Employers in the state of PA who hire individuals to work for them are required by law to purchase and carry workers’ compensation insurance. While most employees are entitled to receive benefits under their employer’s policy from the first day of work, there are exceptions to this as some individuals simply are not eligible for coverage. For example, some federal employees, as well as agricultural workers who work fewer than 30 days or earn less than $1,200 in a calendar year from one employer, are not eligible to be covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation policy [Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry].
Now that you have a basic understanding of who is covered by workers’ compensation insurance in PA, it is important to recognize when you are entitled to receive benefits under this portion of your employer’s insurance coverage. Generally, when a person suffers an injury while performing an activity that falls within the scope of their employment, they are covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. While most work-related accidents occur on-site, there are times when incidents transpire outside of the workplace setting. For example, let’s say you were required to travel for business and had to spend a few days out of town. While performing your duties for your employer, you engaged in an accident that left you injured and in need of medical treatment.
Like most people, you’re probably wondering whether you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim so that you aren’t held responsible for paying your medical bills and can even collect money for the time you may have spent away from work. Under most circumstances, yes, you likely can file a claim and reap the benefits of your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage, however, there are instances where you are prevented from doing so. Let’s explore a few of those below.
When might I not be covered for an accident that occurred while on an out of town on a business trip?
Some potential reasons why you might not be covered for an accident that occurred while traveling for business-related purposes include, but are not limited to:
- You extended your stay beyond what your employer required of you and then engaged in an accident. Let’s say your employer only required you to stay out of town for three days but you decided to stay five instead. On the fifth day, you engaged in an accident that left you suffering injuries. Although the trip started as a business venture, it transitioned into a vacation as your employer did not requireyou to be out of town for those last two days. While your employer’s insurer may decide to cover you, the likelihood of this is slim.
- You behaved recklessly which led up to the incident occurring. Let’s say you had to spend a day mingling with clients and as the day went on, you consumed too many alcoholic beverages which then led to you engaging in an accident. Although you were stillparticipating in a work-related event, your reckless behavior (i.e. drinking too much) caused you to get hurt. In this case, it is unlikely that your employer will want to cover the incident.
What if my employer’s insurer doesn’t want to pay my claim?
In the event you received a denial notice from your employer’s insurer stating that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation, then you should definitely consider scheduling an initial consultation with a Philadelphia, PA accident attorney to find out more about what steps you should take. The PA accident lawyers at Metzger & Kleiner can assess the incident to determine what benefits you are entitled to, if any, and what you need to do to receive them.
Metzger & Kleiner can be reached at:
1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd. 1204
Philadelphia, PA 19102