Cranberry Work-Related Injury Attorney – Cranberry Township, PA
KM&A serves Butler County, Allegheny County, Beaver County and all of Pennsylvania for a variety of legal issues. Call (412) 626-5626 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation with an attorney today.
Suffering from a workplace injury can be a stressful, time-consuming, and frightening experience. While no amount of money can make up for the pain you have suffered, you need compensation to ensure you can continue to provide for yourself and your family. At Kraemer, Manes & Associates, our injury attorneys have several years of experience with work-related injury law. We can fight to ensure you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled so you can focus on your recovery.
Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury
If you have been injured on the job, it can oftentimes be difficult to determine whether to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. The answer to this question will depend on the specific facts of your case, including where your injury happened and who or what injured you. It is best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you assess which claim best fits your circumstances.
Generally speaking, if you have been injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. However, once you file for workers’ compensation, you will no longer be able to sue your employer or any responsible coworkers for your injuries. The money you receive from workers’ compensation is the extent of the compensation to which you are entitled for that particular work-related injury.
However, if your injury was caused by a third party or parties, you may be able to sue the responsible parties as part of a personal injury lawsuit, allowing you to obtain additional compensation. Third parties are people or companies that are not your employer or coworkers but who you may have encountered as a result of your employment. This third-party liability allows you to obtain compensation beyond what is available to you through workers’ compensation.
Unless you are self-employed, you are entitled to workers’ compensation for any work-related injuries you sustain, regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the accident. Your rights under workers’ compensation include:
- Right to benefits, including medical coverage and lost wages
- The right to negotiate a lump sum settlement
- The right to control your treatment
- The right to a hearing should your benefits be denied, reduced, or incorrectly calculated
- The right to continue your employment free of any retaliatory action on the part of your employer
However, workers’ compensation benefits may be denied if:
- You intentionally caused the injury;
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time you were injured;
- Your injury was unrelated to your work; or
- You were injured as a result of committing an illegal act.
If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits for any of the above-mentioned reasons, it is important to contact a work-related injury attorney as soon as possible to assess your options.
Once you are injured on the job, you have 120 days to file a workers’ compensation claim. If your claim is accepted, the compensation you receive will be based on consideration of the amount of money you earned while working along with various other factors, including the severity of your injuries, your medical bills, lost wages, and specific loss of the use of any body parts you have incurred.
Unlike personal injury claims, workers’ compensation does not cover general damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
When a third party is wholly or partially responsible for your injuries, you can file a personal injury suit against that party while still seeking workers’ compensation from your employer. The compensation you receive from a personal injury suit can include both specific damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, and general damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Examples of situations in which you may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit include:
- If you were injured by a defective product, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of that product
- If you were injured by construction occurring at your place of work, you may be able to sue the construction company
- If you were injured by a toxic substance, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of that substance
However, unlike the guaranteed compensation you get from workers’ compensation, you need to win your personal injury case in order to recover any damages. Nothing is guaranteed with a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, unlike workers’ compensation claims, where you can recover compensation regardless of whose fault your injury was, successful personal injury claims require you to prove that the person or entity that caused your injury was negligent. For more specific information on what negligence entails, visit KM&A’s Negligence page.
While all workplaces have their dangers, jobs involving manual labor are often more inherently dangerous than others. If you work in construction, railroad transportation, hydraulic fracturing, mining, manufacturing, or any other high-risk field, your likelihood of sustaining a work-related injury as a result of an industrial accident is significant. Some common examples of industrial accidents include:
- Fires and explosions
- Coal mine collapses
- Equipment failure
- Falling objects
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
Unfortunately, industrial accidents are often the result of employer negligence and failure to follow standard safety procedures. Workers can be injured by old and outdated tools and machinery, or they may be forced to work on sites that are inundated with hazardous chemicals or other hazardous conditions. No matter the cause, industrial accidents can lead to serious consequences for the injured worker, including:
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Injuries resulting from inhalation of toxic substances
- Wrongful death
Given the severity of most industrial accidents, medical expenses and other costs of recovery can end up being exceptionally high. As such, the probability that workers’ compensation benefits will not be enough to adequately compensate an accident victim increases dramatically. When the stakes are this high, it is important to seek out aggressive legal representation as soon as possible to ensure you are not denied any damages due to you.
Social Security Disability
If you have been injured on the job, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are options you can consider when determining how you will support yourself and your family in the future. These Social Security Disability benefits are meant to protect those who have sustained an injury or illness that prevents them from obtaining adequate income to support themselves and their families.
If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to SSDI and SSI benefits in addition to any payment you receive from workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit. Whether or not you qualify will depend on the nature of your illness or injury. In order to receive benefits, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your disability must be total and long-term;
- You must be unable to perform the job duties necessary for your previous job and be unable to return to this previous position; and
- Your condition must render you unable to adapt to another position or type of work.
If you applied for Social Security Disability benefits and were denied, you still have options. You have 60 days to appeal the decision to deny your claim for benefits. It is important to contact an experienced injury attorney to compile a case and fight to retain the benefits you rightfully deserve.
Why Hire an Attorney?
In addition to the stress and confusion that work-related accidents can cause, victims of workplace injuries often incur substantial medical costs, lost wages, and other significant expenses. While no amount of money can fully compensate an injured worker for the pain of his or her experience, an experienced personal injury attorney can ensure that no worker receives inadequate compensation for his or her injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Kraemer, Manes & Associates will protect your rights and make sure you receive all the compensation you need.
Please do not delay. Call (412) 626-5626 or email@example.com to speak with a Cranberry attorney today.