Generally, if you were hurt on the job, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. I say generally, because in most cases, work injuries are covered.
Are there instances where a work injury may not be compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act? Yes, there are certain defined employer affirmative defenses that could potentially cause your work injury to be non-compensable. So what are these affirmative defenses?
Intentionally Self-Inflicted Injury
If an injured worker intentionally inflicts harm on one self, then the injury is not compensable under the Act. Think of a suicide. In most cases, suicides on the job would not be compensable under the death benefits of the Act. Likewise, if you intentionally injured yourself for some reason, your work injury may not be compensable.
Violation of the Law
If the employee is injured while violating a law, your claim may be barred. The most common incident here is illegal drug use when the injury occurs. This is fact heavy and there is room for various legal arguments. If you commit a crime at work and get injured during the commission of the crime, your claim may be barred. Classification of crimes, felony, misdemeanor, or summary offenses, have different impacts on compensability. If this may apply to you, call Mooney Law right away to discuss. Consultations are free.
Violation of a Positive Work Order
If an employer provides an explicit work order to do or not do something, and a violation of that order results in a work injury, the work injury may not be compensable. This is very fact heavy, the employer must meet all necessary elements, and legal arguments can be made to refute the defense. If this may apply to you, call Mooney Law right away to discuss. Consultations are free.
If an injury is caused by a third person at the place of employment because of personal issue between the third party and injured worker, it may bar the claim. Just like above, this is raised at times, and the defense can be defeated. . If this may apply to you, call Mooney Law right away to discuss. Consultations are free.
Intoxication does not have to be limited to alcohol, but can include illegal substances. The burden is on the employer to prove that the injury would NOT have occurred, but for the intoxication. It is not clear cut. If this may apply to you, call Mooney Law right away to discuss. Consultations are free.
This affirmative defense does not serve as an exclusion to workers compensation benefits, but it certainly impacts benefits. Undocumented workers can have benefits suspended when released to light duty.
A worker who is injured during a hostile military attack on the United States is not eligible for workers compensation benefits.
Workers Compensation is a complex area of law that required experience. Mooney Law has represented thousands of injured workers across Pennsylvania and has collected tens of millions of dollars in benefits. Don’t risk you rights and benefits. Don’t put your trust in an insurance carrier. Call Mooney Law today for a FREE CONSULTATION at 717-200-HELP or 833-MOONEYLAW. For more information, visit our main website at http://www.mooney4law.com.