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What Injuries/Illnesses Are Covered by Workers' Compensation?

Work Injury

If you were hurt at work and are trying to navigate Pennsylvania workers' compensation, chances are you have questions. You may be wondering about coverage, especially if you're too hurt to return to work.

We've compiled a list of common questions with answers to help you get started. Many workers' compensation claims are complicated, however, and you may need an attorney's advice. If you contact our law firm for a free legal consultation, we can talk about these questions and more and you'll have no obligation to use our services. You can submit your information at the top right of this page or call 412-394-1000 24/7.

Coverage FAQs

What injuries and illnesses are covered?

The majority of all injuries and illnesses caused by a work-related accident or a condition are covered under Pennsylvania workers' compensation. You may request workers' compensation payments even if you are at fault for your work injury.

The only injuries that may occur in the workplace and are not covered under workers' compensation are:

  • Injuries that are intentionally self-inflicted, including suicide
  • Injuries caused by your own intoxication or illegal drug use
  • Injuries that result when a co-worker attacks you for personal reasons
  • Injuries that result when a person unrelated to your employer or your workplace attacks you for some reason not related to your job
  • Injuries caused by breaking the law

Furthermore, accidents that occur while traveling to or from work or during breaks generally do not qualify for Pennsylvania workers' compensation.

Under workers' compensation laws in Pennsylvania, can you receive payments for repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel?

Yes. If you can prove that your injury is work-related, you could request workers' compensation payments. Jobs that require repetitive motions to perform them can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and other disorders.

Who is responsible for providing workers' compensation benefits?

Your employer is required by law to provide workers' compensation coverage to their employees. Those who are self-employed may be rare exceptions to this law. In the same way that it's required by law to have car insurance but plenty of drivers are still uninsured, employers are required to have workers' compensation coverage but some neglect to carry it.

Are all workers covered under Pennsylvania workers' compensation?

Most Pennsylvania full-time and part-time workers are covered by the Workers' Compensation Act. Even if an employer only has one employee, that employee is covered. Generally, those who are not covered are self-employed.

Coverage begins from the first day of employment.

Can you sue your employer or co-worker for causing your injury or illness?

No, you can't sue your employer or co-worker for causing your injury or illness. You can only file for workers' compensation to pay for your lost wages and medical bills. You are not paid for pain and suffering from your work injury.

There are two exceptions:

  • If your injury or illness was caused by a defective product, you may have a personal injury case against the manufacturer of the product.
  • If a co-worker assaults you based on a personal matter; you may be able to file a civil or criminal lawsuit against your co-worker.