Were you or a loved one injured at work, but are not sure what you should do because of your status as a worker? These serious questions require serious attention and serious answers. That is why it is crucial that you have a trusted legal advisor at your side who can fight for your rights.
At Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias, we will listen to the details of your case, explain your options, and be there with you every step of the way. Contact us online or call us at 484-679-5239 for a free consultation with one of our Chester County Workers’ Compensation lawyers about your rights and the value of your work-related injury claim.
What is Workers’ Compensation and What Does it Cover?
The Workers’ Compensation Act was originally adopted in 1915 and was designed as a statewide, no-fault insurance system providing benefits to compensate all workers who were injured and subsequently suffered medical expenses and lost wages. Generally, all workers in Pennsylvania are entitled to workers’ compensation payments for an injury or occupational disease that occurred or was sustained during the course of employment.
The Workers’ Compensation Act applies to every injury or occupational disease that a worker may sustain during the course and scope of their employment. Some of the most common injury types seen under the workers’ compensation system include:
- Back injuries
- Traumatic Brain injuries
- Back, Neck, and Soft tissue injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Knee injuries
- Heart attack
- And many more
While the act primarily covers injuries that occur inside the state of Pennsylvania, it can also cover accidents and subsequent injuries that occur outside of state lines under certain circumstances. In addition to covering all injuries and occupational diseases that occur during the course and scope of employment, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act even applies if a worker has a pre-existing condition, which is either known or unknown to the employer.
Can Undocumented Workers Receive Workers’ Compensation?
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation System covers any employee who is injured within the state. The Act goes on to provide that an employee is considered any person who performs service for another in exchange for valuable consideration, which is often money. In addition to regular full-time employees, part-time workers, as well as seasonal workers, are also covered under the protections of the worker’s compensation system.
However, while the workers’ compensation system covered every employee in the state many people are curious as to whether an undocumented worker who is injured on the job would be entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits and payments. However, while every worker is entitled to workers’ compensation payments it is not always clear whether or not an undocumented worker is entitled to these benefits. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has addressed the issue of whether or not an undocumented worker would be entitled to workers’ compensation payments. In the case of Reinforced Earth Co. v. WCAB 810 A. 2d 99. Pa. (2002)
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that undocumented workers disability benefits may be limited, depending on the workers’ ability to work. The court went on to hold that such injury must inhibit a worker from engaging in any meaningful work. While some employers may cry foul and claim that an undocumented worker should not be entitled to workers’ compensation payments the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that for public policy reasons all workers are entitled to workers’ compensation payments.
What Should a Worker do After an Injury on a Work Site?
As noted above, all employees in Pennsylvania are entitled to workers’ compensation payments which may encompass payments for lost wages, medical expenses, specific loss payments, payments for disfigurement, and even death benefits. However, in order to take advantage of these benefits even if you are an undocumented worker you are required to report your injury to your employer as well as provide medical evidence through an independent medical examination.
If you have been injured on the job, then your first obligation is to report your injury to your employer within one hundred and twenty days of your injury in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, after you have been injured on a worksite it is important that you seek medical attention and care after an accident. This can help a worker in multiple ways. Not only will proper medical care help ensure that an undocumented worker’s condition does not deteriorate, but it can also provide an evidentiary basis for a worker’s compensation claim. After you have reported your injury to your employer they will be required to file a claim with their own workers’ compensation insurance provide within 21 days of you filing a report of your injury. In many instances an employer will compensate you for your lost wages as well as any medical expense that make be related to your work injury, however, in other instances, an employer will reject your claim.
Our Delaware County Worker’s Compensation Attorneys Fight for You
The Delaware County worker’s compensation attorneys at Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias bring a combined total of 60 years of experience to your work-related injury claim. Please contact us immediately upon sustaining an injury from a work-related accident or activity in any Southeast Pennsylvania workplace located in Delaware County, Chester County, Berks County, Bucks County, Montgomery County or Philadelphia County. Our Delaware County Workers’ Compensation lawyers can advise you on the best strategy for maximizing benefits, whether as a lump-sum cash settlement or ongoing benefits. We will listen to the details of your case, explain your options, and be there with you every step of the way. Contact us online or call us at 484-679-5239 for a free consultation with one of our Chester County Workers’ Compensation lawyers about your rights and the value of your work-related injury claim.