Injuries on the job in Pennsylvania can be confusing for workers. Workers’ Compensation covers work-related illnesses and injuries, but most workers do not understand how the system works.
Workers’ compensation explained
Workers’ Compensation is a government-mandated program that assists employees who become injured or ill on the job by covering wage loss and related medical treatment. On-the-job injuries or illnesses that alter an employee’s working status require that the employee be compensated for wages lost, if any. Even if the injured worker does not lose any wages (for instance, if she is able to return to work light duty), medical expenses to treat the medical problem should still be covered by workers’ comp. Pennsylvania employers with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance, including family-owned and operated businesses. It is a criminal violation to fail to carry workers’ comp coverage.
How Workers’ Compensation works
Worker’s Compensation protects injured or sick employees by providing them benefits that replace a portion of wages while they are unable to work. In addition, benefits include reimbursement for essential medical services such as physical or occupational therapy. In return, the employer is protected from a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, employees waive their right to file a suit against their employer when filing for Workers’ Compensation, even if the employer is negligent in causing the injury.
Injuries covered by workers’ comp
Workers’ Compensation covers any illness, disease, or injury which develops directly from an employee’s job duties. So, for example, if a worker has an accident at work and suffers an injury, even if it’s their fault, they can file for coverage.
Repetitive motion injuries, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, are among the most frequently covered injuries sustained from long-term use of equipment. Claims also cover toxic exposures that lead to illnesses. If an abnormal working condition causes a psychological injury, even mental illnesses can be covered, although they are difficult cases to prove.
Workers’ Compensation is designed to assist employees with expenses after an on-the-job injury or illness. Consult a certified specialist workers’ compensation attorney in Pennsylvania if you have questions about a claim. The consultation is free, and the attorney will be able to explain your rights and guide you through the process.