the job or if you develop a disease or a medical condition as a result of your employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The workers’ compensation law is one of the most important laws for workers in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Safety Annual Report for 2017:
- The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation received reports of 174,216 work-related injuries or illnesses.
- This total is 15,046 more reported cases than in 2016.
- Meanwhile, fatalities increased to 82 in 2017 from 77 in 2016.
- Trade, transportation and utility industries suffered the most fatalities at 25, while construction was next with 17.
- More than half of all workers’ compensation cases occurred in two sub-sectors – education and health services and trade, transportation and utilities.
- Overall, the injury rate per 1,000 workers increased to 29.3 in 2017 from 26.9 in 2016.