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Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation FAQs

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Our Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation Lawyer will Fight for Your Rights

It is your right as an employee to file a workers’ comp claim and to have your medical expenses and wages paid while you recover from the injury or illness. The experienced Pittsburgh workers’ compensation lawyers at Munley Law can help you navigate the process, inform you of your rights, and help you work through any obstacles that come up.

A Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorney at Munley Law can help you file your claim, prepare for and attend workers’ comp hearings, and appeal denials if necessary. If you or a loved one has been hurt at work or has become sick from workplace conditions in Pittsburgh, you need to know that you have rights.

Pittsburgh workers' compensation attorney chris munley working at his desk

What Are the Largest Industries in Pittsburgh?

Strategically located at the intersection of the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny Rivers, Pittsburgh has been an American center of industry for more than a hundred years. With bountiful natural resources, a geographic location along major US trade routes, and a talented and hard-working citizenry, Pittsburgh is still an industrial powerhouse.

Pittsburgh’s economy is unusually diversified. We enjoy world-class schools and higher education, banking, tourism, and tech.

Did you know that Pittsburgh…

  • Was once chosen to serve as “an example of a 21st century economy” for the G-20 summit (an international meeting of world leaders set to discuss financial markets and industry)
  • Once boasting dozens of steel mills, Pittsburgh is still home to major US steel companies such as Allegheny Technologies, Ampco Pittsburgh, and US Steel all within its metropolitan area
  • Has been cited on the list of “best cities for job growth” by Forbes magazine
  • Has repeatedly ranked in one of the top five “most livable cities” in America

Whether you work for a tech giant such as Google or Amazon with operations in Pittsburgh or in one of the city’s other various and diverse industries, if you have been hurt at work, you need to know that you have rights.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers compensation coverage, also called workers comp or workmans comp, is an insurance for employees created by the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. This insurance is a safety net for workers who become injured or sick as a result of job-related duties. Workers’ compensation benefits exist to pay for medical expenses and lost wages when you suffer a work-related injury, become ill, or aggravate an existing condition while on the job.

All PA employers are obligated by the Commonwealth to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Most employees are covered by workers’ compensation regardless of their status as part-time or full-time and regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Employees who were intoxicated or breaking the law during their injury may not be eligible to claim benefits.

Are All Employees Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

The PA Workers’ Compensation Act applies to almost every employee in Pittsburgh. All full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees are included.

Almost all companies, regardless of size, are obliged to obtain workers’ compensation insurance with some exceptions. For instance, independent contractors and volunteers might not be regarded as employees and so might not be protected.

To find out more about your legal rights as an employee, get in touch with a workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law at our Pittsburgh Law offices by phone or by filling out the form for a free case evaluation. Someone is available to speak 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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How Do I File an Initial Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Your Pittsburgh workers compensation lawyer at Munley Law can help you file your claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits. There are many steps and deadlines that need to be met for your claim to be successful and an experienced attorney can assure you to receive your maximum allowed benefits. We know workers’ compensation law and we have more than 60 years of experience fighting for injured workers’ rights.

But the first step starts with you. Notify your employer immediately of your injury as soon as possible after it occurs. If you are suffering from an injury due to long-term stress or occupational disease from workplace conditions, notify your employer as soon as you have a diagnosis from a licensed medical provider.

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Only My Medical Bills?

The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act mandates these three primary coverages:

Medical Coverage

Medical coverage includes any medical costs relating to your injury. These claims are not limited to a specific dollar amount and should cover all co-pays and deductibles. Medical coverage includes doctor visits, medical tests, emergency room visits, medication, and even appliances and medical equipment (such as wheelchairs and braces) and ongoing physical therapy and other necessary medical treatment.

Lost Wages

If you are unable to work after an accident, you will receive a percentage of your wages, known as disability benefits. There are temporary benefits as well as permanent ones, depending on how long your injury or occupational disease prevents you from working.

“Specific Loss” Payments

If your work injury resulted in permanent scarring or disfigurement,  the loss of a limb, or impaired use of a body part, you may be eligible for “specific loss” payments.

Unlike regular workers’ compensation, you do not need to miss work for “specific loss” compensation. You may collect specific loss payments even if your injury does not stop you from working.

You simply must be able to show that your injury happened in the course of your job duties. You must also notify your employer of the injury within 120 days of its occurrence, and submit a workers’ compensation claim within three years of the date the injury was sustained.

However, the earlier you act, the better. Your experienced attorney in workers compensation law can answer any questions you have about specific loss or any other benefits.

