Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Property Damage?

Posted on September 24th, 2021 in Personal Injury

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (PWC) defines the conditions for when benefits are available to employees injured while at work. It allows workers to file claims to see their employer or employer’s insurance care for their injury. But the PWC Act has not always been clear on whether or not property damage on the job is covered by workers’ comp.

If you’re driving for work, whether to inspect a location, make a delivery, or simply move between work locations, you could get into a car accident. Whether you’re injured or not, your car, or property, would need to be repaired. In another instance, should something fall and damage your clothing or protective gear, they would need to be replaced. There are more instances like this, but in each of them, the employee has suffered property damage while on the job. 

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Property Damage?

In short, no, workers’ compensation does not cover property damage. Of course, if you’re using a company vehicle in a car accident, the employer will have to pay for it, or if your uniform is damaged the onus is on your employer to replace it, but they do not have to replace your personal property. 

Workers’ comp in PA only covers medical coverage, rehabilitation from your injury, disability benefits, and death benefits. You’ll be expected to pay out of pocket to fix any property damage you suffer at work.

Why Doesn’t Workers’ Compensation Cover Property Damage?

While you work for your employer, they are responsible for your safety, but that’s it. Your employer’s responsibility, in fact, ends with your safety and paycheck. Legally speaking, the responsibility is on you to do your work and to take care of your property as you do so. 

If you wanted to argue that you couldn’t do your task without garnering property damage, you can do that. You can make the argument that the work conditions your employer allowed or caused led to your property damage. Understand that this would be suing for damages through a civil claim, not a workers’ comp claim.

This is also not to say that an employer cannot offer to pay for your vehicle. You can, of course, request it, and you should be protected from retaliation for doing so. Some employers even pay their insurance companies to cover added issues like property damage. There’s no harm in doing your due diligence.

Contact Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney: Craig Kalinoski

It’s understandable to be upset that your personal property was not treated with respect by your employer. If they do not choose to cover your property damage, you’re not out of luck. Attorney Craig Kalinoski is an experienced attorney in workers’ comp and personal injury law. Property damage may not fall under workers’ comp, but it does fall under personal injury only when someone is injured because of an unsafe condition.

If you’ve suffered property damage, you need an attorney who can help you prove that it wasn’t your fault and that the entity responsible owes you damages for it. To see if you have a claim, contact Kalinoski Law Offices and schedule a free consultation.

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