What Does Workers Compensation Cover?

June 14, 2013

Ms. Doutrich uses her company-provided car to drive between appointments at different sites as a field adjuster for an insurance company. One day, she ventured out of her car to help clear the road of debris from an earlier accident and slipped, injuring her knee and thumb. Ms. Doutrich claimed workers compensation benefits, but her employer contested the claim. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board affirmed in March 2013 that Ms. Doutrich was considered a travelling employee under Pennsylvania law, and that her offer to help clear debris was incidental to her employment.

Under Pennsylvania law, if you suffer an injury or illness in the course of your employment you can claim workers compensation benefits. This includes compensation for:

  • Physical injuries, such as back injuries from heavy lifting
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Occupational diseases, such as asbestosis from exposure to asbestos
  • Existing conditions made worse by your work activity
  • Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder following a severe injury

To be entitled to claim workers compensation benefits, you need to be able to show that your injury can be directly linked to your work. In this case, although Ms. Doutrich went out of her way to help clear the road, it was nevertheless deemed related to her need to travel for work purposes, and as such, her injuries were considered to have been suffered in the course of her employment.

If you have suffered an injury and are not sure whether it is covered by workers compensation, you should consider contacting a knowledgeable Berks County workers compensation attorney for detailed guidance.