NEPA Work Injury: Pa. Workers Compensation Question

Date: February 18, 2012
Posted In: DLP Law
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Question: I was injured on the job, but I don’t think my boss has workers compensation insurance. What can I do? Patrick S., Scranton, Pa.
Answer: The fact that your employer does not have workers compensation insurance coverage is problematic. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have no remedy. On November 9, 2006, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed. Rendell signed Act 147 into law. Act 147 established and funded the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund (“the Fund”) which provides benefits to injured employees of uninsured employers. The injured worker must notify the Fund within 45 days after the injured worker knew that the employer did not have workers comp uninsurance. The injured worker must also be able to prove all of the other elements of a workers compensation claim (that the injury occurred at work, that the injured worker was an employee, that the injury is disabling, etc.).  Act 147 prohibits an injured worker from filing a claim petition against the Fund until at least 21 days after notice of a claim is made to the Fund.
An employer who fails to carry workers compensation insurance also faces serious criminal and civil penalties under Pennsylvania law.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.