Millions of Americans are injured on the job or diagnosed with a work-related illness or condition each. During the last decade, over 2.5 million workplace injuries were reported each year in the private sector.
If you have been injured at work, you may qualify for benefits under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act. However, the compensation you receive for a worker’s compensation claim is not the same compensation you receive for a personal injury claim against another party.
What is Covered By Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania?
If you are injured at work or while performing your ordinary work duties, you may receive compensation from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
The workers’ comp system is a no-fault system. Therefore, you are not required to prove that your employer was responsible for causing your injury or that the employer was negligent or careless. You only need to show that your injury occurred during the ordinary course of your employment, and you did not intentionally cause yourself to be injured.
You can be partially or wholly at fault for the cause of your injury and still receive workers’ compensation benefits as long as you did not intentionally cause the injury.
Benefits that you may receive under PA’s workers’ compensation system include:
- Medical Treatment — Injured workers are entitled to receive reasonable and necessary medical treatment for their injuries at no charge to the employee.
- Income Benefits — Income replacement benefits equal approximately two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. The term of the income benefits depends on the severity of your injury and whether you can work or you are permanently disabled.
- Death Benefits — An employee’s dependents may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses and financial losses for a work-related fatality.
- Specific Loss Benefits — Specific loss benefits apply when an employee loses a limb or loses the use of a specific body part.
Receiving your workers’ comp benefits should be a simple process. You are injured at work, go to the doctor, file a claim, and receive benefits. However, the process is not always simple. You are dealing with an insurance company. Therefore, the process can be more complicated than is necessary. The insurance provider may deny your claim, miscalculate your average weekly wage, or deny you certain benefits that you should receive.
If your workers’ comp claim is denied or you believe you are entitled to additional benefits or higher sums, contact an Erie workers’ compensation attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights after being injured at work.
You Cannot Sue Your Employer for Damages
The workers’ compensation laws prevent an employee from suing an employer for work-related injuries except in specific cases. Employers are protected from lawsuits by injured employees by providing workers’ compensation coverage.
However, if the employer intentionally injuries an employee or is grossly negligent, the employee might have the right to sue. Also, if a third party causes the employee’s injury, the employee may have a personal injury claim against the third party. A third-party lawsuit can result in additional compensation for the employee, such as full compensation for lost income and compensation for pain and suffering damages.
Contact an Erie Workers’ Compensation Attorney for a Free Case Review
Being injured at work is stressful. If you need help with a workers’ comp claim or have questions about a work-related injury, contact our office to speak with an attorney.
Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule your free legal consultation with our Erie workers’ compensation lawyer.