All Pennsylvania employers are required to provide workers’ compensation for their full- and part-time employees as well as seasonal workers. Workers’ compensation benefits cover part of your salary and your medical bills if you become injured on the job. But while you may be entitled to these benefits, employers don’t generally want to pay them. Their insurance companies take a loss when you receive workers’ compensation benefits, so they often fight cases in an attempt to sidestep payments.
Many employers rely on the same defenses against workers’ compensation claims. Here are a few examples of what you can expect when an employer tries to fight your claim.
False Accident Claims
Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is no-fault, which means you can receive benefits even if you’re responsible for your injury. But what if that injury is self-inflicted? On rare occasions, workers will purposely injure themselves to get out of work. Though this situation almost never takes place, employers may try to claim that you caused your injury intentionally to get time off work. This claim is difficult to prove, as they must have evidence of the deception.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
If you get injured on the job while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your employer is not responsible for workers’ compensation benefits. The employer must prove that you were under the influence to get out of providing workers’ comp. The best way to do so is through a blood test taken at the time of the accident that shows blood alcohol level or the presence of drugs in the system.
In many cases, your employer will not have access to such a test. They may try to show that you were acting drunk or under the influence of drugs by calling on eyewitnesses to testify to your state of mind. Evidence might include witness accounts of behavior indicating intoxication, such as:
- Slurring your words
- Bumping into things
- Having a glazed look on your face
Reckless Behavior on the Job
While employees may sometimes cause injuries by accident, if they engage in horseplay and ignore safety standards on purpose, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation. Your employer may try to claim that you willfully disregarded safety standards and your behavior led to your injury. They’ll attempt to prove it through witness accounts of what happened, or they may even obtain surveillance footage from the time of the accident. Horseplay might include playing around with heavy equipment or racing around the office.
Is your employer attempting to deny your benefits with these defenses or fighting you about your workers’ comp benefits in another way? Frommer D’Amico has helped many people in your situation receive the workers’ comp money they deserve. We take only workers’ comp cases, and we can come to your location for meetings. We even charge low fees to help you when you need it most. Contact us today by filling out our online form to set up a free consultation, or call 717-400-1000.