If you are a Pennsylvania worker who suffers injuries or illness due to your on-the-job duties, you are eligible to file for worker’s compensation benefits. However, your company may still reject your claim and deny your benefits.
Some companies try to keep costs down by routinely denying legitimate worker’s comp cases. They lose some in the long run when workers appeal and prevail, but enough give up that the company does save some money. While that sounds like (and is) a disrespectful way to treat an injured employee, there are some workers’ injuries that companies bear no liability to cover.
Injuries workers’ comp won’t cover
If you were injured in any of the following scenarios, you will likely get denied workers’ compensation benefits:
- Injuries suffered in a fight the injured worker initiated
- Injuries resulting from horseplay
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Accidents and injuries occurring off the clock
- Injuries to independent contractors
This list is not inclusive of each circumstance where employers are within their rights to deny coverage and compensation for workplace injuries.
There can be gray areas
Take the example of injuries resulting from horseplay that went awry. The term “horseplay” implies that two or more workers were goofing around and that their joint actions caused the noncovered injury. But suppose what actually happened was more like the hazing of a new crew member than consensual horseplay that injured the new hire.
That could make all the difference. But don’t expect your company to tell you that! It’s never going to happen. Learning all the different ways Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws affect your case can make a big difference in whether you lose or prevail.