No. If you are injured while in the course and scope of your employment, you do not need to prove negligence. Negligence will apply if you have a 3rd party case– that is a case against some entity other than your employer, but not in your Pennsylvania Work Comp situation. For example, if you were injured in a car accident at which time you were furthering the interests of your employer, you would have a work comp claim against the employer where negligence is not an issue, but a third party case against the driver who caused the accident where negligence (ie, fault) is the critical issue.
Note, however, that injuries which are intentionally self inflicted or caused by a violation of law, will not be considered work-related injuries. But negligence isn’t part of the equation. If you were lifting boxes and failed to bend your legs in a way that would have helped to prevent the injury, it doesn’t mean you didn’t sustain a work-related injury.
The specific language of Section 301(a) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act which speaks to this issue, states, “Every employer shall be liable for compensation for personal injury to, or for the death of each employee, by an injury in the course and scope of his employment…without regard to negligence….”
Because negligence is not required in a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case, there are no pain and suffering damages available. The available benefits are for wage loss (2/3) and medical benefits- and specific loss for certain situations such as loss of use of a body part for all practical intents and purposes, amputation, binaural hearing loss, etc.
In summary then, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act sets forth a no fault scheme. The key is whether the injury was in the course and scope of employment. (believe me when I say there are hundreds of cases interpreting this language), and of course, whether the injury was disabling.
For more information about Pennsylvania Work Comp Law, call or email highly experienced PA Work Injury Lawyer, Michael Cardamone@ 215-206-9068 or Michael@cardamonelaw.com
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