Injured at Work in Pennsylvania? How Compensation is Determined


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This is probably one of the first questions most injured workers ask, and with good reason. Due to injuries, injured workers are often forced to miss time from work, and when bills pile up, financial situations can go from serious to dire in a matter of weeks.

For example, a worker is injured at a construction site in Philadelphia and has to miss 2 months of work. He makes a workers’ compensation claim with his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, and his medical bills are paid for. However, due to the work related disability, he only receives two-thirds of his weekly wage from the workers’ compensation insurance company. With kids in college and a mortgage, money is tight. The worker and his family can’t survive without 100% full income. The family falls behind and stays behind. So naturally, when the worker sees a lawyer to discuss a lawsuit against a subcontractor, his first question is how much compensation he’ll be able to get and when.

Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one. It depends on a whole host of factors, such as whether the injuries are permanent and how the injuries actually affected the workers’ life activities.

In addition, it is difficult to determine what a financial compensation award will be without knowing the facts and legal issues of the case. Lawyers who give prospective clients a premature projection of the financial award in a work accident case are doing a real disservice to their clients. Beware of lawyers who talk about monetary awards before they know the facts of the case.

Related: Jeff Laffey Gives Workplace Safety Talk at Norristown Carpenters Union Local 1595 Meeting

Workers’ Compensation – Medical Bills & Indemnity

Off the bat, a worker who is injured in a work accident in Pennsylvania can make a workers’ compensation claim in order to receive medical treatment benefits, and in cases of disability, indemnity payments. Indemnity payments are based on the worker’s average weekly wage. Generally, under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers are eligible to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage after a work related accident occurs. The amount however, is subject to a minimum and maximum limit, set by law. Each year, the minimum and maximum limits change.  As of 2014, the maximum weekly compensation rate is $932.00. This applies to accidents and injuries which occur in 2014.

The drawback of workers’ compensation is that injured workers cannot obtain compensation for pain and suffering.

Related: Pennsylvania Work Accidents – Can You Recover Pain & Suffering Damages?

Tort Claims – Was Someone Else at Fault?

In many work accident cases, another, non-employer party can be held liable for negligence which caused the accident. In these situations, the injured worker may be able to obtain fair financial compensation.

Financial compensation awards in Pennsylvania depend on three main factors:

  • medical treatment and amount of medical bills,
  • economic losses (lost wages and any other out of pocket expenses, such as home help or day care), and
  • pain and suffering (how did the injury affect or alter your ability to carry out your normal life activities?).

Related: Philadelphia Work Accident Law – Do I have a case?

Pennsylvania Work Accident Lawyers

Our lawyers are licensed in multiple states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you were injured in a work related accident and want to know if you have a viable case, please call our office for a free case assessment. Click To Call

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