“Workman’s compensation,” “Workers’ Compensation,” “workman’s comp,” “Workers’ Compensation,” and the abbreviation “WC” all refer to the same law: the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which allows injured workers to receive financial benefits while they are disabled or recovering from a workplace accident . Benefits may be awarded to replace partial wages, pay for medical treatment, and provide additional coverage for the employee or their surviving family members if the injury is fatal or exceptionally serious. This system is officially known as Workers’ Compensation, and its primary goal is helping injured workers continue to receive a paycheck and get their medical care paid for.
Workers’ compensation is sometimes a tricky system with many rules, so it is important to talk to an attorney about your Workers’ Compensation claim. If you or a loved one was injured in a workplace accident in PA, talk to our Pennsylvania workman’s comp. lawyers at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today. For a free consultation on your Workers’ Compensation claim, call our law offices today at (215) 355-6400.
The Difference Between ‘Workman’s Comp.’ and ‘Workers’ Compensation’.
Officially, the system in Pennsylvania is called “Workers’ Compensation,” as authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Act under Title 77 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. When the Act was first introduced in 1970, it was called the “Workmen’s Comp. Act.” This act, being written in the 70s, was not especially inclusive. It wasn’t until later that the name was changed to “Workers’ Compensation” to make it clear that it includes all workers, not just working men.
Before workmen’s comp., workers had to file lawsuits against their employers if they wanted compensation. This meant that the only way to get compensation was to hire a lawyer, gather evidence, and prove your employer was negligent. This means that if the employer failed to give the injured employee training or failed to perform maintenance on a dangerous piece of machinery, the injured worker might have been able to prove their employer’s negligence.
However, there were plenty of doctrines and laws that would get in the way of compensation. One especially common tool employers used was the “fellow servant rule,” which blocked an employee from suing their boss if a coworker was responsible for the injuries.
With workman’s comp. or Workers’ Compensation, you can now seek compensation without having to prove negligence. As long as the injury or condition related to your work, you should be entitled to compensation. There’s no need to prove your employer was at fault, just that the injury was work-related. You can even seek compensation for conditions or illnesses that build up over time like cancer from chemical exposure or repetitive stress and strain on the body. If your injuries were caused by intentional acts, you may be able to go to court instead of filing with Workers’ Compensation.
Getting Workman’s Comp. Benefits in Pennsylvania
If you were injured at work or suffer from a health condition related to your job, you may be able to claim Workers’ Compensation With Workers’ Compensation, your employer (through their Workers’ Compensation insurance policy) pays for any medical bills related to the incident. You also continue to receive a paycheck equal to up to 2/3 of your normal paycheck.
The medical benefits that you get through Workers’ Compensation usually cover any medical bills related to your injury or condition. Your employer or their Workers’ Compensation insurance company may provide a list of doctors you are allowed to use for your claim. This treating physician is still held to the same standards of care as any other doctor, but you must use this physician as your primary doctor for your injuries. As long as they see a treatment as necessary for your recovery, and as long as you follow their care plan, all costs should be covered.
You can only receive Workers’ Compensation if you are too injured to work. That means that you cannot get another job to cover your expenses in the meantime, and you will not be able to work to make a living. Because of this, Workers’ Compensation continues to pay you wage-loss benefits while you can’t work. These payments only last as long as your injury is expected to last. For instance, loss of an index finger will pay wage-loss benefits for 50 weeks and loss of a hand will pay wage-loss benefits for 335 weeks.
There are also rules for permanent and partial disability. If your injury leaves you unable to ever return to work, your Workers’ Compensation may still be limited to a certain amount. You can heal from even very serious injuries, but you may never be able to get back to 100%, and Workers’ Compensation can pay you for ongoing, partial disabilities.
Our Pennsylvania ‘Workman’s Comp.’ Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
Claiming Workers’ Compensation is an involved process, and you may need a lawyer during your claim. It is important to understand when you must report your injury, how to seek treatment, and how to get the payments you need. Talk to a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation lawyer for help on your case. For a free consultation on your case, call our PA workman’s comp. lawyers at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today. Our number is (215) 355-6400.