What injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?
Any worker who has sustained an injury arising out of and in the course of their employment has a potential workers’ compensation claim. As long as your injury is job-related, it’s covered.
What do workers’ compensation attorneys charge?
Workers’ compensation lawyers handle cases on a contingency basis. We do not get paid unless we get your benefits started, we prevent the insurance company from stopping or altering your benefits, or you choose to settle your case.
Have you, someone you know, or someone you love been injured on the job?
A good workers’ compensation lawyer will tell that your employer is required to carry insurance in the event an employee is injured on the job or becomes ill or dies due to work-related circumstances. If you are unable to work because of a work injury or illness, the insurance required under the Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Act will provide you with benefits, including
- certain medical expenses
- certain rehabilitation expenses
- lost wages
- specific loss benefits
- death benefits, if applicable.
Do you need a workers’ compensation attorney?
From the perspective of a workers’ compensation attorney, the number of people who have their cases derailed because they lacked proper legal representation is frightening. Your workers compensation lawyer will help you ensure that you do not make major mistakes and will be diligent in seeing that your rights are properly protected.
While individuals can sometimes represent themselves in these matters, it is almost always best to obtain a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after an accident or diagnosis of a disease or condition. Workers’ compensation lawyers know that the laws are constantly changing and a competent attorney will be in the best position to advise you.
What should I do if I get injured on the job?
The first and most important thing to do is seek prompt medical treatment. Afterward, you must immediately report your injury to your employer. The second thing any workers’ compensation lawyer will tell you is that you must immediately report any accident to your employer or any supervisor. Notification is crucial and within a short amount of days. If an injury occurs over time (for example, a breathing problem or carpel tunnel syndrome), you must report your condition soon after you discover and realize that it is caused by your work.
Your employer will provide you with a claim form on which you must describe your injury and how, when, and where it occurred. Make sure you save copies of all correspondence with your employer, its insurance carrier, and your doctor concerning your workers’ comp claim.
What are the most important things an injured individual should know about workers’ compensation rights?
Workers’ compensation lawyers know that the most important thing is to report a work injury even if you might not lose time from work or need immediate medical care. It is critical that you require your employer to complete an accident report. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to better assist your case if you keep an independent record of the date, time, and nature of your work injury. In addition, make a list of witnesses as well as the person to whom the injury is reported. Be sure to provide a complete and accurate account of the type of injury you sustained and how your injury occurred as well as your past medical history.
If your employer fails to accept your claim within 21 days of the date you notify them, seek legal assistance and file a petition for compensation. Should your employer accept your injury, be certain that the wages upon which your compensation is based are accurate. In most cases your compensation should be 66 2/3% of your gross wages from all sources of employment. If, after receiving compensation, your employer or the insurance company asks you to see another physician, seek legal advice immediately as this is your employer’s first step in their attempt to either terminate your compensation or modify your benefits. It is possible that your employer may offer you modified work based on medical proof that you are able to perform that work. This can cause you to lose your benefits by failing to accept the newly defined work. You might be contacted by a vocational rehabilitation firm attempting to find you a new job. Your compensation can be effected if you fail to cooperate with the vocational firm. Should you receive a petition in the mail to terminate, suspend or modify your compensation, seek legal advice. NEVER sign a supplement agreement or final receipt without having it reviewed by an attorney.What are the rights and responsibilities of the injured worker?
An injured worker may be entitled to:
- receive wage benefits;
- receive medical care reasonable and necessary to treat a work-related injury or illness without any specific time limit;
- initially choose a doctor under certain circumstances;
- hire an attorney to help get benefits or to help resolve disputes, and/or confidentiality.
- If you are injured, you may be responsible to:
- inform his or her employer about a work-related injury or illness;
- complete a claim form and submit it to the employer, and/or tell his or her doctor how the injury occurred and if it was work related.
What workers’ compensation benefits am I entitled to?
You may be entitled to receive all reasonable and necessary medical treatment, benefits for lost wages, benefits for specific injuries resulting in permanent losses such as loss of use of an extremity and/or disfigurement (scars). You may also qualify to participate in certain physical and vocational rehabilitation programs. If the injury causes the death of an injured worker, burial expenses are covered and the spouse and/or dependents of the deceased worker may be entitled to certain benefits.
If you become temporarily unable to work, you’ll generally receive two-thirds of your average wage up to a fixed ceiling. These benefits are tax-free. You will be eligible for these wage-loss replacement benefits as soon as you’ve lost a set amount of work because of an injury or illness that is covered by workers’ compensation as set by state law.