You've been injured on the job, and you're wondering about the ins and outs of Pennsylvania workers' compensation laws. Here are some basics to get you started:
Applicable statutes and laws: Pennsylvania workers' compensation is governed by the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, which states that each and every employer in the state of Pennsylvania must provide workers' compensation coverage for employees. This applies to a wide variety of businesses, including those that employ temps and seasonal workers, those which serve as non-profits, and even extremely small businesses.
What coverage is provided: Under Pennsylvania workers' compensation law, employers must either self-insure or pay into private or state workers' compensation systems. These entities cover diseases, illnesses, or injuries incurred while working on a job. Coverage can include medical care, payment for lost wages, death benefits, and benefits related to temporary or permanent disability and injuries to specific body parts.
What coverage is denied: In Pennsylvania, injuries sustained while under the influence of drugs or alcohol incur immediate denials of workers' compensation coverage. In addition, injuries that occur while the injured party is violating state or federal law will be denied coverage. Your claim could be denied if it is related to a preexisting condition, injury, or illness.
Claims: The state encourages injured persons to inform their employers of their injury or illness as soon as it occurs. Failure to inform or delay of information could be grounds for denied coverage. In addition, your employer may choose to deny your claim, at which point you must fight for coverage before the workers' compensation judge.
Representation: The state of Pennsylvania does not allow an individual to appear before the workers' compensation judge with a non-attorney representative. On their website, the state advises those who have been injured at work that their employers will most likely appear before the court with experienced counsel, and that workers' compensation litigation is complex. It is recommended that anyone who is injured or gets sick on the job arm themselves with an experienced, reputable, and savvy attorney who understands the specific quirks of Pennsylvania workers' compensation and can bring a host of resources to bear as he or she fights on the client's behalf.
Anapol Schwartz has devoted itself to injured and ill workers for years. We believe in protecting our clients' legal rights…and we may be able to assist with your Pennsylvania workers' compensation claim. Injured at work? Denied coverage? Contact us today for a free, confidential case consultation.
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