Workers' Compensation


If you have been injured on the job or have suffered an occupational-related illness, you may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. All employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Large companies are permitted to self-insure. Companies with fewer than five employees are exempt from this law in many states.

Workers' compensation insurance covers employees in the event of an injury at work, regardless of whose negligence caused the incident. In return for workers' compensation benefits, employees forfeit their rights to sue an employer if an injury or illness occurs. However, a claim can be filed against a third party if they are responsible for an injury. Employees may be required to reimburse their employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company if they are successful in their personal injury claim. A lawyer can help you sort through these rules and regulations.

It is imperative that you report any work-related injury to your employer as soon as it occurs or as soon as you become aware of the condition. You will be able to visit a doctor and receive medical treatment after you notify your employer. Initially, you will need to treat with a physician or health care provider on the employer's list of approved providers. Keep in mind that limits may exist for the amount of time you have to file a claim. Therefore, it is important to file your claim as quickly as possible after the injury to ensure that your rights are not compromised.

How Much Will I Receive From Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Under Pennsylvania law workers generally receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to a maximum amount. Check with your lawyer to find out how much you are entitled to receive.

Are There Any Situations Where Workers' Compensation Benefits Won’t Cover Me?

Yes, in certain situations employees may be unable to collect workers' compensation benefits. Circumstances where you may not be able to collect benefits include:

  • Use of illegal drugs or intoxication at the time of the injury.

  • Injuries resulting from a fight which you started or which were self-inflicted.

Who May Be Excluded From Receiving Workers' Compensation Benefits?

  • Company owners

  • Independent contractors

  • Domestic workers in private homes

  • Unpaid volunteers

  • Farm and maritime workers

Disability Classifications

Temporary partial disability – Employee is still able to work, but has a loss of earnings.

Permanent partial disability – Employee is able to work, but will have a permanent loss of earnings.

Temporary total disability – Employee is unable to work in any capacity for his or her employer for a finite time period.

Permanent total disability – Employee will never recover from his or her condition and is permanently unable to work. Along with workers' compensation, he or she may be able to receive social security disability benefits.

Workers' compensation insurance also pays for medical bills and possibly for the costs of vocational retraining. After a serious injury resulting in a permanent disability, it is essential to speak with a lawyer who can help recover any additional benefits or damages that you may be entitled to. Medical treatment and other expenses associated with an injury or illness can quickly add up. You may discover that not only are you unable to work any more, but that you are also facing mounting debt.

What Should I Do If I Am Receiving Workers' Compensation And My Employer Wants To Settle With Me?

It often occurs that employers will want to negotiate a final settlement with an employee who is collecting benefits on a permanent total disability. It is in your best interest to contact a workers' compensation attorney to discuss that issue if it arises. Your ongoing claim may be appropriate for a final settlement, but it also may not be appropriate. A qualified attorney can assist you in reviewing your options and help you decide whether such a final settlement is in your best interest.

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