Pittsubrgh workers' compensation attorney Caroline Munley speaking with paralegal in her office

Do I Have to be Injured At My Workplace to be Covered By Workers’ Compensation?

You are covered by workers’ compensation if you have suffered an on the job injury while physically on your employer’s property and performing the regular daily duties of your job. This is a straightforward workers’ compensation situation. A question we get a lot, though, is “What happens when I am injured while doing my daily work duties off of immediate work premises?”

This is where our state-mandated insurance program guidelines come in. The PA Workers Compensation Act in Section 301 (c)(1), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 411(1), provides, in pertinent part, “…shall include all other injuries sustained while the employee is actually engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer, whether upon the employer’s premises or elsewhere, and shall include all injuries caused by the condition of the premises or by the operation of the employer’s business or affairs thereon, sustained by the employee, who, though not so engaged, is injured upon the premises occupied by or under the control of the employer, or upon which the employer’s business or affairs are being carried on, the employee’s presence thereon being required by the nature of his employment.”

Further, that in “construing the term ‘premises’  in section 301(c)(1) of the Act, this Court has stated that ‘the determinative question is not whether the employer had title to or control over the site of the accident[.]’ ICT Group v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Churchray-Woytunick), 995 A.2d 927, 931 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010).  ‘[T]he ‘premises of the employer’ are neither defined as nor limited to the employer’s actual property…”

In short, your worker’s compensation attorney will ask “Were you engaged in the ‘furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer’ at the time the injury occurred?” If you were on duty and injured while conducting business-mandated duties you have the right as an injured worker to collect workers comp benefits.

What is an Independent Medical Examination?

An independent medical examination or IME is intended to provide your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company with information about your injury and ability to return to work. The IME is performed by a doctor who is selected and paid for by your employer’s insurer.

Your employer may request an IME if they have doubts about your personal doctor’s diagnosis and they wish to get a second opinion. An IME can also be ordered to resolve disputes about your condition.

The results of an independent medical exam can have serious implications for your claim. This is why it is extremely important to have a Pittsburgh workers’ comp attorney on your side to inform you of your rights and prepare you before the exam.

Do Workers’ Compensation Cases End in a Settlement?

The vast majority of worker’s compensation cases do end in a settlement, there are occurrences where both parties have to pursue the claim in the court system.

Usually, the insurance or employer can come to an agreement/settlement with the injured employee that works best for both sides.

However, if you’re asking “Do all Pittsburgh workers compensation cases end in a settlement?” the answer is no. If for any reason, the parties cannot agree on a settlement, a workers’ compensation case can be sent to a judge to make a ruling.

To ensure you receive maximum compensation, or in the case of a trial, the best representation, you should have an experienced lawyer by your side. The Pittsburgh workers compensation lawyers at Munley Law Attorneys have been representing the hardworking people of PA for more than six decades.

We have the experience as trial lawyers if your case does land in court, and we have the negotiating power to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Why Was My Workers’ Comp Claim Denied?

Employers and insurance companies want to save money and they will often use any excuse to deny your initial claim, hoping you will just “drop it”, confused by the law and frustrated with the obstacle they are putting in your way.

With decades of workers comp law experience, we have seen a lot of excuses.

  • The worker was high, or drunk while at work. This excuse can be used even if the employer has no proof that you were drinking or under the influence on the day of the injury.
  • The employee’s injury was minor or not as bad as they reported. Your employer or their insurer might agree that you were injured, but that the injury or disease is “minor” and does not require medical treatment and you did not need to miss work.
  • The employee failed to report the injury in the legally required time. You have 21 days to report your injury to your employer. And you have only three years to file your workers compensation claim. Do not hesitate to immediately alert your employer, preferably with written notification, of your injury as soon as you can.
  • The injury or disease exists, but it is not related to job duties. This excuse is most common in relation to stress-related injuries such as repetitive stress injuries.
  • The employee didn’t go to a doctor or ER or didn’t go right away. If you have been injured on the job, see your doctor or the company doctor immediately. You want to immediately establish a record of your injury.

How Much Will My Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost?

Your attorney at Munley Law will not charge you a penny until your benefits are received.

Our PA workers’ compensation law firm understands that the aftermath of a work-related accident can be a difficult time in your life. We are here to help.  Contact us now for a FREE case evaluation for your workman’s compensation case. Call, email, or chat online. A member of our work accident injury team will get back to you right away. Se habla Espanol.

Do I Have A Case?

If you think you may have a personal injury case, contact us now for a FREE consultation.

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