When you are injured while on the job, the first thing that comes to mind is attending to your injuries. Next, you are required to inform your employer about the accident.
Informing your employer is important if you want to seek worker’s compensation. As revealed by the best employment lawyers in Philadelphia, worker’s compensation should be available from your employer in Philadelphia, PA.
Does my employer have worker’s comp in Philadelphia, PA?
Your employer should have worker’s comp in Philadelphia, PA, depending on the type of industry. Not all employers mandatorily need to have worker’s compensation.
All employers should carry worker’s comp insurance, especially business owners with more than four employees working under them.
If your employer falls under a category wherein they should carry a worker’s comp insurance and doesn’t provide it, you can seek the help of a worker’s comp attorney in Philadelphia, PA.
In Philadelphia, PA, employers should carry a licensed worker’s comp insurance from a recognized insurance carrier or State Worker’s Insurance Fund.
If the employer falls under the exception category, they can carry a worker’s comp insurance voluntarily. They can apply for approval and self-insure their employees.
The employers exempted from carrying a worker’s comp insurance include:
- People already covered under other worker’s compensation act like railroad workers, federal employees, domestic servants, longshoreman
- Agricultural workers who work less than 30 days or earn less than $1200 in a year from one employer
- Employees who have requested and granted exemption from carrying worker’s comp due to religious beliefs, executive status, and others
The employers of domestic servants can get worker’s comp if they choose to do so voluntarily. So, worker’s comp benefits should be legally available to you if your employer doesn’t fall among the exceptions.
What is the maximum worker’s comp permitted in Philadelphia, PA?
In Philadelphia, PA, injured employees are granted wage loss benefits equal to 2/3rd of their average weekly wage if the injury is work-related.
Not all injured workers are granted the same benefit under the Act. The maximum worker’s comp benefit is granted based on the fixed annual maximum rate set by the Department of Labor and Injury.
For the calendar year 2022, the maximum average weekly wage benefit is $1205. The weekly compensation rate is calculated depending on each injured employer’s average weekly wage.
For instance, if your average weekly wage falls between $1807 and $903, your benefits will be 66 2/3rd of your average weekly wage.
If your average weekly wage falls between $903 and $669, your maximum benefits will be $602.
If your average weekly wage falls below $669, your maximum comp benefits will be 90% of your average weekly wage.
The maximum compensation on average weekly wage changes each year. This year, i.e., 2022, the average weekly wage for injuries increased by 6.6%.
It generally increases yearly due to various reasons like the daily wage rate, inflation, and how rates on services are increased.
Will my employer provide worker’s comp part-time?
Yes, according to Pennsylvania law, the employee injured while on the job is liable to receive worker’s comp benefits regardless of being part-time, full-time, or seasonal.
The employees are covered by the work comp benefits for their full employment period. The coverage begins from the first day of the job itself. Also, aggravated injuries and diseases due to employment are covered under Pennsylvania’s Worker’s Compensation Act.
This means that if you were previously injured or had chronic diseases that worsened due to not getting leaves or ample rest, you can get a worker’s compensation. If your employer denies a worker’s compensation in such a situation, you have the right to sue such an employer with the help of a worker’s compensation attorney.
It is advisable to contact an experienced worker’s comp lawyer in Pennsylvania, PA, before filing a worker’s compensation lawsuit. Such a lawsuit will recover the worker’s comp you are legally entitled to.
What benefits are covered under worker’s comp in Pennsylvania, PA?
The benefits you are entitled to as part of worker’s comp in Pennsylvania, PA, include:
- Medical benefits that would cover doctor fees, hospitalization, prescription expenses, and more
- Wage loss benefits depend on your average weekly wage
- Partial disability benefits are if an employee has returned to work but receives lower wages than before the injury.
- Vocational rehabilitation provided by the state worker’s insurance fund to get training and job replacement
- Death benefits, if the injured at work results in death
Are there any penalties for not having worker’s compensation in Pennsylvania, PA?
Yes, Philadelphia employers can face civil and criminal penalties for not carrying valid work comp insurance. In case the employee is injured, and the employer does not carry the worker’s comp, the worker will be provided benefits from the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund, and the employer will be responsible for reimbursing the fund later.
When reimbursing the funds, the employer has to include the costs of the benefits on top of other costs like interest, fees, and penalties.
The employee is also open to suing the employer for not recovering the compensation for damages. When a lawsuit is filed, there are greater chances that the employer will end up compensating more than the worker’s comp insurance would have covered.
Also, if an employer fails to ‘maintain’ the worker’s comp coverage, he and other responsible individuals will be charged with a criminal offense. Such a person would be termed as guilty of a misdemeanor and have to pay a fine of $2500 and up to a year of jail time.
If the failure to maintain worker comp coverage was found intentional, it would be termed as a felony charge and have to pay fines up to $15000 and up to 7 years of jail time.
The penalties, fines, and jail time keep accumulating each day an employer fails to maintain or purchase a worker’s comp insurance.
If you are a victim of worker’s comp in Pennsylvania, PA, in any form, you can consult a worker’s comp lawyer in Pennsylvania for free. The lawyer studies your case and suggests the best possible action forward.
If it seems viable to him, a Philadelphia injury lawyer can further assist you in getting worker’s comp benefits recovered by knocking on the doors of the court of law. The right to file a lawsuit in Pennsylvania stays valid within three years of the injury. Provided the injury was reported within 120 days from the date of injury, and the claimant received treatment for injuries within 90 days of the date of injury.