Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws are very complex. If you have been injured during the scope of your employment, you’re likely wondering, “what are my rights” and “what am I able to recover?” Here is a basic guideline to what you are entitled to be compensated for if you are injured during the scope of your employment.
Please keep in mind that opting for workers’ compensation surrenders your right to sue your employer. Therefore, we advise you to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney before choosing to exercise your right to workers’ comp. Additionally, everyone’s case is different and an attorney should be obtained to inform you about what your specific rights are according to your personal circumstances.
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws allow for the recovery of the following:
- Medical Benefits — If you are injured during the scope of your employment, you are entitled to have your medical expenses covered by your employer. This will cover the medical costs for seeing a doctor, as well as any medical procedures such as necessary and reasonable surgeries. If your employer has posted a list of of six or more medical providers that you must see, you must choose one of the doctors that the employer provides you with during the first 90 days. If your employer has fulfilled this requirement and you see your own doctor, you may not be entitled to be reimbursed for these expenses.
- Lost Wages — If you are unable to work because of a work-related injury, you can be compensated for two-thirds of the wages you lost due to being out of work up to a weekly maximum. In some cases, offsets for Social Security, severance pay, or unemployment compensation benefits may be applied. Additionally, if you are able to return to work, but only on light duty, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of the difference between your current weekly wage and your average weekly wage from the prior year.
- Specific Loss — If your injury is severe and has caused disfigurement of the face or neck or has caused the loss of an arm, finger, hand, leg, foot, toe, hearing, or sight, you are entitled to an additional monetary award. Another thing you must know is that the injury doesn’t require a total loss. If you have an injured a body part and that body part is deemed “a loss for all practical intents and purposes,” you can still seek compensation for a specific loss. In other words, if a body part is severely harmed to the point where a full recovery cannot be made and the impairment is permanent, you can still recover for a special loss.