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Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Workers’ Compensation is a program designed to provide cash benefits and medical care to employees in Pennsylvania who suffer from a work-related injury or illness. In exchange for receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, employees are typically not permitted to bring a lawsuit up against their employer for damages of any kind.

Qualifying injuries

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry states that nearly every worker in the state is eligible to receive benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act if they become injured or incur an illness performing employment-related duties. These benefits include payments for lost wages, a specific loss, such as the loss of an arm or a leg, death benefits to surviving dependents if the accident or injury resulted in death and coverage for medical care relating to the injury.

However, according to the PDLI, a worker’s injury may not qualify them to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits if they intentionally self-inflicted the injury or incurred the injury as a result of disobeying the law. For instance, an injured employee may not receive benefits if they were illegally using alcohol or drugs at the job site.

Situations where benefits may not apply

In addition to workplace injuries that were incurred as a result of self-infliction or illegal behavior, there are certain circumstances where an injury may not qualify an employee to receive benefits. These include the following:

  • Lunch breaks-Usually, injuries or illnesses that happen when an employee is on a lunch break disqualify them from Workers’ Compensation benefits. For example, if an employee chooses to walk down to a deli to pick up lunch and sprains his ankle on the way there, he likely would not be able to claim Workers’ Compensation.
  • Company events-Injuries sustained at company-sponsored events, like picnics, baseball games or barbecues, are typically not covered under Workers’ Compensation.
  • Travel-An employee who becomes injured on their way to work or home from work will usually not be eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation. However, if for example an employee is on a business trip and becomes injured, they may be able to receive benefits.

Injured employees who believe that they are eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits should keep in mind that they only have 21 days to report their condition to their employer, states the PDLI. However, even when employees report their injury or illness promptly, their employer may deny their right to file a claim. If this occurs, injured workers should meet with an attorney who can fight for their right to receive fair and proper compensation.