Our Scranton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fights for Injured Workers
If you get injured on the job in the Scranton area, your first concern will be your financial situation. Workers’ compensation 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. What will happen then? If you were injured in a workplace accident, a Scranton workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law can ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
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For more than 60 years, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has been the go-to firm for injured workers and their families in Lackawanna County. With decades of experience in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws, our attorneys can assist you with your claim and make sure that you receive the compensation you will need following a workplace accident.
Thanks to our work on behalf of injured claimants, we have earned national recognition from such elite legal organizations as Best Lawyers, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania, and U.S. News and World Report. Caroline Munley is certified as a workers’ compensation specialist by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law and James Christopher Munley was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for Workers’ Compensation – Claimants.
If you have a workers’ compensation claim and need legal assistance, our Scranton personal injury lawyers are here to help. Chat live, fill out our contact form, or call for a free consultation today.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide financial 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 who are engaged in interstate commerce and seamen who 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.
What Type of Work Injuries Qualify For Workers’ Comp?
Work-related injuries and health conditions can occur in any type of business. From factories for personal care products to aerospace products, supermarket chains to higher education institutions, health care organizations to home care agencies, Scranton is fortunate to be home to some prominent industries that provide for our needs and fuel our economy. Strategically centered between New York City and Philadelphia, the Electric City is filled with distribution centers and transportation hubs. However, employees from each of these industries can easily suffer from work-related injuries.
Nearly any injury or illness that is directly job-related qualifies for workman’s comp benefits. Thankfully, Scranton employees who are hurt in the workplace can, in most cases, recover workers’ compensation benefits to help lessen the losses resulting from workplace injuries or illnesses. As long as there is evidence your illness or injury resulted from an accident at work or a condition of your workplace, our Scranton workers’ compensation lawyer will help you seek reconciliations for your illness, injury, or related losses.
Injuries do not have to occur on company property to be covered. Employees who travel to job sites are covered for any injuries occurring at remote locations if the injury results from a job-related activity. For example, if you were driving on I-81 southbound towards Wilkes-Barre to visit a client and you got into a car accident, you can apply for workers’ compensation since you were on the job at the time of the accident.
Additionally, you may or may not be aware that work-related injuries are not limited to cases involving actual direct harm caused by an accident. Repetitive motion-related conditions may be covered if they result from activities necessary for job performance. Health problems caused or worsened by exposure to toxic chemicals, heavy metals, or environmental hazards are also covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
Other common illnesses or injuries that can be claimed under workers’ compensation in Scranton include:
- Exposure to chemicals and hazardous substances
- Injury caused by heat or electricity, such as heat stroke
- Exposure to bacteria or viruses that lead to illness
- Injuries resulting in a fall, slip, or trip
- Mental stress and illness
- Injuries caused by sound and pressure, such as hearing loss from working in a factory
However, there are things that are not covered under workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits do not cover:
- Injuries from a work fight or horseplay
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Commute injuries (like a car accident while you are not on the clock)
- Injuries that result from committing a crime or violating a workplace policy
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
The workers’ compensation laws in Pennsylvania are extremely complicated to understand. It can be very easy for an employer’s insurance company to deny a claim, leaving you without the benefits you need to recover from your injury after a work-related accident. That’s why it’s always important to speak with an experienced lawyer to understand your rights as a worker and to have someone fight for you to get you the payment you deserve.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys have the expertise to determine whether you are likely eligible for payment. We will sit down with you and examine your accident, determine what is the best legal recourse going forward, and present you with options on how to proceed. If your compensation has been denied, we will represent you and help you file a claim with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. We’ll make sure you get the benefits you need in order to move on from your work injury.
Although many law firms say they handle workers’ comp claims, it may be difficult to find one with the same amount of experience and prestige as Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. With our main office located in the center of, our Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys serve the surrounding area. We offer a confidential and free consultation. We can assess whether you have a legitimate case. Failing to consult with an attorney following an on-the-job injury may fail to receive the benefits for which you are qualified.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits Can I Receive?
Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, injured employees may qualify for one (or more) of the six types of benefits.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits are available to injured workers who cannot return to work. However, after 104 weeks on TTD, the insurance company may require you to undergo an Impairment Rating Evaluation to determine if you are still eligible for TTD or partial disability.
