Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Worker’s Compensation Benefits for Good Samaritans

Will you be covered by worker’s compensation if you are injured rendering aid to an injured coworker?

Injuries at work are a common occurrence. You can be injured in any number of contexts including while you are actively engaged in your duties, while you are on break and even while you are preparing to begin or end your shift. Most of the time you will be covered by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. But, what if you are injured while going to the aid of one of your co-workers? Will you still be entitled for worker’s compensation benefits? The answer is that at this time it is unclear.  This very issue is the subject of a Pennsylvania case.

Franklin Pound was employed by Pipeline Systems, Inc. and was engaged in work at the Sewickley Borough Sanitation Department Plant. During work one day, a coworker of Pound’s fell into a concrete pit. Pound climbed down a ladder into the pit to assist the fallen man but found that he was already dead. When he tried to exit the pit he became overcome with methane gas, the presence of which he was unaware of, became unconscious and fell into the pit himself. As a result of the 20-foot fall and exposure to methane he sustained injuries to his back, head, leg, foot and knee as well as his lungs. 

He filed a claim with his employer for worker’s compensation benefits but was denied. The employer claimed that he was injured outside the scope of his employment. Pound appealed to the Worker’s Compensation Court and the Appeals Board. Both found in his favor. His employer then appealed and a three-judge panel at the Commonwealth Court also found for Pound. His employer has now appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and they have agreed to hear the case.

Sometimes applying for worker’s compensation benefits is only half the battle. Dealing with appeals can be very stressful.  You can increase your chances of winning your case by hiring a Montgomery and Bucks, County Pennsylvania worker’s compensation attorney today.

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