Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation 101

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Workers’ compensation is the term for the insurance most employers are required to carry by law. This insurance serves to protect employees from financial losses that may occur due to on-the-job injury. While workers’ compensation claims can arise from nearly any type of physical injury, these claims are most commonly brought in high-risk occupations such as construction, factory, or manual labor work. For more information about Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims, click here or here. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary force behind protecting workers in our country and sets most of the standards for workplace safety. The federal standards set forth by OSHA are followed in the state of Pennsylvania.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation claims arise when an employee is injured when they are doing something they are required to do for their job. If an employee was acting outside his official duties or acting negligently, this may eliminate or reduce an otherwise valid claim. However, if an employee is not at fault and injured on the job, the employer will likely have workers’ compensation insurance to help pay the employee while he is away from work due to his injury. Death benefits may be available to an employee’s surviving family in certain circumstances.

The idea behind this is that the employee is not able to participate in gainful employment due to an injury that occurred at his place of work. The employer, who is “responsible” for the employee while he is at work, must possess workers’ compensation insurance to provide the injured employee with financial support if and until they can resume working. The employee will likely be entitled to a substantial portion of the wages he or she would otherwise be earning but for the injury. A private insurance agency or sometimes the employer itself will pay out to the injured employee. Workers’ compensation insurance covers most all employers, with the noted exceptions of independent contractors, or certain government, railroad, or shipyard employees.

What if I Think I Have a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Time is of the essence in workers’ compensation claims. Pennsylvania law requires that injured employees notify their employer of a workplace related injury within 120 days of the injury to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Having an attorney to guide you through the application process can significantly improve your chances of a successful application for benefits.

If you or anyone you know was injured in a workplace related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you have previously applied for workers’ compensation benefits and been denied, there is an appeal process that may grant you benefits as well. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Solnick & Associates, LLC will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to by law. We have a team of professionals who know how to protect your rights and maximize the value of your claim. Even if you are unsure about filing a claim, or simply have questions about your rights as an employee, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation today.

Photo Credit: Durova and Alfred T. Palmer