I was hurt at work. Am I eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania?


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Workplace accidents are very common and can result in major injuries and disabilities. Fortunately, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation benefits scheme is designed to help workers who are injured on the job, whether it’s a construction worker who is injured in a forklift accident or an office worker who trips and falls in the office.

In most workplace accident situations, an injured worker will be eligible to make a workers’ compensation claim with the employer. However, some workers are simply ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Below are three preliminary questions which just be answered in order to determine whether an injured worker is eligible to make a workers’ compensation claim in PA.

1. Does the employer have workers’ comp insurance? If the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the employee may be able to sue the employer directly or file a claim with a special state fund.

2. Did the accident occur in the course and scope of work? Only accidents which occur during the course and scope of the employment are compensable under workers’ compensation. In other words, so long as the accident occurred when the employee was at work, the accident would be covered under workers’ compensation. If the accident did not occur at the workplace, the employee must have been engaged in the furtherance of the employer’s business or affairs. Also see Section 301(c)1) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law which lays out the statutory requirements of “course of employment.”

3. Did the employee report the accident to the employer on time? Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law, injured workers must report the injury to the employer with a certain time frame. Generally, injured workers must provide notice of the injury to the employer within 21 days. If notice was not provided within that time frame, there is a second deadline of 120 days from the date of the injury.

Related PA workers’ compensation articles:

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation & Accident Lawyer

The Philadelphia law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent represents workers who are injured on the job. Our work accident lawyers specialize in handling negligence cases against third parties and may handle workers’ compensation cases. Depending on the facts of a given work accident case, the firm may refer the workers’ compensation case to another law firm. Please call the firm for a free consultation. Click To Call

Jeff Laffey is passionate about workers’ rights and accident safety. Learn about his 2012 workplace safety presentation to union members in Philadelphia.

Jeff’s law firm proudly represents union and nonunion workers, such as:

  • carpenters,
  • plumbers,
  • electricians,
  • steel workers,
  • iron workers, and
  • laborers.

Disclaimer: The lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent provide legal advice to individuals after accepting their case. No attorney-client relationship is created by this website. Nothing on this site is intended to provide legal advice. Because every case is unique, discussion of prior outcomes and settlements in past cases is no guarantee of a similar outcome in current or future cases.