What is a work injury or illness?

Workers’ compensation benefits help Pennsylvania workers get through periods of time when they cannot do their jobs because of work-related illnesses or injuries.  When a worker is harmed on the job and granted workers’ compensation benefits, it means that their claim was approved for coverage and that their harm was work-related. A worker whose claim is rejected may find that the grounds for their denial was based on their illness or injury arising from a non-work relate cause.

This post will discuss what injuries and illnesses may be deemed work-related for the purposes of workers’ compensation approvals. Readers should not interpret its contents as legal advice or guidance on their own workers’ compensation claims. Any readers with concerns about seeking workers’ compensation benefits should contact a trusted workers’ compensation attorney at their convenience.

What it means to be on the job when suffering harm

Many of the injuries that workers base their workers’ compensation claims on happen in obvious work-related settings. They may fall from scaffolding on worksite while doing their tasks, or they may suffer a crush injury while moving equipment in the warehouse of their employer. Not all work-related harm happens during business hours or even on workers’ job sites.

For example, a worker may be driving in a company vehicle for work-related purposes when then are in an accident and suffer serious harm. While they are not at work, the nature of their tasks is work-related and their claim may be considered connected to their job responsibilities. Similarly, a worker who is sent to a meeting by their employer and who is injured in an accident while at the meeting may have a workers’ compensation claim for their losses.

In some cases, workers may suffer harm while at work but their claims may be denied based on the nature of how their injuries were sustained. If a worker is alleged to have been harmed while engaged in horseplay, even if their injury happened at work, their claim may not be considered work-related and may therefore be rejected.

The case of pre-existing conditions and workers’ compensation

It is possible for some workers with pre-existing medical conditions to see workers’ compensation benefits when their jobs aggravate their conditions. For example, a worker with a bad back may find that after working on an assembly line, their back condition has gotten worse directly because of their job tasks. That worker may have a claim for workers’ compensation based on the worsening of their pre-existing conditions.

Addressing injuries and workers’ compensation claims

As previously discussed on this blog, it is important that victims of workplace harm prepare accurate and detailed claims for their workers’ compensation benefits. They must meet certain criteria for their claims to be accepted and reviewed, and workers can get help to ensure that they meet all requirements of the process. Their trusted workers’ compensation attorneys can help them from the beginning to fight for the benefits they need to get by.