If a Pennsylvania employee gets hurt at work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. State law requires that employers who directly hire workers provide coverage. The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation program theoretically helps injured individuals pay for the cost of their medical treatment and cover basic living expenses while they cannot work.

Both injuries and medical conditions caused by employment, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are sometimes eligible for coverage. Employees must notify their employer of their condition in order to secure benefits. Sometimes, workers believe they are ineligible and make no effort to pursue benefits despite having health issues that clearly relate to their employment. For example, if workers worry that an employer could blame them for an incident, they may not seek the benefits that they require.

Can security camera footage or the presence of a witness mean that an employee is ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

Proof of fault rarely affects claims

Fault is an important consideration in many types of injury claims. Someone who causes a car crash may be liable for property damage losses and injury expenses reported by other parties. However, fault is not a major consideration when someone needs workers’ compensation benefits.

The workers’ compensation program in Pennsylvania provides no-fault coverage. Even if a worker is directly to blame for their injury, they can likely still qualify for benefits. An employer would need to prove that they hurt themselves on purpose or due to chemical intoxication at work to justify an attempt to deny them benefits. Even video footage of someone mishandling a tool or slipping on their own untied shoe laces is unlikely to impact someone’s eligibility for benefits.

Quite a few workers who are eligible for benefits do not stand up for themselves because they don’t learn about their rights. No-fault workers’ compensation rules protect employers from lawsuits and protect workers from scenarios in which small mistakes leave them economically devastated. Of course, in scenarios where conflict with an employer is likely, individuals may require support while navigating the workers’ compensation system.

Learning more about the rules for Pennsylvania workers’ compensation may benefit those dealing with a job-acquired health challenge. Employees who understand their rights may feel empowered to pursue the benefits they deserve in response to developing work injuries.