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What happens if you’re injured out of state?

It depends. Originally, workers' compensation laws in Pennsylvania were intended to apply only to workers who actually worked within the state. Those laws have been expanded over time to include people who work in other states under certain conditions. Simply living in Pennsylvania while working in another state does not necessarily qualify a person to collect Pennsylvania workers' compensation benefits. 

A recent court case illustrates this point. A truck driver who lived in Pennsylvania was injured on the job in New Jersey. However, he had signed a contract with a company in Alabama. The contract stated that the driver would be working primarily in Alabama, and that workers' compensation claims would be handled through the state of Alabama. The Pennsylvania court rejected the man's claim that his case should be handled through Pennsylvania worker's compensation system. 

People may seek workers' compensation benefits from a particular state for various reasons. For example, some states may have a more generous benefits system than others, or it may be easier financially or physically for an injured person to travel locally instead of having to go to another state for appointments related to the claim.

In general, Pennsylvania does allow some workers whose jobs take them out of state to collect workers' compensation benefits through the Pennsylvania system. But certain criteria must be met. For example, the employer may have to be based in Pennsylvania, or most of the work must take place in Pennsylvania, or a worker's injury may have had to have taken place within a certain time window while the worker was outside the state. 

If you've been injured on the job outside the state, an experienced workers' compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you navigate the workers' compensation application and appeals processes. The law regarding compensation for out-of-state injuries can be complicated, and having an attorney on your side to guide you through the specifics of your case can go a long way toward helping you claim the benefits you need to recover. 

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