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Did You Suffer an Injury While on the Job in Hazleton?
Under federal law, employers must provide a work environment free of known health and safety hazards. A workplace injury can be devastating to an individual and their loved ones. In addition to physical pain, you may also experience significant financial strains because of lost wages and mounting medical expenses. Workers’ compensation is supposed to cover these costs, but what if your claim is denied?
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product Liability
$8 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident/Wrongful Death
$7.5 Million Auto Accident
$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Crash
$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accident
$4.7 Million Truck Accidents
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Munley Law help injured workers in Hazleton get the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys are board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and have consistently been named among the Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Munley Law Partner James Christopher Munley was named Workers’ Compensation Lawyer of the Year in 2016 by the prominent legal guide Best Lawyers.
If you suffered an injury in an accident at work and have problems with your workers’ comp claim, contact our Hazleton workers’ comp lawyer for a free consultation. Chat live, email us, or call (855) 866-5529 today.
We do not charge a fee unless we win your case.
Do I Need a Hazleton Workers’ Comp Attorney?
Did you sustain a serious injury or illness on the job in Hazleton? Has your employer denied your workers’ comp claim? Does your workers’ comp insurance cover all of your injuries and lost wages? Are medical issues preventing you from returning to work? Do you feel you may have a third-party claim? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consult Hazleton’s workers’ compensation attorney.
The laws make it quite clear — every worker is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits following an injury while on the job. However, many employers either don’t understand or ignore the law. As a result, they may delay or not even submit your claim to the insurance company. In addition, your claim can be denied for several reasons, such as having a previous injury.
If your employer is uncooperative, your claim is denied, or you just have questions about the process, you should contact a Hazleton workers’ comp lawyer at Munley Law for a free consultation. We will help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
What Happens When My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
Many injured workers in Hazleton rely on workers’ compensation to pay their expenses following a workplace accident. But unfortunately, when the insurance company denies your claim, you may not know how you will pay your bills while you’re in recovery.
There are some common reasons why a workers’ comp claim is denied, including:
There was a mistake made when filling out the paperwork. Even if you followed all the procedures in reporting your injuries, you might be denied because the employer or insurance carrier had missed a key detail or made a mistake in the paperwork.
You did not report the injury in time. According to Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation lawyers, you have up to 120 days from the date of your injury to inform your employer of your injury. If the accident is reported after 120 days, you cannot collect benefits.
There were no witnesses to the accident. Of course, any proof of your accident can help strengthen your claim. But if there were no witnesses, you should still report the accident and seek medical attention. A doctor can verify that your injuries were caused by a workplace accident in most cases.
There’s an issue with the accident report or medical records. If your accident report differs from what injuries you sustained, the insurance company may deny the claim. For example, you claim in the report that you tripped over a power cord and fell, breaking your leg. However, the medical records show that you only sustained an ankle sprain. This discrepancy may cause the insurance carrier to deny your claim.
You were doing something illegal at the time of the accident. For example, if you had alcohol or drugs in your system at the time of the accident, you would not be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, if you start a fight while at work and are injured, your claim will be denied.
If your claim was denied for any of these reasons, contact our Hazleton workers’ compensation attorney right away to start the appeal process.
What Are the Common Types of Work Accidents in Hazleton?
Unfortunately, some industries have more workplace accidents than others do. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private industry injury and illness incidence rate in Pennsylvania is higher than the national average. In addition, the rate of injuries and illnesses remained the highest among mid-sized private industry employers.
The most common industries that have the most on-the-job accidents are:
- Construction Accidents – Construction workers have one of the highest risks of on-the-job injuries. Falls, electrocution, crushing injuries, and equipment injuries are all common with construction workers.
- Manufacturing and Industrial Accidents – Hazardous material, heavy equipment, and dangerous conditions may exist in a manufacturing or industrial facility. This can lead to electrical or equipment accidents, falling debris, falls from heights, crane, bulldozer, or forklift accidents, or exposure to hazardous materials.
- Warehouse Accidents – Warehouses are pretty typical in the Hazleton area, and unfortunately, they can pose a significant risk of injury for workers. Manual lifting, repetitive motion, heavy machinery operation, and forklift operation can all cause serious harm to workers.
