Most of us do not spend much time thinking about what will happen if we became sick or injured on the job and are unable to work. However, the reality is that many workers will suffer a work-related illness or injury at some point in their career. In 2010 alone, 85,560 lost-time work injury and illness cases were reported to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Pennsylvania employers are generally required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. The coverage provides medical and wage replacement benefits to employees who become sick or injured on the job. This system benefits both employers and workers. Injured workers receive benefits if they become unable to work and need medical care. Employers and co-workers are protected against lawsuits filed by injured workers.
The following are the few conditions under which an injured worker can file a lawsuit against an employer:
- Employer fails to obtain the required insurance under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Employers are generally safeguarded against personal injury claims resulting from workplace injuries. However, injured workers can sue the company if the employer fails to maintain workers’ compensation insurance.
- Worker has an occupational disease not covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
- Worker is injured outside the scope of employment. For example, an off-duty construction worker is injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a company truck. He is outside the scope of his employment and can file a lawsuit against his employer.
- Employer intentionally injures the worker for personal reasons.
Workers’ compensation is a compromise between workers and employers. The idea is that workers give up the right to sue employers in exchange for timely reimbursement of work-related injuries. If you have a work-related illness or injury and have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Schmidt Kramer. The number is (717) 888-8888 and the consultation is free. Alternatively, you may wish to download the book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured at Work? for more information.