If you’ve suffered a work injury in a Wilkes-Barre warehouse, contact a workers’ comp lawyer at Munley Law for a free consultation
A warehouse workplace injury is a draining experience without the additional complexities of a workers’ compensation claim. But between lost wages and the inability to work, few warehouse workers can afford to give up the rights they are entitled to by law. Regardless of how severe you think your workplace injury is, you can and should file a compensation claim to make sure you are covered throughout the duration of your recovery. A momentary injury could still have long-lasting affects and the statute of limitations provides a window of time to report and file a claim.
Munley Law is committed to helping warehouse workers in Luzerne County win the compensation they deserve for workplace injuries. Our Wilkes-Barre workers’ compensation attorneys will help you navigate local and state laws. They’ll also ensure you have the resources you need to heal from your workplace injury.
Reporting an injury and opening a workers’ compensation claim does not mean you blame your employer for the injury. But as a warehouse employee, you are entitled to the company’s help as you recover from any injury or illness resulting from the services or duties you provide for the warehouse.
No warehouse worker should push through a workplace injury due to fear of being fired or let go. While employers are not allowed to terminate employment because of a workers’ compensation claim, some may try to find a way. A good workers’ compensation attorney can help you settle your claim. They can also provide help if your warehouse employer terminates your employment in the midst of your claim.
At Munley Law, we’ve won compensation for many injured warehouse workers. Our compensation lawyers in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County are ready to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to get you started down the road to compensation.
Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation Claims in Wilkes-Barre
Workers’ compensation laws cover any injuries that happen in the workplace or because of the job. When your ability to perform your duties is hampered by an injury or illness resulting from the job or a job-related function, our Wilkes-Barre compensation lawyers can review your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Warehouse workers are particularly susceptible to several common work-related injuries, including:
- Forklift and other equipment-related accidents, including conveyor belts, hand trucks, power tools, or compactors
- Overexertion from regular awkward or strenuous motions or momentary but highly strenuous activities
- Repetitive stress injuries due to performing the same movements over and over
- Falling objects from shelves, trucks, conveyor belts or upper walkways
- Slips and falls due to spilled liquids, accumulated dust, cords or hoses across walkways, or general clutter on the floor
A 2020 annual report for Pennsylvania workers’ compensation reported 4,810 injuries and illnesses among warehouse and storage workers. That’s a rate of 56.1 injuries per 1,000 workers. Not every injury or illness is reported and there is no reason for warehouse workers to push through an injury or illness. Many warehouse workplace injuries result from improper work technique or lack of training, both causes that can be addressed by employers. Workers’ compensation also covers workplace injuries regardless of whether your injury is a result of your own actions, the actions of a coworker, supervisor, customer, or a third party. If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation to ease your financial burden while you recover.
How t0 File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The flow of a workers’ compensation claim depends on whether the employer accepts responsibility for the injury or not. But the timeline for the beginning steps remains the same.
Pennsylvania law requires the employee to report the injury to a direct supervisor within 120 days of the occurrence. You will want to make sure the report is documented and get a copy of the report, if possible. Contact a work injury lawyer as soon as you possible after your injury to ensure the best outcome for your claim.
Employers are required to immediately inform the insurance company or the official who manages workers’ compensation claims with “first report of injury.” For injuries resulting in loss of more than one day or shift of work, a report must also be filed with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within seven days of the employee reporting the injury.
Within 21 days, the injured worker will receive notice of either voluntary payment or the denial of the claim. When a claim is denied, the employee has three years to file an appeal petition. At this point, you will want an experienced workers’ injury lawyer to help you present your case and fight for the compensation you deserve for your warehouse injury.
Workers’ compensation claims are frequently denied because of mistakes in the filing process. Insurance companies and employers frequently look for any loophole to avoid paying claims, so having a Wilkes-Barre work injury lawyer walking with you every step of the way is critical to settling your workers’ compensation claim in a timely and favorable manner.
Frequently Asked Questions for Wilkes-Barre Workplace Injuries
Q: Am I eligible for Compensation as an Independent Contractor or Temporary Employee?
Though employers are not required to cover injuries to independent contractors, classification of employees can be a tricky subject. Some employers may classify employees as independent contractors while expecting them to perform employee duties. To be an independent contractor, a person must both be free from control or direction over the performance of services and be engaged in the trade, occupation, business or profession independently. In short, an independent contractor must be a separate business that provides the employer with the required service.
If you suspect your employer may have misclassified you as an independent contractor and you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, contact our compensation lawyers in Wilkes-Barre. Our attorneys can help you navigate the process of job classification as it pertains to your workers’ compensation case.
