Workers injured on the job often have a hard time returning to work, and they might lose substantial income. The Workers’ Compensation system is designed to help injured employees while they recover.
Employers are required by law to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, and failure to do so might lead to legal penalties. You may claim Workers’ Compensation if you are injured at work, regardless of who is at fault. To be eligible for Workers’ Compensation, you must be considered an employee within the legal definition of the term, and your injuries must be compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Your compensation depends on your average weekly income and may be subjective to certain maximum and minimum rates. Your employer cannot fire you or take any other adverse employment actions against you because you filed for Workers’ Compensation.
If you were hurt while working, you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim to continue supporting yourself and your family while you recover. For a free review of your case, call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.
When You Can Claim Workers’ Compensation in Levittown, PA
Workers’ Compensation may apply to any employees injured on the job. Generally, the injury must have occurred in the course of the employee’s job duties. For example, an employee injured in the parking lot outside their office after they clock out of work might not be covered by Workers’ Compensation because they were not on the job. However, an employee injured while on the clock and performing their regular duties would likely be covered.
Additionally, Workers’ Compensation likely does not cover employees who purposely injure themselves or intentionally cause the accident that led to their injuries. However, an injured employee might still be covered even if the accident was their own fault as long as they did not intentionally cause the accident.
Coverage begins on your first day of employment. There is no waiting or probation period before Worker’s Compensation coverage kicks in. This means it could be your first day on the job or your 1,000th day; you are still covered. Our Levittown, PA Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you start your claim.
Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation in Levittown, PA
Workers’ Compensation tends to cover a broad array of people and employees. In fact, most employees are covered by Workers’ Compensation unless the law specifically excludes them. Even so, you should discuss a few eligibility criteria with our Levittown, PA Workers’ Compensation lawyers. First, you must be considered an employee within the meaning of the law. Second, your injury must be compensable under the Worker’s Compensation Act.
Must Be an Employee
Workers’ Compensation only applies to people who are legally considered employees. An employee is defined rather broadly and includes most people performing some work or labor for payment, although there are certain exclusions. Independent contractors are typically not considered employees and are not covered by Workers’ Compensation.
The Workers’ Compensation Act defines employee under 1915 Act 338 § 104 and includes anyone performing a service for someone else for valuable consideration (i.e., payment). In fact, the term is so broadly defined that it is probably easier to list workers who are not considered employees. Generally, workers whose job duties are casual and not in the regular course of their employer’s business are not legally considered employees.
Must Have a Compensable Injury
Your injuries must be considered compensable under the Workers’ Compensation laws. A compensable injury is one incident to your job. This includes physical injuries like broken bones, cuts, head injuries, and most other injuries. It also includes occupational diseases that arise because of your work. For example, if your job involves a lot of heavy lifting and you develop severe back problems over time, you might be able to claim Workers’ Compensation.
Injuries that are not considered compensable are usually separate from your job. For example, if you leave your job on your lunch break and get into a car accident, your injuries are likely not compensable under Workers’ Compensation. Similarly, purposefully self-inflicted injuries or injuries caused by your own intoxication are not considered compensable. If you are unsure whether your injuries are covered, speak to our Levittown, PA Workers’ Compensation attorneys about your case.
Possible Workers’ Compensation Awards in Levittown, PA
According to the Department of Labor and Industry, injured workers are entitled to two-thirds of the average weekly wages they earned before they were injured. The more you earned pre-injury, the higher this award will likely be. Not everyone earns a steady paycheck, so determining an average weekly income can be difficult. For example, if your job pays you based on commission rather than according to an hourly rate or salary, your income might vary throughout the year. Our Levittown, PA Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you calculate an accurate weekly average so you get the most compensation possible.
Workers’ Compensation is not unlimited, and you might run into a maximum limit for compensation. The maximum limit is based on the average statewide weekly income and is re-calculated annually. For 2022, the maximum compensation, according to the statewide weekly average, is $1,205. Injured workers with an average weekly income of $669.43 or less may be entitled to 90% of their average weekly wage under the Workers’ Compensation system.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming Workers’ Compensation in Levittown, PA?
Your employer cannot take adverse action against you because you filed for Workers’ Compensation. On the one hand, employers should have no reason to retaliate against injured workers who file for compensation. Worker’s Compensation protects not only injured workers but also employers. Employers cannot be sued under the Workers’ Compensation system, thus shielding them from liability.
Unfortunately, some employers do not want their workers to file claims. Sometimes, they know the worker was injured because of an unsafe work environment or a failure to meet safety standards. In some cases, an injured worker’s claim might catch the attention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the employer might be in some trouble.
Regardless, if your employer fires you, demotes you, or reduces your pay because you filed a Workers’ Compensation claim, you should speak to our attorneys immediately.
Call Out Levittown, PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Help
If you were hurt at work, the Workers’ Compensation system can help you continue earning an income while you recover. Our Levittown, PA Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you assess your potential claim in a free case review. Call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 for help.