- Partial Disability: If after the evaluation you are less than 50 percent whole body impaired or cleared for light-duty work, you may qualify for partial disability. Should the light-duty job pay less than your old position, you are entitled to two-thirds of the pay difference based on your average weekly wage up to the maximum rate of pay you had previously earned.
- Specific Loss Benefits: If you have lost a body part in a work accident, you are eligible for Specific Loss benefits. Examples of injuries and bodily function loss include loss of limb, hearing loss, partial or complete blindness, and disfigurement. You can only collect specific loss benefits for a period of time, so be sure to consult with a workers’ comp lawyer to learn what you may qualify for.
- Medical Expenses: Any medical care, treatment, or rehabilitation related to your workplace injury is covered under workers’ compensation. In the event of home modifications needed, this can also be used for those costs.
- Travel Expenses: If you must travel out of the area to receive medical treatment, those travel expenses are also covered under workers’ comp.
- Death Benefits: If a loved one dies as a result of a workplace injury, the family can recover payments within 300 weeks of the injury as well as reimbursement for funeral expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions During Our Free Consultation Offered In Scranton
When injured at work, many workers find themselves with more questions than answers. Below are answers to a few commonly asked questions 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, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today.
Q: 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 payment. If workers’ compensation denies your claim, your first step is to contact a Scranton workers’ compensation attorney. Then you have up to three years to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Bureau, requesting a hearing.
If the judge denies your claim, you can then appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within 20 days. If your claim is still denied, you do have the option to file an appeal with the Commonwealth Court.
Q: What Is A Third-Party Claim? Does It Apply To My Workers’ Comp Claim?
In some cases, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim while also collecting workers’ compensation. If someone other than your employer is responsible for your work-related injury, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you seek reparations from the at-fault third party.
For example, if you were driving as part of your job duties and were in a crash, you could bring a claim against the negligent driver in addition to collecting workers’ comp benefits.
It’s important to note that in the state of Pennsylvania, you are unable to sue your employer for your accident. So in the case above, you can sue the driver for the accident but you cannot sue your employer. That’s where the workers’ compensation benefits will come into play — it provide the compensation you need following a work accident.
Q: What Is “Light Duty” And Does My Employer Have To Provide It?
Light duty is a term that defines a task that is physically or mentally less challenging than an injured worker’s normal job responsibilities. It is up to your physician to determine whether you are eligible for light-duty work, not your employer. However, if your employer does provide light-duty work and it has been cleared by your doctor, it is in your best interest to accept the duties.
However, injured workers may be pressured to return to work as soon as possible without the consent of their doctor. If you are being pressured into returning to work early, a workmans’ compensation lawyer may be able to help.
Q: 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.
An employee who suffered total disability may be eligible for up to two-thirds of their weekly pay, or a maximum of $1,205 per week for injuries that occurred on or after January 1, 2022. This maximum dollar number changes each year. 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 as 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.
Q: How Long Does It Take To Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits?
If all goes well: When an employee is injured at work, the employer’s insurance company theoretically has 21 days to either accept or deny the claim as a compensable injury. If the claim is approved, benefits for medical bills and lost wages should begin within a few weeks.
If there are complications: If the claim is denied or a decision is not made within the window of 21 days, the employee should seek the services of a qualified workers’ comp lawyer. If legal action becomes necessary, a fully litigated claim could take between eight and twelve months before a workers’ comp judge renders a decision. If the decision is in your favor, you should, in most cases, receive benefits within 30 days.
Q: 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 claim, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to take further action so that your benefits can be restored.
However, depending on your age and physical condition, an employer may ask you to retire if you are receiving workers’ comp. Retirement benefits should not affect the amount you receive under workers’ comp; however, there are instances where a worker may see a reduction upon retirement. If you are planning to retire, make sure you know the details of your retirement plan before signing anything.
Q: 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 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 in any legal proceeding.
Q: 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. If this is the case, it is best to seek legal representation to discuss the facts in your case.
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers 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 Personal Injury Attorneys 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 upfront or out of your own pocket.
Chat, email, or call us today to arrange a free consultation with a Scranton workers’ comp lawyer. You don’t pay until we win your case.
Schedule an appointment at our Scranton office:
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
227 Penn Ave.
Scranton, PA 18503
Scranton Practice Areas
227 Penn Ave,
Scranton, PA 18503