Employees who are injured at work may be eligible to receive compensation for medical care and lost wages and may even be granted a specific loss award.
Many workers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are injured or killed in workplace accidents every year. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, in 2013, 4,405 workers were killed while performing their duties. This equates to approximately 12 deaths per day and 85 fatalities a week. While not every workplace accident results in a fatality, many result in workplace injuries that allow injured workers to become eligible for certain benefits.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, employees who incur an injury while at work may be eligible to receive the following benefits:
- Payments for lost wages-workers who become fully disabled, partially disabled or unable to work after a work-related accident occurs may be able to receive a portion of their pre-injury earnings.
- Medical care-in the event of an injurious workplace accident, employees are entitled to receive any medical or surgical services needed to recover from their injuries. This may include hospital treatment and services, medicine, supplies, prostheses and orthopedic appliances.
- Specific loss compensation-a specific loss award may be granted to injured employees who are no longer able to use a part of their thumb, arm, leg, foot, toe, finger or hand or who experience a serious or permanent disfigurement to their head, neck or face.
Employees seeking medical care after incurring an injury at work are free to choose the healthcare provider they want to see unless their employer accepts their claim and has posted a list of six or more physicians or healthcare providers in the workplace. If this is the case, injured employees are required to see one of the physicians on this list for their initial treatment.
Not every injury is covered
Some employees mistakenly believe that their medical bills will be covered and that they will be eligible to receive a portion of their lost wages in any accident that occurs that is related to their workplace duties. However, the PDLI states that any injury that is self-inflicted or occurs because the employee violated the law by taking illegal drugs or participating in another prohibited activity will not be covered under workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, employees may not receive benefits if they were intoxicated at the time of the accident.
However, in some situations, employees in Pennsylvania may file a claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace accident occurs and find that their claim was denied. If you were injured in a workplace accident and you were denied benefits, speak with an attorney to find out what legal steps you should take next.