Pennsylvania’s law of workers’ compensation provides many essential benefits to injured workers. Pennsylvania law provides workers compensation benefits for the following:
The first part of this article identified certain elements of a workers’ compensation claim that the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act does not cover including vocational rehabilitation, psychological problems, pain and suffering, and some disfigurement. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law also does not cover incidental damages and losses related to quality of life, reproduction and loss of consortium, briefly discussed below.
Work-related injuries may significantly affect a worker’s personal life by impairing or reducing the ability to engage in hobbies, athletics, and even family relationships. However, despite what many people would consider serious losses, there is no compensation payable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act for diminished enjoyment of life in these situations.
The Act also does not compensate cases of sterility, impotency, miscarriage or other resulting conditions that affect an injured worker’s ability to procreate. An injury must affect a worker’s earning capacity to be compensable. Because it is presumed that the loss of the ability to reproduce does not affect earning capacity, such an injury is non-compensable.
Loss of consortium provides for a spouse’s loss of services that result from a personal injury and is an element of causes of action involving negligence claims, such as those in a motor vehicle accident. However, neither spouse has a claim for loss of consortium that results from a work-related injury.
Incidental or consequential damages for secondary losses resulting from a work-related injury are not compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. For example, an injured worker forced to pay someone to perform domestic chores because of the worker’s inability to perform them, may not recover for these out-of-pocket expenses under Pennsylvania law. An exception to this rule is the necessary modifications to a residence because a work-related injury has resulted in the inability to navigate steps or other locations without devices such as a wheelchair.
At Powell Law, we effectively assist clients throughout the entire workers’ compensation claims process. Powell Law has litigated Pennsylvania workers compensation actions and obtained benefits for injured Pennsylvania workers in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area for over a century. Consult an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE!