Workers’ Compensation * What Is It? * How Could It Affect Me?

by Paula Robinson

    Pennsylvania, as other states in America, has a Workers’ Compensation Act, which sets forth laws that affect workers with work-related injuries and illnesses occurring on or after June 24, 1996.

If you sustain an injury or illness while performing your job in PA, the PA Workers’ Compensation Act provides for payment of your medical expenses.  If you are unable to work, due to a work-related injury; wage loss benefits will also be paid until you can return to work.  In the event of a work-related death, death benefits are paid to your dependent survivors.

Although there are a few exceptions, almost every PA worker is covered by the PA Workers’ Compensation Act.  Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for all of their employees, including part-time and seasonal workers.  These employers include incorporations, unincorporated businesses, non-profit corporations, and even employers with only one employee.

Workers’ compensation benefits are paid by private insurance companies, or the State Workers’ Insurance Fund (a state-run workers’ compensation insurance carrier), or by employers themselves if they are self-insured.

What to do if injured at work?

  1)   Your health comes first, go see your doctor and explain exactly what occurred.  Your employer is required to provide you with a list of doctors in numerous specialties who can provide medical treatment.  If your employer does not have a list, then you can see any doctor for treatment.  Remember to keep all written reports, prescriptions, and test results from all doctor visits for not only your records, but for your lawyer’s.

2)   Immediately report your injury to your supervisor or to your Human Resources Dept.  It is vital that you complete a Report of Injury and request a copy of the same to prove that Notice was given to your employer.  Failure to complete the Report of Injury could result in your claim, or the fact that you were injured, being denied.

3)   Make a claim for workers’ compensation as soon as you are able, to prevent delays in the receipt of benefits that you deserve.  Even if your claim is accepted, you may need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to review your particular claim to ensure that you are obtaining all wage loss and medical benefits due you. For example, there may be incorrect wage calculations and/or inaccurate descriptions of injuries.  Common mistakes like these can cost you thousands of dollars that the responsible insurance companies should be paying.

There are a wide variety of work injuries that can occur, despite our best laid safety plans.  Be educated as to how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

For more information:
Phone: 215-530-7166
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