What exactly is workers’ compensation insurance?

If you have been injured due to a work-related incident, you may be concerned about how you will pay for all of the medical bills that you are incurring to treat your injury and how you will pay your household bills and other commitments while you are recovering from your injury and unable to work. The good news is that Pennsylvania has laws that require employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits for employees who are injured in any kind of accident or incident that is a result of any work duties they are performing. The following is a brief overview of how workers’ comp works. For more details about your specific case, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer Philadelphia, PA residents depend on.

What exactly is workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is taken out by employers to cover workers who become injured or sick as a result of their job duties. Under state law, certain employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Every state has its own laws, but under Pennsylvania law, any company that has at least one employee who could be injured is required to carry the insurance.

There are some exemptions to the law, including:

  •       Employees covered under other workers’ compensation laws, such as longshoremen and railroad workers
  •       Federal employees
  •       Domestic workers
  •       Agricultural workers who work less than 30 days or earn less than $1,200 in a calendar year from one employer

Your Philadelphia PA workers’ compensation lawyer can verify if you are covered.

Who will be paying my claim?

Where your benefit payments will be coming from will depend on what type of coverage your employer has. In this state, an employer can purchase their workers’ compensation insurance through a licensed insurance carrier or through the State Workers’ Insurance Fund. In some cases, an employer may wish to be self-insured. This is allowed, however, the company must first be granted approval from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

What happens if an employer does not have the required insurance?

If an employer fails to have workers’ compensation insurance, the injured worker will still be covered for medical expenses and a portion of their weekly pay under the state’s Uninsured Employers Guaranty. The state will then go after the employer for full reimbursement of all these expenses, plus interest and penalties.

The employer could also face misdemeanor criminal charges from the state with a potential penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Plus, the injured worker could sue the employer for their injuries in a personal injury lawsuit, which could result in an amount awarded much greater than what is allowed under Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws.

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If you have been injured at work, do not try to navigate through the complicated legal system on your own. Call Wieand Law Firm to speak with a dedicated Philadelphia PA workers’ compensation lawyer.

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