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
Our Scranton office is conveniently located at 227 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503
If you get injured on the job in the Scranton area, your first concern will be your financial situation. What will happen if you can’t go to work? How will you pay the bills? And what medical expenses will you be facing in the future?
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.
About Munley Law’s Scranton Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
For more than 60 years, Munley Law has been the go-to firm for injured workers and their families in Lackawanna County. With decades of experience in Pennsylvania workers’ comp 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. In addition, Attorney James Christopher Munley was named 2016 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for Workers’ Compensation – Claimants.
If you have a workers’ compensation claim and need legal assistance, we are here to help. Chat live, fill out our contact form, or call (855) 866-5529 for a free consultation today.
“About 5 months ago, I had injured my back after lifting a heavy box at work. My employer refused to submit my claim even though the doctor had said the injury was caused by the action. I turned to Caroline Munley for help and I’m glad that I did. She walked me through filing my claim and helped me get the money to pay for my medical bills. I don’t know where I would be without her. Thank you, Ms. Munley!” – Lisa
What Work Injuries Qualify For Workers’ Comp?
Work-related injuries and health conditions can occur at any type of business. From factories for personal care products to aerospace products, supermarket chains to higher education institutions, health care organizations like hospitals to home care agencies, Scranton is fortunate to be home to some prominent industries which provide for our needs and fuel our economy. But staff members from each of these industries may suffer work-related injuries.
Nearly any injury or illness that is directly job-related qualifies for workman’s comp benefits. Thankfully, Pennsylvania 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 compensation 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 resulted from a job-related activity. For example, if you were driving on I-81 southbound towards Wilkes-Barre to visit a client and you get 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 can 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
Why Consult A Scranton Work Injury 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 compensation you deserve.
Our Scranton workers’ compensation attorneys have the expertise to determine whether you are likely eligible for compensation. 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 in Scranton, it may be difficult to find one with the same amount of experience and prestige as Munley Law. With our main office located in the center of Scranton, our Munley Law workers’ compensation lawyers 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation 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 in Scranton, contact Munley Law at (855) 866-5529 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 compensation. 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 Does “Malingering” Mean?
Sometimes the term malingering is used when a workers’ comp claim is challenged. This word means exaggerating the effect of an injury or illness, or acting as though an injury is more serious than is actually the case. Malingering can involve building up deceptive evidence to support a claim which is not legitimate.
Sometimes workers act in ways that could be interpreted as malingering, inadvertently. They may subconsciously exaggerate their experience of an injury, as they fear returning to work will make their symptoms worse.
If you are accused of malingering when in fact you have a legitimate injury, a Scranton workers’ comp lawyer at Munley Law will stand up for you.
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 Scranton workers’ comp lawyer can help you seek compensation 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 to play — it provides 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 Scranton 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 $1081 for injuries that occurred on or after January 1, 2020. 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’ compensation lawyer. If legal action becomes necessary, a fully litigated claim could take between eight and twelve months before a workers’ compensation judge renders a decision. If the decision is in your favor, you should, in most cases, receive benefits within 30 days.
Q: Are Workers’ Compensation Benefit Payments Taxable In Pennsylvania?
It is advisable to consult a tax attorney regarding the regulations governing any type of income.
But generally, the answer is no. Awards from workers’ compensation cases should not appear on your W2s or other tax documents. They are not taxed at either the state or federal level, except in unusual cases, such as if an employee was also receiving SSDI or SSI.
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 workers’ compensation 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: If I Have Other Income, Do I Need To Report It When Filing For Workers’ Compensation With My Employer?
The short answer to this question is yes.
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.
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 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 in any legal proceeding.
Q: 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, as long as the injury was work-related and it was not intentionally self-inflicted. Your employer or the insurance company may try to say otherwise, but Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. This means when an accident occurs, no fault will be issued.
Q: 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 drivers, nurses, sales personnel, and consultants.
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.
Q: 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.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
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.
For more information, see:
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.
Chat, email, or call us today to arrange a free consultation with a Scranton workers’ compensation lawyer.