Workers’ compensation and death benefits are important protections for employees who are injured or killed on the job in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. These programs provide financial support and medical care for workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, as well as benefits for the families of workers who are killed in workplace accidents.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Munley Law have years of experience navigating the claims process with injured employees. We have won millions for our clients and are confident we can do the same for you. Call today for a free consultation with a seasoned workers’ comp lawyer who will be able to secure the compensation you deserve.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation was enacted in 1915 as the Workmen’s (Workers’) Compensation Act. It is a form of insurance that provides financial benefits to workers who are injured or become ill from their job duties. The system is designed to protect both the employee and the employer in the event of a workplace illness or injury. The injured employee is provided financial coverage for their medical expenses, while the employer is protected from a lawsuit.
In Pennsylvania, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Coverage begins on the first day of work and continues until the employee no longer works for the company.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you need to have to meet four standards:
- You need to be an employee of the company you are seeking benefits from.
- Your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your illness or injury happened on the job or directly because of the job.
- You meet all the requirements, deadlines, and paperwork to file a workers’ comp claim.
Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with an injury or illness. Our workers’ comp lawyers at Munley Law have a deep understanding of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws. We can guide you through the claims process, making sure the deadlines are met, the paperwork is correct, and the required steps are properly taken.
How Do Death Benefits Work in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania?
Death benefits are a type of workers’ compensation benefits. When a worker is injured on the job, they collect workers’ compensation benefits. When a worker is tragically killed on the job, their surviving family members can collect death benefits.
The surviving family who is eligible for death benefits are:
- Parent (if the parent relied on the worker for financial support)
- Sibling under 18, or a student under 23
The amount of financial compensation the family receives is largely dependent on the workers’ wages at the time of their death.
- Widow or widower with no children: Entitled to 51 percent of the deceased’s weekly wages
- Widow or widower with one child: Entitled to 60 percent of the deceased’s weekly wages
- Widow or widower with two or more children: Entitled to 66 percent or ⅔ of the deceased’s weekly wages
- No spouse or children: Up to 52 percent of the deceased’s weekly wages may go to financially dependent parents
- No spouse, children, or parents: Siblings may receive up to 22 percent of the deceased’s weekly wages.
The Munley Law workers’ compensation lawyers will work tirelessly to make sure the surviving family receives the maximum amount of compensation.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you suffer an injury at work you must report your injuries to your employer as soon as possible. Under Pennsylvania law, you have 21 days from the date of the injury to tell your boss about the accident. Your employer is then required to immediately report the injury to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will then begin an investigation into the claim and will determine whether the employee is eligible for benefits.
If your claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. Unfortunately, there are employers and insurance companies who try to diminish your injury or illness in order to avoid paying the money they owe you. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Munley Law will not let that happen. Our attorneys arm our clients with knowledge of their rights and then we fiercely fight to protect them in the conference room and in the courtroom.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
How Do I File a Death Benefits Claim?
Filing a death benefits claim after your loved one dies is more complicated. After a worker dies on the job, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) needs to be notified. The death must also be reported to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within 48 hours of the fatality.
You and your family will work with your loved one’s company to handle the last paycheck, terminating health insurance, pension, life insurance, and all other details.
After that is done, your Munley Law workers’ comp lawyer will inform the company of the impending death benefits claim. Although the family has three years to file the claim, the sooner it’s filed the better, especially if the deceased was the main source of income. The claim will go to the insurance company which will either approve or deny the claim.
If your claim is denied, your lawyer will appeal. Our workers’ comp attorneys will build a rock-solid case around your claim so you and your family can recover the highest amount of compensation available.
What Are the Most Common Workers’ Compensation Claims?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common workplace deaths in Wilkes-Barre and across the United States include:
- Trips, slips, and falls
- Transportation Accidents
- Heart disease
- Chemical exposures
- Communicable diseases
- Fires and explosions
The most common Pennsylvania workplaces where serious or fatal accidents occur are:
- Construction worksites
- Transportation jobs
- Medical fields
- Mining and/or extraction sites
- Emergency response (police officers and firefighters)
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Workers’ Compensation or Death Benefits Lawsuit?
While there is no law stating that you need a lawyer, hiring a lawyer at Munley will help you and your family to understand your rights and navigate the workers’ compensation system. Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will greatly increase your chances of securing the maximum compensation. The Munley Law lawyers will take care of the investigation into the workplace accident, negotiations with the insurance company, and the tedious paperwork.
Munley Law is a family-owned law firm. When you work with us, it’s like you’re working with family. We understand what you are going through. You are either coping with a work-related injury or reeling from the death of a loved one. Let us handle the stress of the claims process while you focus on getting healthy and moving your life forward.
If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident and are having issues getting workers’ compensation death benefits, we’re here to help. Contact the Wilkes-Barre workers’ compensation lawyers at Munley Law today to schedule a free consultation.
Wilkes-Barre Practice Areas
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702