Workers' Compensation in PA
Worker's compensation is complicated and often confusing. That's why it's essential to have experienced workers comp lawyers for support if you've suffered a workplace injury.
There are several reasons for concern when addressing a workers comp case.
First, every state has workers' compensation laws requiring employers of a specific size to provide workers' compensation benefits. For example, in Pennsylvania, EVERY employer of any size requires coverage. Second, it's essential to understand that no-fault governs workers' comp benefits.
Work with a law firm with experienced workers' comp attorneys. They can help you wade through potential pitfalls to ensure you receive benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Requirements for workers’ compensation vary from state to state, and not all employees are covered in some states. Some states, for example, exclude small businesses from the mandate for coverage. Others have different requirements for various industries.
Generally, only salaried employees are eligible for workers’ compensation; contractors and freelancers are not.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) summarizes each state’s worker compensation requirements. You can also talk with a workers' comp lawyer to better understand benefits in Pennsylvania.
Benefits focus on salary replacement, healthcare cost reimbursement, and survivor benefits.
- Salary Replacement: Typically, compensation is less than your total salary. The best case usually involves payment of two-thirds of your gross salary. An advantage, however, is that workers comp benefits generally aren't taxable at state or federal levels. For example, Pennsylvania doesn't charge tax on workers' comp payments.
- Healthcare Reimbursement: Generally, workers' comp provides medical expense coverage relating to injuries stemming directly from employment. For instance, the injury must occur while at work and not traveling to work.
- Survivor Benefits: If an employee dies from a work-related accident, workers' comp payments go to their dependents.
Workers’ Compensation: Coverage A vs. Coverage B
It's important to note that there are two types of workers’ compensation coverage: Coverage A and Coverage B.
- Coverage A includes all state-mandated benefits that an injured or ill employee can receive from insurance. It covers salary replacement payments, medical treatment, rehabilitation, and death benefits. All states except Texas have such benefits, although they vary widely from state to state. Many states exclude some employees.
- Coverage B pays benefits exceeding the minimums of Coverage A. Coverage B benefits are generally paid after a successful lawsuit. The lawsuit is brought by the employee for negligence or other misconduct by the employer.
Provisions of Workers' Comp
Most state workers' compensation laws will provide the following regardless of where you live. But it's best to talk to workers' comp lawyers familiar with PA state laws.
- Workers comp benefits are provided for accidental and, in some states, non-accidental job-related injuries. Non-accidental injuries include repetitive strain or stress injuries, also known as RSIs. Examples of RSIs cover computer-related injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, tennis elbow, and bursitis.
- Benefits include wage loss, medical, and death benefits. In the Commonwealth, the employee's pre-injury average weekly wage dictates wage-loss benefits. That includes room and board, bonuses, incentive pay, vacation pay, and gratuities.
- The law defines covered employees injured on the job.
- The fault is not a determinant of whether or not a worker receives worker's compensation benefits.
- Employees give up the right to sue your business if you provide coverage. However, they are entitled to sue a third party. Examples would include an equipment manufacturer, a negligent driver, or even a property owner if their negligence contributed to the injury.
Our workers' compensation lawyers have over four decades of experience representing clients. That experience and their aggressive approach have produced consistently positive outcomes for our clients.
Call our law offices in Doylestown or Norristown, PA, if you need to hire a workers comp lawyer.
Employers: What You Need to Know About Workers' Compensation in PA
Pennsylvania requires worker's compensation insurance for business owners with employees, part-time employees, and possibly even independent contractors. Moreover, failure to do so may result in civil and criminal penalties. Employers lacking workers' compensation coverage in PA may also cover the entire loss, awards, or final judgment.
In addition, they may also be responsible for reimbursing the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund, including costs, interest, penalties, and additional fees. Employees can also file a lawsuit in state or federal court against uninsured employers. Outside of Pennsylvania law, it pays for all employers to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees.
Our workers' comp lawyers have handled numerous cases where we've provided employers a workers' compensation defense. Although worker's comp in PA is a no-fault system, employers may be granted protection in these instances:
- Cases with fraudulent claims
- Alcohol or drug use by an employee
- Self-inflicted personal injuries
- Cases with willful misconduct involved.
So call our firm if you feel a worker filed a claim unfairly and you need legal representation. We can provide experienced legal counsel from one of our workers' comp lawyers.
Employees: A Workers' Comp Lawyer Can Clarify Your Rights
As an employee, workers' compensation laws are in place to protect you from these concerns:
- Loss of income
- Medical bills
- Disability benefits from work-related injuries, accidents, illnesses or diseases, and even death
In Pennsylvania, you must notify your employer for worker's comp. In addition, that notice must occur within 21 days unless your employer is aware of the injury. You must notify your employer no later than 120 days after your injury for workers' compensation benefits.
The statute of limitations governs workers' compensation claims in the Commonwealth. So after notifying your employer, you must file within three years from the date of the injury.
The injured worker must meet with the employer's approved panel of physicians or medical providers within the first 90 days. That panel can include a doctor, chiropractor, or psychologist.
Hire a workers' compensation lawyer to ensure you follow all the procedures when filing a workers comp claim.
A settlement offer is sometimes possible where both employee and employer look to close a claim. But an injured employee typically gives up the right to future claims against the employer in exchange for payment. You receive workers' comp payments in full, upfront, or through a structured deal.
How Long Can Employees Collect Workers Comp?
The PA Workers’ Compensation Act governs workers comp. Benefits stop after you return to work. However, an injured worker can collect partial disability benefits for up to 500 weeks or 9.6 years.
As a result, the injured worker can receive up to 11.6 years of Workers’ Compensation wage loss benefits. This includes the first two years of benefits and the additional 9.6 years after a rating evaluation.
The workers‘ compensation insurance company can pay medical bills that are reasonable, necessary, and related to the work injury for life.
The Best Workers Comp Lawyers in the Philadelphia Area
Expertise.com awarded our law firm the Best Workers' Compensation Attorneys in Philadelphia. So, you can depend on us to give you the legal support you need as an employer or employee.
Talk with one of our workers' comp lawyers or our work injury lawyers at our Doylestown and Norristown law offices. We'll work with you to understand your case's facts and provide the necessary defense.