What Does Workers' Compensation Cover? | Scartelli Olszewski
worker injured on the job - covered by workers' compensation

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

If you were hurt through the negligence of another person outside of work, you could sue them and hold them accountable for all of your suffering, including your medical bills, your recovery, damages to your property, and your lost wages. But is the same true when you get hurt at work? With the way workers’ compensation works, not necessarily.

In Pennsylvania, most employers are required to offer workers’ compensation coverage. Most will hire an outside insurance agency that will reimburse employees who are injured on the job. This reimbursement is what is called workers’ compensation. What the law also specifies is how much that coverage needs to cover, which isn’t everything. Even with the most honest workers’ compensation insurance providers, this means they won’t have to give you as much as you need, and there’s a limit on how much you can seek through workers’ compensation.

It’s common for an insurance company to claim that your injury isn’t covered by workers’ compensation, or that their policy doesn’t cover as much as you need. It’s also common for people to have to sue for personal injury damages to get the compensation necessary to survive.

The personal injury attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. have been helping clients get compensation for their injuries at work for years. If your employer or their insurance isn’t providing you with the compensation you need, contact us for help.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

While an employer or insurance provider can provide more coverage than their competition, there is a minimum of coverage they are required by the state to provide for workplace injuries. This doesn’t mean they can’t deny coverage if they can prove your injury doesn’t qualify for workers’ compensation. This means that once you qualify, this is the minimum that they must offer:

  • Wage loss coverage: Your employer’s insurance should either provide you a sum for your recovery equal to the amount of time you’ll spend out of work, or pay your wages/salary until you can return to work or until you can seek out new employment.
  • Medical coverage: Your employer’s insurance should cover any services given to you by a physician or medical provider. This includes the tests to diagnose your injury, along with treatment or surgeries to treat it.
  • Recovery: If you require prescription drugs or medical supplies to help you through your recovery, workers’ compensation should pay for it. This would also include any surgeries and treatments for fixing non-life-threatening deformities caused by the accident.

What is Considered a Workers’ Comp Case?

Workplace injuries do not have to be broken bones, internal damage from a fall, or cuts or lacerations to your skin. They can also include diseases or conditions you contracted or developed due to your job, or old injuries that were worsened due to your job.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Not Cover?

There are three things that workers’ compensation doesn’t have to cover, one of which is covered by a personal injury case. The other two are benefits that can only be applied to a situation that includes the workplace.

  • Pain and suffering: While physical pain that can be treated with prescriptions is covered if a doctor believes it necessary, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover emotional pain and suffering. Personal injury cases can have what is called punitive damages, which are meant to punish the person who caused the accident. Workers’ compensation cases don’t have that. You cannot seek to punish your employer through workers’ compensation.
  • Job security: You are not promised your job once you recover. Your employer can cover your medical bills, provide pay for lost wages, and terminate your employment all at the same time. They may be likely to do so if your injury leaves you in danger of another injury in the future, or leaves you unable to do your job.
  • Contract benefits: If your employment contract promised you added benefits such as a parking spot, use of the company car, or added medical coverage beyond the bills for your injury, they do not have to keep offering it to you with workers’ compensation.

What Should You Do If You Don’t Receive the Workers’ Compensation You Deserve?

To get workers’ compensation, you need to submit a report and file for it. Having a personal injury attorney assist you can help ensure there are no holes an insurance company can use to deny you coverage. Once that happens, they should offer you compensation to cover your injury and recovery. If they deny you or offer you an amount that doesn’t provide the coverage you need, we can seek legal action against your employer and their insurance provider.

The personal injury attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. have extensive experience fighting companies and large corporations who think they can leave workers to suffer. We will fight for you so you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today if you’ve been injured on the job before you file for workers’ compensation.

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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