Pennsylvania Prison Worker Injury Lawyer
Workers’ compensation is the legal system that provides benefits for most employees injured in the course of their jobs. Since workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system, it generally does not matter how the injury occurred. An employee who injures himself accidentally and one who is hurt due to someone else’s workplace negligence is treated the same under the law.
Prison Workers Injured by Inmate Violence
Pennsylvania does make a special exception for workers in the state’s Department of Corrections whose jobs require them to come into direct contact with inmates. If you are a prison guard, nurse, or other front-line corrections worker who has been injured due to inmate violence, you may be entitled to benefits beyond what workers’ compensation normally provides. The Pennsylvania prison worker injury lawyers at the Figured Law Firm can assist you in determining if you qualify for these special provisions and help you seek benefits.
Injured Jail Workers May Be Entitled to 100 Percent of Their Pre-Accident Salary”
In 1953, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted a statute currently known as 16 P.S. § 4531. This law governs situations where certain employees of “jail and workhouses” are injured due to inmate violence. Specifically, § 4531 applies to four distinct categories of prison workers:
- Matrons (the historical term for female prison officers)
- Any other employee “who comes in contact with inmates”
Essentially, § 4531 is meant to protect front-line prison workers, as opposed to administrative or support staff who never come into direct contact with inmates. The statute provides that these protected employees are entitled to benefits if they are “incapacitated as a result of violence by an inmate while in performance of [their] duties.”
This is an important distinction from normal workers’ compensation law. As explained above, you typically need not prove fault or even cause to collect workers’ compensation; all that matters is that the injury somehow occurred in the course and scope of your employment. But § 4531 is tailored to cover only those situations where a work-related injury was directly caused by inmate violence, such as a physical attack or riot.
So what benefits does § 4531 actually provide? The law says that a front-line prison worker injured by inmate violence is entitled to their “full rate of salary” until their disability has “ceased.” In other words, if you are a prison guard harmed by inmate violence, you are entitled to collect 100 percent of your salary until you are able to return to work.
This, again, is a significant departure from regular workers’ compensation. Typically, an employee eligible for workers’ compensation can expect to receive no more than two-thirds of their pre-accident average weekly wage. Yet under § 4531, an injured prison guard or nurse can still receive their full salary.
We Help Injured Prison Employees Seek the Compensation They Deserve
Guards and other front-line prison workers perform a difficult and often thankless job. It only makes sense that they should receive full compensation if they are injured due to inmate violence while on the job. If you are a prison employee who may be eligible for benefits under § 4531 and need legal representation from a qualified Wilkes Barre workers’ compensation lawyer, call the Figured Law Firm today at 570-954-9299 to schedule a free consultation.