Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Saturday, April 26, 2014

What isn't covered by Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws?

No one wants to deal with a debilitating work-related injury or illness. After all, many working families depend on a regular stream of income to make ends meet. Getting injured on the job seemingly disrupts a person's earning potential. However, Pennsylvania residents can rest easy knowing that state workers' compensation laws cover nearly every worker.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, employers within the state are generally required to carry workers' compensation insurance for all of their employees. This means that an individual who suffers an injury or illness as a result of work-related duties can seek financial coverage through the insurance policy.

Although Pennsylvania law casts a wide net in protecting injured workers, there are some limitations to coverage. Insurers might deny a claim for coverage in the following circumstances:

  • The employee intentionally caused serious injury or death.
  • The injury was caused by a worker's violation of the law.
  • Drug or alcohol use contributed to the accident or injury.

Of course, it's easy to see a circumstance in which an insurer may try to wrongfully deny benefits based on these criteria. For example, a person may have been hurt at work and a subsequent toxicology screening showed marijuana use. Even if the injured worker was not under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident in question, the insurer may make a case for benefit denial. In this scenario, determining the correct outcome could be very difficult.

When a worker faces the pressure of a denied claim for coverage, it may be helpful to seek assistance. After all, workers' compensation law is complex and handling a claim alone may feel overwhelming. In the end, injured workers simply make sure they have the resources necessary to make a complete recovery.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, "Workers' Compensation & the Injured Worker," accessed April 25, 2014


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