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Can I Still Get Workers’ Compensation if an Injury Was My Fault?


Like other states, Pennsylvania has a workers’ compensation system where employers must carry insurance to cover any work-related injuries their employees suffer. In exchange for a reliable source of compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, employees in turn, give up the right to sue their employers for most work injuries.

Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system is what is commonly called a “no-fault” system. This means that a Pittsburgh worker, who gets hurt on the job, either in a single accident or over the course of time, is eligible for benefits for almost all types of work-related injuries. Accordingly, an injured worker should not hesitate to apply for them. This is true, even if the worker’s own negligence caused the injury for which the worker now needs benefits.

While an employee may be disciplined or even terminated, if he or she violated work rules and got hurt as a result, an employer may not also withhold workers’ compensation benefits following an accident. As the description of the benefits implies, workers’ compensation benefits are awarded without regard to whether a worker could have prevented the injury.

There are some narrow exceptions to this rule, perhaps, the most common one being that a worker’s injury did not truly take place in the course of employment. Moreover, the fact benefits are awarded without fault does not mean that Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system cannot at times, be frustrating and complicated, especially for an injured worker who just needs to focus on his or her recovery.