There are many companies that perform work in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as other states like Delaware or New York. It’s not uncommon for a resident of Pennsylvania to get a job on a worksite or construction site in New Jersey, and vice versa. For example, a Philadelphia resident may have a job on a construction site in Cherry Hill or other parts of Jersey, or a New Jersey resident may be doing work on a worksite in Philadelphia.
When a serious work related injury happens, how do medical bills get paid? If a resident of one state gets injured in a work accident in the another state, who is responsible for paying the medical bills, such as the emergency room bill?
Medical Treatment – Workers’ Compensation Claim
In the vast majority of work accident cases, the injured worker will make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits which includes medical treatment. But what happens when a Philadelphia resident gets injured while on a job site in New Jersey? Does he or she make the workers’ compensation claim under Pennsylvania or New Jersey workers’ compensation laws?
In general, an injured worker would make a workers’ compensation claim in the state they reside in. In the hypothetical above, that would be Pennsylvania. This is what happens in most work injury cases involving a worker from another state. The worker makes a workers’ compensation claim in their home state, although there are some exceptions.
In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, workers’ compensation covers all reasonably necessary medical treatment. There are no copays or deductibles to pay. However, injured workers are usually required to see doctors selected by the workers’ compensation insurance company or employer. In New Jersey, workers’ compensation claimants must treat with doctors selected through workers’ compensation. In Pennsylvania, this is only true for the first 90 days.
Medical Treatment – No Workers’ Compensation Claim
When an injured worker does not make a workers’ compensation claim, for whatever reason, medical bills would be paid by the worker’s private health insurance. If there is no such insurance, the worker would be financially responsible for all medical bills.
Filing a Work Injury Lawsuit in Pennsylvania or New Jersey
In some cases, someone who is injured in a work accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey may have a valid legal case. While employers are usually not able to be sued for a work related injury, other parties certainly can. Injured workers who succeed in their work injury lawsuits may obtain fair financial compensation for past medical bills, even if they were paid through workers’ compensation or a private health insurance plan. If a claim for past medical bills is successful, the injured worker would be required to reimburse the workers’ compensation carrier or private health insurance carrier. In addition to medical bills, claims may be made for lost wages, out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering. For more information, visit the work injury law library.
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