What Do I Need To Prove In a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Case?

Date: January 13, 2018

Pennsylvania Workers Compensation

If you are injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to receive workers compensation benefits. In order to establish a valid claim for benefits in a Pennsylvania workers comp case, you need to establish :

1) Is there an “Employment Relationship”? Sometimes, this is simple to prove. To do this, you need to prove that you were performing services for another person or business entity for valuable consideration (i.e. pay or wages). If you go to work every day and punch a clock when you get to work, you could easily prove that you are in an employer/employee relationship. But sometimes, legal questions arise as to whether there is an employment relationship as opposed to an independent contractor relationship. In such situations, the facts are reviewed to assess the amount of direction or control that the alleged employer has over the alleged employee.

2) Is there an actual injury? Something must occur that caused injury to someone on the job. This could be mental or physical.

3) Did this injury occur in the course and scope of employment? The injured worker must establish that the injury occurred while the employee was actually engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer.

4) Did the injury results in disability or death? One must show that, as a result of the work injury, the injured worker was either unable to perform work activities or their work capabilities were reduced.

5) There must also be valid Pennsylvania jurisdiction. If the injury occurred in Pennsylvania, jurisdiction under the PA Workers Compensation act would apply. If the injury occurred outside of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania  jurisdiction would apply in certain circumstances including if the employment is principally localized in PA., if the employee is working under a contract for hire made in pa. and the employment is not principally localized in any state, etc.

If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at tcummings@dlplaw.com or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.

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.