Advocating for the Rights of Injured Workers in Allentown
Choosing an Allentown workers’ compensation lawyer is an important decision. You need a legal professional who is not only well-versed in the intricacies of workers’ compensation law but also deeply familiar with Allentown and its unique characteristics. Munley Law combines these attributes, offering a local perspective backed by extensive legal expertise. We are here to help you secure the compensation you need to recover and move forward.
For a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney, fill out our contact form, chat live, or call us today. We do not charge a fee for our services unless we succeed in securing your workers’ compensation benefits.
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How Does the Workers’ Compensation Process Work in Allentown, PA?
The purpose of workers’ compensation is to pay your medical expenses and compensate you for lost wages following a work-related injury or illness. If you sustain an injury, develop an illness, or aggravate an existing injury while performing your job duties in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the PA Workers Compensation Act entitles you to receive payments for your medical costs and time missed from work, regardless of who is at fault for your accident. Workers’ comp benefits apply to seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees.
What steps you take following a work-related accident or disease diagnosis, is crucial to your case. Here is what you should do to ensure your workers’ compensation claim is approved.
Report the Workplace Accident to Your Supervisor
Following the accident, immediately report your injuries to your supervisor or employer. Even if your workplace injury doesn’t seem serious, a record of the incident will prove valuable should you develop complications as time goes on. Under Pennsylvania law, you must notify your employer within 120 days of the date of injury in order to qualify for workers’ compensation. Exceptions to this include long-term illnesses, such as mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.
Get Medical Treatment From a Workers’ Compensation Approved Doctor
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Your employer must provide a list of six workers’ compensation-approved physicians for you to choose from. You must be treated by one of these doctors for the first 90 days after your accident in order to have your medical bills paid by workers’ compensation insurance. If you still require additional treatment after 90 days, you may see any doctor you like and workers’ comp must cover the cost. In order to receive payment for the time you miss from work, a doctor must verify that your injury was work-related and that you cannot perform your job duties.
Your Employer Fills Out the Paperwork
Your employer will have the appropriate paperwork for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It can take up to 28 days to receive your first workers’ comp payment if the claim is approved by the insurance company. However, if you receive notice that your claim was denied, or that your workers’ compensation benefits will stop before you are ready to return to work, that’s where a workman’s compensation lawyer can help.
We do not get paid unless we win your case.
What Benefits Can I Receive?
Depending on your unique situation, there may be different types of workers’ compensation benefits you can collect.
- Medical Benefits: In most work injury cases, you will receive medical benefits to cover your treatment.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If your injuries are preventing you from returning to work, TTD benefits are available. If you are out of work for more than 104 weeks, you may be required to undergo an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) to continue receiving these benefits.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Partial disability benefits may be available for those injured at work who can return or is medically able to perform work but at a lower wage position.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): In the case of catastrophic injury, a worker may be unable to perform their job ever again. In these serious cases, contact a workman’s comp lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
- Vocational Rehab: This type of benefit provides an injured worker the opportunity to work a job that is similar paying to the previous position.
- Specific Loss: In the event of the loss of a body part through amputation or the loss of use of a body part, such as paralysis or loss of vision, you may be entitled to specific loss benefits. These are similar to Temporary Total Disability benefits, meaning you can only receive these benefits for a specific time period.
- Disfigurement: If you have suffered disfigurement through scarring, burns, or other permanent damage, you may be entitled to additional benefits.
- Death Benefits: If you lost a loved one to a work-related accident, your family may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. Call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys immediately so we can be sure your family gets the compensation you deserve.
How Can a Workers’ Comp Attorney Help With My Case?
A workers’ comp attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. They will be able to review the facts of your case, advise you on what courses of action may be available to you, draft pleadings and other documents related to your claim, handle negotiations and settlement discussions with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.
Your workers’ compensation attorney should also be able to provide you with advice about other issues related to your injury. They may also be able to refer you to additional experts or resources if necessary, such as rehabilitation specialists or vocational counselors.
By working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the full amount of benefits that you are entitled to. Having a knowledgeable advocate in your corner can make all the difference when it comes to getting the best possible outcome for your case. Make sure to research any legal counsel that you are considering to make sure they have the experience and know-how to effectively handle your case.
It is also important to remember that workers’ compensation laws can be complex, so it is important to follow all directions given by your attorney and keep track of any deadlines associated with filing documents or attending hearings. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the process and help you to make sure that all of your rights are fully protected. With their help, you can ensure that your case is handled as effectively and efficiently as possible.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Accidents in Allentown, PA?
Some occupations are inherently more dangerous than others, but any Allentown employee can get hurt on the job. Our Allentown workers’ compensation attorneys help workers who have suffered from these common work-related injuries:
- Overuse Injuries: The repetitive motion disorders involved in many manufacturing and manual labor jobs can lead to overuse injuries. These can include back, neck, shoulder, and other joint injuries. Overuse injuries can also affect office workers who spend hours at their desks typing on their computers. Such repetitive motion injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and bursitis.
- Heavy Machinery Accidents: Serious and sometimes fatal injuries can occur in industrial and warehouse work settings in the Allentown area. Working around heavy machinery and equipment and hazardous materials can lead to an accident. The machinery may be defective, or there may be a lack of training or proper safety protocol. Injuries from accidents involving dangerous machinery at a company can include crushed limbs, hands, or fingers, amputation, broken bones, lacerations, electrical burns, and wrongful death.
- Construction Accidents: According to OSHA, fatal accidents in the construction industry increased by 6 percent in 2019 to 1,066, which is the highest figure since 2007. The leading causes of private construction industry deaths were falls, being struck by objects, electrocution, and being caught in between objects. Those four causes were responsible for 64.2 percent of construction worker deaths. Fall protection in construction was the number one most frequently cited violation by OSHA in 2019. Falls from scaffolding and other heights, electrocution, crushing injuries, and tool and equipment accidents can all cause serious injuries to construction workers.