Temporary employees are also covered by workers’ compensation laws in Luzerne County. Temp employees should report injuries to direct warehouse supervisors, as well as to the temp agency employing them.
Q: Will a Workers’ Compensation Claim Hurt My Employment?
Employers are not legally allowed to terminate employment due to a workers’ compensation claim. However, having an open comp claim does not prevent the employer from terminating employment for other unrelated reasons. An employer will need to have proof of valid reasons for ending employment, showing that the workers’ compensation claim is not the reason. While this doesn’t stop some employers from getting creative with at-will employees, most employers also know that if an employee is fired or let go while on an open claim, it is likely to seem suspicious.
Even if filing a claim for your warehouse work injury isn’t your first instinct, many doctors’ offices screen for work-related injuries. If one is uncovered, they will bill the employer’s insurance. If the doctor does not take workers’ comp claims, they may refuse to treat you. Though it can be scary to file a workers’ compensation claim, you deserve to have your employer take care of your work-related injury. Your employer needs to be held accountable for fostering a safe work environment. Our compensation lawyers in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County will help you navigate the process of filing your claim and will fight with you if retaliation occurs.
Q: Should I Settle My Claim or Have a Hearing?
A: Most compensation claims end in a settlement—both parties compromising to find an acceptable solution. Settlement is less risky, in terms of having a degree of control over the outcome. When a claim is brought before a workers’ compensation judge in a hearing or trial, the judge will make a ruling based on the case facts.
In Pennsylvania, settlement is a compromise and release process. This means once a settlement is reached, the injured employee accepts a lump sum of money and waives all further workers’ compensation rights. For some employees and injuries, this is appropriate and avoids the hassle of a drawn-out compensation claim. However, state laws require a minimum of four months before settlement can occur. This gives time for the injured worker and his or her workers’ comp attorneys to get an idea of the value of the claim. It can be challenging to properly value a settlement while the worker is still healing from the injury.
Settlement of a compensation claim is full and final, meaning once it’s approved the claim cannot be reopened and the injured worker cannot make any other demands or requests. For this reason, it’s crucial to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County to make sure you are getting the compensation you are owed.
Q: Do I Really Need a Lawyer for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A: While an attorney is not required for a workers’ compensation claim, there are several compelling reasons for not going at the process alone.
First, although some workers’ compensation claims are straightforward, the process can be complex. Assessing the value of your injury or illness in terms of lost work and wages, medical expenses and living costs can be challenging, especially in the early stages of the injury. An experienced warehouse workers’ comp lawyer can draw on similar cases and a network of professionals to help make a recommendation. In addition, while not every employer will be looking for a way to wriggle out of a workers’ compensation claim, the reality is that some will. With a team of lawyers looking for any and every loophole, you’ll want to make sure your claim paperwork is filled out perfectly. A lawyer specializing in workers’ compensation claims can make sure your claim or appeal is airtight.
Second, settling a compensation claim involves waiving any rights to reopening or renegotiating the claim in the future. In the moment, a lump sum of money might seem fair and reasonable. A workers’ compensation lawyer practicing in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County can help a warehouse worker determine whether the sum is truly fair or whether the worker is entitled to more.
Finally, you will be putting time and energy into healing from your warehouse workplace injury or illness. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in your corner will allow you to let go of the stress of the claim and focus on your well-being. Having a trusted attorney taking care of the claim process can provide a peace of mind that is priceless.
Q: Why Should I Trust Munley Law with My Claim?
Our workers’ compensation lawyers are experienced winning claims in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County. While you focus on recovery, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you are entitled to. Whether you’re opening a new claim or need help with the appeal process, our attorneys have decades of experience for you to rely on.
We have recovered million-dollar workers’ compensation settlements and verdicts for our clients in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County and our lawyers are at the ready to tackle your warehouse workers’ compensation claim. We believe that workers’ compensation for warehouse workers is crucial, given the often hazardous nature of warehouse work. No employee should feel ashamed or afraid to file a workers’ compensation claim. Let our work injury lawyers step up to the plate on your behalf.
Have an Experienced Warehouse Workers Comp Lawyer By Your Side
We are passionate about helping the hardworking people of Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County. The testimonials from our satisfied clients show how our Wilkes-Barre workers’ compensation attorneys will pursue each claim and won’t rest until we’ve recovered the compensation you are entitled to.
At Munley Law, we don’t collect attorney fees until we’ve recovered a verdict or a settlement on your behalf. When you work with a Munley Law work injury lawyer, you will be getting the best representation to help you in your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation to review your claim and recommend next steps. Call us today at (570)399-0406 to take the first step toward justice.