If you suffered a work injury and your workers’ compensation claim was denied, contact a Scranton workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law for a free consultation
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If you get injured on the job, workers’ comp exists to cover your medical treatment and lost wages until you can return to work. However, it’s not uncommon for the insurance company to deny your workers’ compensation claim and refuse to pay your benefits. A Scranton workers’ comp attorney at Munley Law can ensure that you get the benefits you deserve. For more than 55 years, Munley Law has been the go-to firm for injured workers and their families. We have earned national recognition for our work on behalf of injured claimants; we have been named among the Best Lawyers in America, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania, and Best Law Firms via U.S. News and World Report. In 2016, the legal guide Best Lawyers named Christopher Munley Workers’ Compensation Lawyer of the Year.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Workers’ Compensation
When injured at work for the first time, many workers find themselves with more questions than answers. Below are a few commonly-asked questions and some answers that you may find helpful with your claim. If you do not see the answer to your question below, or if you would like to discuss your particular situation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Scranton, contact Munley Law at (570) 865-4699 today.
What can I do if my workers’ comp claim is denied?
Often, the insurance company will resist paying your benefits, claiming that your injury was not work-related. Even a clerical mistake can result in denial of your compensation. If workers’ compensation denies your claim, you still have some options. An experienced workman’s compensation lawyer will guide you through the appeal process.
What compensation might I be owed for my claim?
Compensation for a workplace injury often depends on the level of disability caused by the accident. Benefits will vary depending on whether you are partially or totally disabled. The amount awarded for disability changes yearly, so it is essential to discuss your disability claim with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. As of 2017, an employee who suffered total disability may be eligible for up to two-thirds of their weekly pay, for a maximum of $995. The person’s disability status is reviewed after two years, and if the individual is no longer at least 50% disabled, benefits may revert to partial disability. This disability determination is made according to American Medical Association guidelines. If you are determined to be only partially disabled, you may be eligible for two-thirds of the difference between your new earnings and your wages before the injury for up to 500 weeks.
What if I was fired after filing a workers’ compensation claim?
An employer cannot legally fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The employer may give another reason for firing you, but if you think that it could be related to your workers’ compensation claim, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to take further action so that your benefits can be restored.
If I have other income that I receive monthly, does it need to be reported while I am filing for workers’ compensation with my employer?
By law, any worker who has filed a petition for total or partial disability benefits or who is receiving these benefits is required to report, in writing to the insurer, any information that is relevant in determining entitlement to, or amount of, compensation including details regarding wages from another employer or self-employment. The worker is also required to cooperate with the carrier in an investigation of employment, self-employment, wages, and physical condition.
What should I do if my employer refuses to file a report for my injury?
If your employer refuses to complete an injury report on your behalf, you can always file a claim petition for your workers’ compensation payments. It would be advisable to have an attorney, as you will have to attend a series of hearings with a judge. It is best to have an attorney present at any legal proceeding.
If I think that the injury was my fault, can I still obtain workers’ compensation?
If you believe that you caused the accident or injury, you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits, if the injury was work related and it was not intentionally self-inflicted.
If I was injured in an auto accident but was traveling with my job at the time, can I get workers’ compensation?
If you were on your job while you were traveling, then you can be covered by workers’ compensation. Some examples of workers that may be covered while traveling include nurses, sales personnel, and consultants.
What if I have a pre-existing condition, and work aggravated it?
If you can prove that your injury is new and related to your current employment, you can still obtain workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury is a recurrence of an old injury and is not a new injury, you may be entitled to benefits. It is best to seek legal representation to discuss the facts in your case.
What if my employer filed a Petition to Terminate Compensation Benefits?
If your employer files a Petition to Terminate Compensation Benefits, the employer may believe that you have recovered from your injury and can now work on the job. A workers’ compensation judge needs to decide if your payments should cease. Until the hearing takes place and the decision has been made, you can still get your payments. You need to contact an attorney if you receive this notice, especially if you are still too injured to work or if your doctor hasn’t released you to work.
Workers’ Compensation in the U.S.
In the U.S., workers’ compensation was the first form of social insurance that was developed nationwide. It is designed to provide cash benefits and medical care when employees suffer any work-related illnesses or injuries. It also provides survivor benefits to some workers’ dependents whose deaths result from a work-related issue. Any workers who receive workers’ compensation are generally not allowed to bring a tort suit against their employers for any type of damages.
Some exemptions from coverage are domestic service, agricultural employment, small employers, and casual labor. Some of the programs have some coverage for agricultural workers, and nearly one-half of the programs have some coverage for domestic workers. Also, many programs exempt employees of nonprofit, charitable, or religious institutions. Any coverage of local and state public employees differs significantly from state to state.
Two groups that are outside the coverage of workers’ compensation laws are railroad employees that are engaged in interstate commerce and seamen that are in the U.S. Merchant Marine. These two groups of workers have health insurance and short-term and long-term cash benefit plans that cover disabilities, even if the conditions are not work-related. Under federal laws, these types of workers have the right to bring tort suits, for negligence, against their employers for work-related injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Program – Statistics
State and federal workers’ compensation laws included about 129.6 million employees in 2013. In addition, the total wages paid to covered workers was $6.5 trillion in 2013.
Under the workers’ compensation programs, benefit payments totaled $63.6 billion in 2013. This was a 0.9 percent increase from the revised 2012 year when it was $63.0 billion. In 2013, benefits amounted to $0.98 per $100 of covered wages.
Medical benefits accounted for $31.5 billion in 2013, while wage loss compensation was $32.0 billion. The latter amount includes disabled workers’ payments and deceased workers’ survival benefits.
The cost to the employer for providing workers’ compensation coverage usually varies according to risk, industrial classification, and experience rating. In 2013, these U.S. costs were approximately $1.37 per $100 of covered wages.
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A Scranton workers’ comp attorney will fight for your benefits
If you suffer an injury while performing your job duties, you may fear for your livelihood. A work accident can place you out of work for an extended period of time. You may need surgery, therapy, and rehabilitation.
The Scranton workman’s compensation attorneys at Munley Law will fight to ensure that you have everything you need until you’re able to work again. In addition to securing your workers’ compensation benefits, we will explore all other possible sources of recovery. For instance, if your injury resulted from a piece of faulty machinery, you may have cause to pursue a claim against the manufacturer.
At Munley Law, we believe that cost should not stand in the way of justice for the injured. Therefore, we do not collect a fee for our services unless we recover benefits for you. As our client, you will not have to pay anything up front or out of your own pocket.
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