- Transportation Accidents: The trucking and transportation industry sees a high rate of work-related fatalities. Allentown is surrounded by busy highways such as I-78, Routes 22 and 33, and the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike. Many tractor-trailers travel these highways to reach New York, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and New Jersey. So it’s no surprise that truck accidents in the Lehigh Valley have been steadily rising. Car and truck accidents can be complex cases, especially when you’re on the job. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys law firm can not only handle your workers’ comp case but also complex motor vehicle accident claims.
- Warehouse Worker Injuries: Thanks to its proximity to major metropolitan areas along the East Coast, the Lehigh Valley is known as a transportation hub for hundreds of businesses. Amazon, Frito-Lay, Pepperidge Farm, AutoParts, and many others all have warehouses in the Lehigh Valley. And each year, thousands of warehouse workers are injured while on the job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in 20 warehouse workers will suffer injuries each year.
- Healthcare Worker Injuries: Healthcare is one of the largest sectors in Allentown as our surrounded by esteemed healthcare providers such as Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics Study, hospital workers in the U.S. suffered 294,000 workplace injuries and illnesses in 2014. The CDC said that healthcare workers are among those with the highest rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illnesses.
- Work Illnesses: In addition to workplace injuries, there is also the danger of illness and diseases. Work-related illness can occur from exposure to hazardous chemicals and other dangerous materials at work. Exposure to these dangerous toxins and chemicals in a business can lead to serious respiratory conditions, renal disease, chemical burns, and some forms of cancer, including mesothelioma.
Am I Only Eligible for Workers’ Comp if the Injury Happened at My Physical Workplace?
No. You are eligible for workers’ compensation as long as the injury or illness occurred while you were working, and as you were acting in the interest of your employer. For instance, if you sustained an injury while doing a work-related errand, or while traveling for work, you are still covered.
Of course, now more than ever, people are working remotely. This has opened a new conversation about workers’ comp, namely raising the question, “Are remote workers covered by workers’ compensation?” The answer is a resounding yes, although the process may be slightly more complicated. The burden is on the injured party to prove that the injury occurred as they were specifically acting in the interest of the employer. This means that if you were burned while cooking lunch at home, you may not be eligible.
If, however, you were at home doing a task specifically related to your job and sustained an injury, you are most likely eligible for compensation. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney today if you were injured while working remotely. We are waiting to review your case for comp claims and provide a free initial consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions For Workers Compensation:
Q: What If My Employer Refuses to Report My Accident?
You will absolutely need a workers’ compensation lawyer if your employer refuses to report the injury at all. Your employer is legally required to report your injury to both its insurance company as well as the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Our firm will not let you down. Our Allentown workers’ compensation lawyers will have your back.
You have every right to ask for proof that the information has been reported. If your employer openly refuses to report the accident, or if they are unwilling to provide proof of having done so, you need to contact our personal injury law firm immediately. Your employer may be worried about safety violations coming to light, or they may not be properly insured. A workers’ compensation law firm will fight to ensure the injury is reported, and beyond that, to make sure you receive the compensation you are owed.
Q: What If the Insurance Company Says I’m Ready to Return to Work When I’m Not?
Usually, your employer’s insurance claim adjuster will provide a doctor to examine the injury and report on your progress, in order to determine if and when you’re able to return to work. However, there is sometimes a bias at play, as the doctor is essentially working with the insurance company.
For this reason, it’s not impossible that they may report that you’re able to return to work when you, in fact, know that is not the case. If this happens, you’ll want to seek another opinion from another doctor, which your employer’s insurance company will likely resist. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you make this happen.
Q: I Work Part-Time. Am I Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
Yes. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, “workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law for workers comp. Employers who do not have workers’ compensation coverage may be subject to lawsuits by employees and to criminal prosecution by the commonwealth.”
However, there are some employees and employers that are exempted from workers’ compensation. These exemptions include railroad workers, longshoremen, and federal employees, as all of these categories are covered by different workers’ compensation acts. Agricultural workers who work fewer than 30 days or earn less than $1,200 in a calendar year from one employer are also exempted, and coverage is optional for domestic servants. Finally, some employees may be granted an exemption due to religious beliefs.
Q: How Much Can I Receive on Workers’ Compensation?
It all depends on the severity of your injury. For example, if you are unable to return to work, you will receive weekly benefits that equal to about two-thirds of your weekly pay. However, if you are able to return to work right after your injury, workers’ comp will pay for your medical expenses.
Q: Are There Things That Workers’ Comp Will Not Cover?
Yes, there are some things that workers’ compensation does not cover. For one, this type of insurance does not cover the cost of pain and suffering. This means that, unlike with some other kinds of personal injury cases, you are not eligible to receive any financial compensation for your emotional and psychological suffering under workers’ comp. Workers’ compensation, additionally, does not guarantee that your job will be held for you as you recover.
Q: My Workers’ Comp Claim Was Denied. What Are My Options?
If your claim was denied, you do have the opportunity to appeal the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s Decision within three years. But before you go through the appeal process, your first step should be to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Allentown to make sure your claim is accurate.
Call an Allentown Workers’ Compensation Attorney For a Free Consultation with an attorney to get the compensation you are owed.
If you’ve been injured at work in Allentown or anywhere in the Lehigh Valley, call an Allentown workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free case evaluation. We will answer any questions you may have, explain your rights, and help you navigate the legal process. Chat live, fill out our contact form, or call to arrange a free consult with an Allentown workmen’s compensation lawyer.