Some farm workers are not covered by Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system. However, there is a lot of confusion about this issue that often leads injured farm workers to not report an injury, even though they may be eligible for benefits.
It is recommended that you discuss the situation with a licensed attorney. Medical bills from a farming injury can quickly add up, and you may be out of work because of your new physical limitations.
If you were injured in a farming accident in Franklin County, Adams County or elsewhere in South Central Pennsylvania, contact the experienced Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyers at Schmidt Kramer for a review of your claim.
Farm Workers Who Are Exempted from Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Employers are not required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for farm workers who meet either of the following criteria:
- They earn less than $1,200 per year and work 30 days or less per year
- The worker is the spouse or minor child of the employer who has not sought workers’ compensation coverage by contacting the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
Many agricultural workers may assume that they are not covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. However, unless you fit one of the exclusions above, your employer may be required to provide coverage.
You should contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney if you do not fit one of the exemptions above.
What if My Employer Does Not Have Coverage?
Unless the conditions discussed above apply, farmers are required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their workers. Failing to do so can subject the farmer to criminal charges and hefty fines.
Individuals who are held responsible for this failure could be fined up to $2,500 and spend one year in jail. If it is discovered that failure to obtain coverage was intentional, the person responsible could face a felony charge and be fined up to $15,000 for each day he or she broke the law. There could also be a prison sentence of up to seven years.
The employer could also be required to pay all benefits awarded to the injured employee by a workers’ compensation judge.
If an employee is injured on the job and finds out his employer is not properly covered by workers’ compensation insurance, he or she should contact a lawyer to learn about his or her possible legal options.
What to Do Right After a Farming Injury
There are steps that you can take immediately after a farming injury to help protect your potential claim:
Report the Accident to Your Employer
Workers’ compensation injuries must be reported to the employer within 21 days. Report the work-related injury as quickly as possible to protect your claim.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you need to visit a doctor for a work-related accident, go to your employer-approved doctor for this treatment. If your employer has a list of six or more health care providers and meets other legal requirements and you do not go to one of the approved providers, your employer may not be required to pay your medical expenses for the first 90 days of care.
Your employer should also provide you with documentation about your rights and duties under the workers’ compensation system. Follow these rules closely to help protect your claim.
Call a Lawyer
If you were injured at work and your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance or denies your claim, contact the experienced legal team at Schmidt Kramer. We can discuss your claim and your legal options during a free case review.
Call us today at (717) 888-8888. We can be reached 24/7.