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Workers’ Compensation Specific Loss Benefits in Scranton, PA

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If you've suffered a work-related injury in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in any of the many job sectors in the city and surrounding areas, understanding your rights under the state's workers' compensation laws is important. The Scranton workers' compensation lawyers at Munley Law are experts.

When you are hurt at work, it can throw your life into a tailspin. When you suffer a permanent disfigurement, loss of a body part, or other lifelong injury, it can change your life forever. You might be eligible to collect these special workers' compensation benefits if you have suffered a permanent injury while engaging in regular work duties. Injured workers may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and disability benefits.

What is a Specific Loss Benefit in Scranton, PA?

Munley Law has expert work-related injury lawyers in Scranton, PennsylvaniaA specific loss benefit in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is a type of compensation available to workers who have suffered permanent and severe injuries due to a workplace accident. These benefits are designed to provide financial support for workers who have experienced the loss of a body part or function.

To qualify for specific loss benefits, the injury must be permanent and result in a serious and permanent disfigurement. This could include scarring or disfigurement or an occupational disease (diagnosed by a medical professional) that affects the worker's ability to perform their job or impacts their quality of life, including:

  • Loss of a toe
  • Loss of a finger
  • Loss of a hand
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of a foot
  • Loss of an arm
  • Loss of a leg
  • Loss of an eye
  • Serious and permanent disfigurement, such as scarring or disfigurement or other severe injuries that permanently affect the worker's ability to perform their job or impact their quality of life
  • Loss of the use of body parts or organs, such as the loss of use of a limb or organ, if it meets the qualifications for specific loss benefits

Specific loss benefits include compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and disability benefits. The compensation received is typically based on the worker's average weekly wage and the severity of the injury.

Navigating the process of collecting specific loss benefits can be complex, especially when dealing with an employer's insurance company.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive For a Specific Loss?

In Pennsylvania, specific loss workers' compensation benefits are available for workers who have suffered permanent injuries or losses due to a work-related accident. These benefits include other workers' compensation benefits such as medical expenses and wage loss benefits. Specific loss benefits include compensation for the following:

  • Loss of a body part: Specific amounts of compensation are assigned to the loss of various body parts, such as fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, legs, and eyes, based on a statutory schedule.
  • Serious and permanent disfigurement: Compensation may be awarded for severe scarring or disfigurement that affects the worker's appearance and ability to earn a living.
  • Loss of use: Benefits may be available for the loss of use of a body part, such as a limb or organ, even if the body part is not entirely lost. The amount of compensation is based on the extent of the loss of use and its impact on the worker's ability to work.

In Pennsylvania, the compensation you can collect for specific loss benefits depends on the particular injury and its impact on your ability to work. The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act has set particular formulas for calculating these benefits based on the type of injury.

For example, the loss of a hand is generally compensated at 335 weeks of benefits, while the loss of a foot is compensated at 250 weeks.

These benefits are typically calculated based on a percentage of your average weekly wage. You nearly always give up the right to sue your employer in exchange for these benefits. This system is designed to provide a more efficient and streamlined process for injured workers to receive compensation.

It's important to note that specific loss benefits differ from workers' compensation death benefits. Death benefits will pay for funeral and burial costs as well as compensation to the victim's family, whereas specific loss benefits are solely for loss of a body part or body function.

What Are the Three Steps to Handling a Workplace Accident Involving a Specific Loss?

If you have been hurt at work, you must be sure to take specific steps to ensure your workers' compensation-specific loss benefits is successful:

  • Seek Medical Treatment: Seek medical treatment for your work injury. It's essential to see a qualified medical professional who can assess the extent of your injuries and provide appropriate treatment. Be sure to follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment and follow-up care.
  • Report the Accident or Illness: Report the accident or diagnosis of your illness to your employer as soon as possible. In Pennsylvania, you have 120 days from the date of the injury or the diagnosis of an occupational disease from a medical professional to report to your employer. Still, it's best to do this as soon as possible. Reporting the accident promptly helps ensure that your claim is processed promptly.
  • File your Workers' Compensation Claim: To receive specific loss benefits, you must file a workers' compensation claim with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers' Compensation. You can complete a claim form and submit it to the Bureau.
  • Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer: After filing a claim, contact the best workers' compensation lawyer in Scranton, PA. They will go over your paperwork and explain what your next steps should be.

What If My Workers' Comp Claim Is Denied?

If your specific loss claim is denied, you can take the following steps to the decision and seek the benefits you believe you are entitled to:

  • Review the Denial Letter: Carefully review the denial letter from the workers' compensation insurer. The letter should explain the reasons for the denial and provide instructions on how to appeal the decision.
  • Gather Evidence: Gather any medical records, reports, and other evidence that support your claim. This may include documentation of your injury, medical treatment, and additional relevant information.
  • Contact an Attorney: Find an experienced workers' compensation attorney near you who can review your case and advise you on the best action.
  • File an Appeal: Follow the instructions provided in the denial letter to file an appeal of the decision. In Pennsylvania, you must file a petition to review with the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board within 20 days of receiving the denial letter.
  • Attend a Hearing: Your case will be scheduled for a hearing before a workers' compensation judge. You and your attorney will present evidence and arguments supporting your claim at the hearing.
  • Wait for a Decision: The judge will issue a written decision after the hearing. If the judge rules in your favor, you will be awarded specific loss benefits. If the judge upholds the denial, you may have further appeal options, such as filing a petition for reconsideration or appealing to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
  • Follow-up: If your claim is approved, follow up with the workers' compensation insurer to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

It's important to act quickly if your specific loss claim is denied, as there are strict deadlines for filing appeals.

How Can a Scranton Workers' Compensation Attorney Help?

If you are an injured worker hurt in a workplace accident, talk to an experienced workers' compensation attorney at Munley Law in Scranton today. Our experienced workers' compensation lawyers are ready to fight for you to receive your maximum allowed specific loss benefits. Our Scranton workers comp attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay a fee until your case is settled.

If you have any questions about workers' compensation benefits, we're here to help. Contact Munley Law today to schedule a free consultation.

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    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    227 Penn Ave.
    Scranton, PA 18503

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