You may know that most Pennsylvania workers have the right to certain benefits if they suffer an injury at work. However, there are many misconceptions about how this process works, and unfortunately, they can keep some workers from seeking the benefits to which they have a rightful claim.
From what your employer should do after a work accident to understanding if your injury even qualifies you for benefits, you would be wise to know your rights and to know how to protect your entitlements. When you have a clear understanding of how to seek and obtain workers’ compensation benefits, you will be better prepared to successfully navigate the claims process.
Are you covered?
In most cases, the law requires that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. While there are exceptions to this, most workers are eligible for benefits in the event they suffer an injury at work, suffer physically because of a work accident or suffer because of an occupational illness. You would be wise to find out if your employer carries this insurance and if your particular job affords you in the ability to seek benefits in case of a work injury.
Debunking common misconceptions
One of the most important things you can do after a work accident is to understand if the circumstances of your accident and injuries make you eligible for benefits. Some of the most common misconceptions about workers’ compensation include the following:
- I’m not eligible because my accident involved alcohol. If you suffered an injury while at a work party or function, you could be eligible for benefits, even if alcohol was involved.
- I don’t have a claim because I suffered no physical harm. In some cases, claimants who experienced significant mental trauma at work could have a valid claim to benefits.
- My claim is not valid because my injury did not originate at work. If your job or job accident exacerbated a preexisting condition, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- My injury happened during my lunchtime, so I am not eligible. If you suffered an injury at work during your lunch break, you could be eligible for benefits if you got hurt in a company lunchroom or because of your boss was involved in the situation in some way.
Do not allow misconceptions to hold you back from getting the benefits you need for medical care, recovery of lost wages and more. If you are unsure of where to begin, you would be prudent to seek a complete explanation of your rights and how you should proceed according to the details of your unique situation.