Injured Pennsylvania workers often have questions about their rights. There are limits to what workers’ compensation will cover and rules that apply to all claims. Yet, sometimes, people convince themselves that they are ineligible for benefits when they would likely actually qualify. For example, many people believe that if they played a role in their work injury, they cannot file a claim for benefits.
Perhaps someone failed to tie their shoes and then fell and broke their arm. Maybe they burned or cut themselves. Does an on-the-job mistake disqualify someone from workers’ compensation eligibility? Probably not.
Fault usually isn’t a consideration
Pennsylvania’s rules about workers’ compensation are straightforward. Employees who develop job-acquired injuries or diseases can qualify for benefits that will replace lost wages and cover medical treatment. Employers have a legal obligation to provide coverage – it is a criminal offence to fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania. Workers can and should file a claim for workers’ compensation after an injury or a diagnosis of a health issue related to their work.
The only evidence an injured worker really needs is proof that their condition stems from their employment. Proof that they had nothing to do with their injury is not necessary. In fact, even video footage of them making a mistake on the job usually won’t be sufficient reason to deny someone benefits. The only defense in such a case is whether the injury was intentionally self-inflicted. Workers’ compensation provides no-fault coverage. Even those who contribute to their injuries through mistakes on the job will still qualify for benefits. Unless there is evidence that someone hurt themselves on purpose or via chemical impairment on the job, a worker’s fault has minimal, if any, bearing on the validity of a claim.
Learning the truth behind workers’ compensation myths may help people feel brave enough to apply for benefits. Reaching out to the team at Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. can help injured workers evaluate their situation accurately so that they can make informed decisions about their rights and options under the law. Contact us to speak with a certified workers’ compensation specialist today.