- Heavy Machinery Accidents – Heavy machine accident dangers are real in Hazleton. Those operating heavy machinery in an industrial facility, a distribution center, or a construction site is always at risk of serious injury. Lack of equipment maintenance or proper safety procedures can lead to serious accidents.
- Forklift Accidents – Forklifts are widely used to stack and move materials in Hazleton’s warehouses, distribution centers, and construction sites. Faulty machinery, lack of safety devices, poor maintenance, overloading, improper training, or driver error can cause a forklift accident, leading to a serious injury.
- Truck Driver Accidents – Truck drivers have a dangerous job. From the heavy lifting involved in loading and unloading cargo to the danger of highway accidents, truck drivers face many threats that can cause injury.
- Transportation Accidents – Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death in this country and the cause of many work-related injuries for truck drivers, delivery drivers, and other transportation workers. In addition to that, those workers operating large trucks, cranes, backhoes, and other vehicles on construction sites and other work areas are at risk of serious injury.
- Healthcare Worker Injuries – Nurses, aides, and other caregivers do physically demanding work involving heavy lifting, long hours, and other strenuous activities resulting in an injury.
- Food Industry Accidents– From food manufacturers and food processors to kitchen works and wait staff, the dangers of injury in the food industry are great for all workers.
Can I Change Jobs While on Workers’ Compensation?
If you get into an accident at work, you may be considering changing jobs while on workers’ compensation. But is that possible without hurting your claim?
First, be aware that your former employer’s insurance company still has to pay for medical treatment if you quit your job while on workers’ comp. But if you quit your job before filing for workers’ compensation, it may be challenging to get the benefits. So before leaving your job, it’s best to speak with our workers’ comp lawyer in Hazleton to learn what your next steps should be.
Can I Lose My Job While on Workers’ Comp?
Those injured in a workplace accident often have the same concern, “Can I lose my job while on workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania?” And the answer is quite complicated.
Pennsylvania law states that you cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you are fired in retaliation for filing a claim, this is illegal, and you should speak with an attorney right away.
However, Pennsylvania is an at-will state. What this means your employer can lay you off for any legal reason. So, for example, if your injury will affect your job, your employer may let you go.
If you lost your job after filing for workers’ compensation, speak with our Hazleton workers’ comp attorney to learn your legal options.
According to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an employee who was hurt while on the job cannot collect damages for pain and suffering after a workplace accident. In addition, an employee cannot sue an employer after an accident. A worker may only collect workers’ comp benefits for medical expenses and lost wages.
However, there may be other legal options you can explore. For example, if you get into a car accident while on the job, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the other driver. The third-party claim will allow you to obtain pain and suffering. Contact our Hazleton workers’ compensation attorney for a free consultation to learn more about third-party claims.
Can I Still Get a Settlement From Workers’ Comp if I Go Back to Work?
Your injury wasn’t that severe, and you still can work. But the question now is, “Can I still get a settlement from workers’ comp if I go back to work?” The answer to this question is yes. If your doctor cleared you to return to work, you are expected to return to work, and it will not impact your claim. It’s important to note that your workers’ compensation benefits are meant to pay for your medical expenses and provide for any lost wages you may have.
What is Light Duty? Can I Refuse It?
When an employee is hurt at work and cannot work their regular job until they recover, their employer may offer light duty work. This type of work is usually less demanding and for fewer hours a day until you fully recover and return to your current position.
If your physician clears you for light duty work and the employer has made the appropriate arrangement that accommodates any restrictions your doctor set, you should accept the offer. Turning it down could result in a loss of workers’ comp benefits.
If you are concerned about light duty work, give our injury attorneys a call for a free consultation.
Contact the Hazleton Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Munley Law Now
For more than 60 years, the workers’ comp attorneys at Munley Law have been protecting the rights of injured workers in Hazleton and across the state of Pennsylvania. With our decades of experience, we are here to help you. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits for a valid claim, contact our Hazleton office for a free consultation. Chat live, email us, or call (855) 866-5529.