PA Workers' Compensation Laws

injured worker with attorney

If you’ve been injured in a work-related incident in Pennsylvania, you have a right to file for workers’ compensation. However, Pennsylvania has multiple laws that control how much money you can get and for how long. If you don’t follow all of these requirements, you might miss out on benefits you’re owed.

It can be difficult to understand Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws if you try to file a claim on your own. However, at Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., our experienced PA workers’ comp attorneys can help make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We’ve helped injured workers recover more than $221 million. Our main focus is fighting for the rights of everyday, hardworking professionals just like you.

As demonstrated by testimonials from our past clients and our case results, our compassionate legal team at Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., will do all we can help you. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get the money you’re owed. Call us today at (717) 967-5377 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.

Types of Benefits Under PA Workers’ Compensation Laws

Under Pennsylvania law, workers can claim a variety of benefits after a workplace accident, such as:

  • Medical expenses, including coverage for things like physician visits, medications, surgeries, therapies, and medical equipment
  • Wage benefits to replace income lost while you’re unable to perform your job
  • Permanent injury compensation if you lose any body part, lose your hearing, or your face, neck, or head is permanently disfigured
  • Total disability payments if you are unable to return to work because of your injuries
  • Partial disability compensation for up to 500 weeks if your injuries force you to take work that pays less than your previous job
  • Death benefits, which are available for loved ones such as the worker’s spouse or dependents if an employee dies from work-related injuries

Workers’ Comp Deadlines in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law has several important timelines related to workers’ compensation. For example, you typically have only 21 days from the date you were injured to tell your employer about your workplace injury. Additionally, you usually have only three years from the date you were injured on the job to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If you miss these deadlines, you might not be able to get any compensation for your injuries.

After an on-the-job incident, it can take all day just to try and make it to medical appointments and follow the doctor’s orders, so you can heal from your injuries. With all you have going on, it can be easy to miss an important workers’ compensation deadline if you try to do it on your own. However, an experienced PA workers’ comp lawyer can help you make sure everything is filed on time and can help explain any exceptions that might apply to your circumstances.

Workers’ Rights Under Pennsylvania Law

A number of local, state, and federal laws protect workers in Pennsylvania. For example:

  • Employees have the right to file for workers’ compensation for any work-related injury to cover the employee’s medical treatment, wages, and other related expenses.
  • Workers can appeal if they think their workers’ comp was wrongfully denied or terminated.
  • They have a right to a safe work environment.
  • If an employee thinks their workplace is unsafe, they can request an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection without fear of termination or retaliation.
  • Employers must inform employees of their workers’ compensation rights and provide them with a list of company physicians when they report their workplace injury. If they do, the employee must usually see a company doctor for at least 90 days after the injury. If the employer doesn’t provide this information, employees can see any doctor for the injury.
  • Workers can typically leave a job at any time, unless they’re under a contract.
  • Employees have the right to see their personnel file.
  • Workers have the right to earn at least minimum wage and the right to overtime pay, unless they are in an exempt position.
  • No employee can be discriminated against for race, age, or gender.

Employers’ Obligations Under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Laws

Employers in Pennsylvania have several duties and rights related to worker’s compensation, including:

  • Employers typically must provide workers’ compensation for everyone considered an employee under Pennsylvania statutes, except in instances where the worker’s injury was self-inflicted.
  • An employer usually can’t be sued for events that are covered by workers’ comp.
  • The employer is allowed to ask that an employee have their injuries examined by a medical provider that the employer chooses and pays for.

Common Questions About PA Workers’ Rights Laws

While each situation is unique, some common questions Pennsylvania workers have about their compensation benefits include:

  • Can I work if I am on workers’ compensation? Whether you can work while receiving workers’ comp depends on the severity of your injury and your doctor’s recommendations. If you have a significant injury, you often can’t work and receive these benefits at the same time. If your injury was minor enough that you can perform light duties, then you can typically work. However, you’re required to report these wages, and it will usually reduce the amount of workers’ compensation that you can get.
  • Can I quit my job during a workers’ comp claim? According to Pennsylvania laws, employees can typically quit a job at any time and for any reason unless they are bound by a contract. However, quitting might affect your workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you have a partial disability and you quit your job, you might lose your right to wage replacement benefits.
  • Can I get fired for filing workers’ comp? It is against Pennsylvania law for employers to fire workers or retaliate against them because they filed for worker’s comp. However, they might be able to fire you for other reasons. If you were fired after filing a claim, you might be able to sue your employer for wrongful termination, depending on the circumstances. A knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer can evaluate your situation and help determine whether you have a legal right to sue your employer.

Talk to a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you’re suffering from a workplace injury, Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., wants to help you stand up for your rights. Contact us today at (717) 967-5377 or visit us online to set up a free consultation.