Here is the first short quiz for you to test your knowledge about workers compensation benefits in Pennsylvania. Answer each statement either a true or falseresponse. The answers are provided at the end of the quiz with a brief explanation.
1.____ I can sue my employer for pain and suffering if I get hurt on the job.
2.____ I can immediately go to my doctor for treatment if I am hurt at work.
3.____ I can have a jury of my peers decide my workers compensation case.
4.____ My benefits can be stopped if I refuse to go to the doctor for reasonable medical treatment.
5.____ I can get compensated for the scar on my knee from my knee surgery because I have been disfigured.
1. False. The Workers’ Compensation Act bars tort actions against employers and co-employees. An injured worker’s exclusive remedy is a claim for workers compensation benefits. Third parties may be sued, but not employers. The exclusivity provision has been held to be constitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
2. False. Under Act 57, Employees are required to treat with a “panel physician” for the first 90 days. Thereafter, the employee may seek treatment from the doctor of their choosing. If the employer does not provide written notice that treatment with the “panel physician,” it will remain liable for medical treatment from non-panel providers.
3. False. In Pennsylvania, workers compensation cases are decided exclusively by Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs). Cases do not go before a jury.
4. True. If an employee refuses reasonable medical services, the employee forfeits all rights to compensation for any injury or any increase in incapacity that has resulted from the refusal of treatment. The defendant may file a Suspension Petition to try and have the benefits suspended.
5. False. Scarring and disfigurement awards are limited to injuries of the head, neck, or face. The scarring or disfigurement must be serious, permanent and unsightly and the maximum award is 275 weeks of benefits.