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How can an employee at fault for a work-related accident be ineligible for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania?

Accidents happen every day and everywhere. When accidents occur at work, the injured party can file workers’ compensation. In Pennsylvania, an employee who has a workplace or work-related accident cannot file a civil lawsuit for their injuries. The exclusive remedy for a job-related accident under state law is workers’ compensation.

An injured employee may receive benefits in a workers’ compensation claim, including wage compensation, coverage for medical treatment and bills, and disability benefits. Personal injury cases are also different because an injured employee cannot seek damages for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation claim. Unlike personal injury cases, workers’ compensation is a no-fault remedy. The employer is responsible for paying the compensation regardless of accident and injury resulting from negligence. Even if the employee contributed to the work-related accident, it does not prevent recovery or reduce the amount of the compensation.

Exceptions to the no-fault rule can disqualify an injured employee or deceased worker’s beneficiaries from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. A work-related injury or death that an employee intentionally self-inflicts disqualifies the employee from compensation. If the job-related accident occurred because the employee violated the law, they are ineligible for benefits. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation excludes an employee whose intoxication caused the workplace or work-related accident and resulting injuries.

When the injured employee files a claim petition with the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the employer may provide a defense to deny the claim. The employer may assert intentional self-infliction, employee violation of law or intoxication as defenses to disqualify the employee from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

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