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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.

Many workers who are injured on the job want to know whether they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and how to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Below are some of the basic nuts and bolts of workers’ compensation law in Pennsylvania. Part B of this article discusses the types of benefits available and some common exclusions.

PA Workers’ Compensation Benefits – Eligibility

In order to establish a right to workers’ compensation benefits, the following elements must be met:

  1. an employment relationship,
  2. an accident or injury,
  3. which arose in the course and scope of employment, and
  4. is related to the employment.

This basically means that in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in PA, the injured worker must have been injured at work, on the job. Independent contractors are usually not considered employees for the sake of receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Workplace injuries include not only direct injuries which occur as a result of an accident, but also aggravations of injuries. If you have questions about your workplace injury or medical condition and whether you’re eligible for benefits, contact a work injury lawyer immediately.

Related: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation – Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

PA Workers’ Compensation Benefits – Out of State Accidents/Injuries

For accidents or injuries which happen out of the state, a worker will still be eligible for Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits so long as one of the following elements is met:

  1. the employment is principally located in Pennsylvania,
  2. the employee was working under an employment contract made in Pennsylvania, where there is no principal state of employment,
  3. the employee was working under an employment contract made in Pennsylvania, where another state’s workers’ compensation law does not apply, or
  4. the employee was working under an employment contract made in Pennsylvania for employment outside the U.S.

PA Workers’ Compensation Benefits – Reporting

Generally, injured workers must provide notice of the injury to the employer within 21 days or 3 weeks from the date of the injury. However, in most PA workers’ compensation cases, notice MUST be provided no later than 120 days of the injury. Failing to do so may result in denial of the claim. It is important to note that in some instances, an exception to the 120 day rule may allow an injured worker to notify the employer beyond the 120 days. The so called “discovery rule” exception provides that the time for giving notice of an injury does not begin to run until the employee knows of or should reasonably know of the injury and its relationship to the employment.

Related work accident 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.