The summer months are not just a time for increased tourism and recreational activities. They also provide an opportunity for gig workers to secure lucrative seasonal positions. Many teens and adults rely on the money they make from Memorial Day to Labor Day to augment their incomes for the rest of the year.
However, summer work often includes physical labor, which can be risky even if employees undergo acceptable levels of onboarding and training. According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workplace-related injuries rise every summer. Also, the National Safety Council estimates that all those injuries add up to more than $161 billion yearly in direct and associated costs, including Workers’ Compensation. However, many seasonal employees remain unaware that they are eligible for Workers’ Compensation.
This disconnect stems from misunderstandings about who is protected by Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation must be made available to every employee in a company, including seasonal workers who are not classified as permanently full-time or part-time. Of course, the hope is that employees will not have to avail themselves of Workers’ Compensation. Still, knowing that they are covered, just in case, provides peace of mind.
Common Types of Summer Workers’ Compensation Claims
When considering the injuries most frequently reported on summer Workers’ Compensation claims, several come to the forefront. These include but are not limited to sprains and strains, broken limbs, lacerations, punctures, abrasions, and tears in the skin.
In the best of circumstances, these injuries can be treated and the worker can eventually resume activities associated with everyday life. Nevertheless, getting hurt on the job can still be expensive for the injured worker. Medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing physical therapy can add up to thousands in bills very quickly. Workers’ Compensation helps cover many of those expenses and ease the financial and emotional burden of the injured employee.
Is Summer Worker Coverage Under Workers’ Compensation Unique?
Generally speaking, all Workers’ Compensation coverage is the same no matter if a worker is a long-time supervisor or a seasonal employee. One exception to this rule is for injured minors under the age of 18. Special accommodations have been made to slightly increase their Workers’ Compensation benefits. The main accommodation is an increase in the amount these young workers receive to cover missed days of work.
Under normal Workers’ Compensation rules, injured employees can expect to receive about two-thirds of their pay up to a certain cap in most states. Teen workers hurt while performing a workplace activity receive 90 percent of their pay instead. If the teen employee has been illegally hired in Pennsylvania, an extra 50 percent is added to Workers’ Compensation amounts. The additional 50 percent is paid by the employer, rather than by the insurance carrier.
What Should I Do if I am a Seasonal Worker Hurt During a Workplace Accident?
Any seasonal employee who gets injured should take immediate action, whether they are a lifeguard who slipped on an oily patch of sunscreen of a pool deck or a landscaping assistant who was burned by weed-destroying chemicals. In addition to getting medical treatment as soon as possible, the worker must report the injury to the employer. This is very important. Alerting the employer immediately both verbally and through a written letter helps prove when, where, and how the accident happened.
After alerting the employer, the employee should ask for paperwork to submit a claim to the company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance provider. If the paperwork seems confusing, the worker should ask either the employer or someone trustworthy for assistance. Every worker has the right to understand the scope of any Workers’ Compensation documentation.
Injured workers should continue to get regular treatment for their injuries while they await a claim response. If their claim is denied, they have the right to appeal the decision. At this point, many seasonal workers will contact local Workers’ Compensation lawyers to help them improve their chances of getting the claim accepted on appeal.
Ultimately, every worker should feel confident knowing that Workers’ Compensation is available to protect them in the event of an accident. That includes seasonal workers.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney, LLC Help Seasonal Workers with the Claims and Appeals Processes
Getting hurt on the job can be frustrating and expensive. If you have questions about making a claim after a workplace injury, the Downingtown Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney, LLC are ready to assist. We will focus all our efforts toward getting you the compensation for which you are entitled. We handle complex cases involving settlements and appeals as well. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, and we serve residents of Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.