Injured at work? Contact a PA workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law for a free consultation.
When you sustain a work-related injury or illness, you may wonder how you can afford your medical bills or how you’ll get paid for missed time from work. Fortunately, workers’ comp benefits cover most employees. However, these benefits may not be as straightforward as they seem. For instance, if you become disabled in a workplace accident, it could take months, or even years, before you fully recover.
Will your benefits cover you through this time? Make sure by speaking with a top Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney at Munley Law. We have earned the highest possible peer-review ratings from Martindale-Hubbell and have consistently been recognized by the Best Lawyers in America. The Best Lawyers legal guide named J. Christopher Munley Workers’ Compensation Lawyer of the Year in the Allentown metro area.
Let us review your claim for free. Chat live, fill out our contact form, or call (855) 866-5529 today. We do not collect a fee for our services unless we succeed in recovering your benefits. Se Habla Espanol.
*For information on COVID-19 and workers’ compensation, see the FAQ section of this page.
Read more about workers’ compensation for your industry:
Should I file a workers’ compensation claim?
Many injured employees worry about pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. You may feel that your employer, or your employer’s insurer, will resist paying benefits, or that this could ruin your reputation in the company. You might believe that you cannot afford to appeal your denied claim, or that the final payout won’t be worth the time and effort you put into it after all. You may be intimidated by filing a claim with a big-name company like Walmart, Target, or Amazon, Chewy, or Home Depot. But you should never feel shame or fear about reporting a workplace injury and pursuing the benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Munley Law can help you navigate the process, inform you of your rights, and help you work through any obstacles that come up.
Was your workman’s compensation claim denied?
Workers’ compensation benefits exist to pay for medical expenses and lost wages when you suffer a work-related injury, become ill, or aggravate an existing condition by the work you perform. Nevertheless, many workers’ compensation claims are denied. For example, your employer or their insurer may argue that your injury was not directly work-related.
If workers’ comp denies your claim, or if you stop receiving benefits before you are able to return to work, you should contact a workers’ comp lawyer. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have decades of experience with these types of cases, and we remain abreast of the latest changes in Pennsylvania and national employment laws. We can help you navigate the entire process to make sure that you get the benefits you deserve.
Workers’ compensation Q&A:
Q: What do I need to do after an accident at work?
A: Immediately after the accident, report it to your supervisor and fill out an incident report. Under Pennsylvania law, you must notify your supervisor at your place of employment within 120 days from the date of injury. Failure to do so can result in denial of your claim, so be sure to report your injury as soon as possible. Even if your injury seems minor, it’s best to have a record of the incident in case you begin to feel more pain as time goes on.
After you report your injury, workers’ compensation insurance representatives may contact you asking for details. Do not sign any insurance document or offer of settlement until a workers’ compensation lawyer has reviewed it first. If you have questions about how to apply for workman’s compensation, or if you claim has been denied, call us for a free consult.
Q: I got hurt at work. Do I need a lawyer?
A: If you have reported your injury to your employer, applied for workers’ compensation and are receiving your benefits, you may not need a lawyer. However, the aftermath of a work injury can be difficult and the application process can be confusing. It may be hard to know whose advice to take and how to protect your own rights. If you need help navigating the claims process, we can review the details of your case, inform you of your rights as an employee, and walk you through the proper steps to take – all at no charge. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied and you need help recovering your benefits, that’s when it may be in your best interest to hire us to represent you. The other situation where you may need a lawyer is if a third party (aside from your employer) was responsible for your work-related injury. Even if you are receiving workers’ comp benefits, we can help you pursue a third party claim. Read on to learn more about third party injury claims.
Q: Is there a statute of limitations for workers’ compensation cases?
A: After a work injury, you have limited time to file a claim. Keep in mind that to be successful, any worker’ comp case must be filed no later than three years from the date of injury or disability.
However, if you or a family member suffer from a disease that was contracted during your employment (such as Black Lung disease from working in a coal mine, or mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure), the laws are a bit different. According to Pennsylvania law, the disease and inability to work must occur within 300 weeks from the date you were last employed in the job where you contracted the disease.
Q: Am I covered under workers’ compensation?
A: Almost every Pennsylvania employee is covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. This includes all full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. Nearly all businesses, no matter how big or small, are required to have workers’ comp insurance. Workers in certain industries may be covered under different compensation laws specific to that particular industry, such as railroad or shipyard workers. Exceptions such as volunteers and independent contractors may not be considered an employee and therefore may not be covered. But, that doesn’t mean you have no other options. Contact a work injury lawyer at Munley Law to learn more about your legal rights as an employee.
Q: Can I treat with my own doctor?
A: For the first 90 days of medical care, you must choose from a list of doctors provided by your employer. Your employer must give you at least six doctors to choose from, and your employer cannot choose for you. If your employer does not provide a list of options, you may choose your own. You may also choose another doctor from the list if the first doctor selected is unsatisfactory.
If you require treatment beyond 90 days, you then may treat with any doctor of your choice. If, after 90 days, you do decide to choose a doctor not on your employer’s list, you must notify your employer within five days after your first visit.
Q: How much will I receive in compensation?
A: Your compensation will depend on whether you have a total or partial disability. If you are totally disabled by your work injury and cannot work at all, you are entitled to weekly benefits equal to about two-thirds of your weekly pay, or a maximum of $1081.00 per week, for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2020. This number changes yearly.
After two years, your disability status may be reviewed. At this time, if you are no longer at least 50% disabled (based on American Medical Association guidelines) your disability will convert to a partial disability. A partial disability that reduces your ability to work and your earning capacity may be compensated by a weekly amount that is two-thirds the difference between your present earnings and what you earned prior to the injury. You may receive these partial disability benefits for 500 weeks or for as long as you are working at the lower wage.
Q: When will I receive workers’ comp payments?
A: If your workers’ comp claim is approved, you should begin receiving benefits approximately 21 days after you reported your injury to your employer.
Q: What should I do if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?
A: Don’t panic. It’s common for workers’ comp claims to be denied. If you are denied workers’ comp, it is best to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the entire claims process and who knows the intricacies of employment laws. The right workers’ compensation lawyer will be instrumental in ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Q: If I contract COVID-19 (the coronavirus) at work, can I file for workers’ comp?
A: In many cases, the coronavirus can be considered a work-related injury or an occupational disease. If you contract the coronavirus while performing your job duties, you may file a claim for workers’ compensation.
Q:Will COVID-19 affect how my existing case is processed?
A: In Pennsylvania, state offices have been closed by the governor. Petitions and answers will continue to be processed electronically. As for existing claims, the Department of Labor and Industry is establishing a temporary telephone hearing protocol to reduce person-to-person contact. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will be advised of the future hearing procedures. Your claim will not be dismissed, but hearings may be slightly delayed as the emergency procedures are developed and implemented.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys help people in all industries
Warehouse and heavy machinery accidents – Serious and even fatal injuries can occur in industrial and warehouse settings in Pennsylvania. Working around heavy machinery and equipment can lead to an accident; the machinery may be defective, or there may be a lack of proper safety training. Injuries from accidents involving dangerous machinery can include crushed limbs, hands or fingers, amputation, broken bones, lacerations, electrical burns and wrongful death.
Construction accidents – According to OSHA, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. The leading causes of private construction industry deaths were falls, struck by objects, electrocution and caught in between objects. Those four causes were responsible for 64.2% of construction worker fatalities. Falls, electrocution, crushing injuries, and equipment-related accidents can seriously injure Pennsylvania workers. Construction injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head & neck injuries
- Burns & electrical injuries
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Loss of Limbs or Amputation
- Knee, shoulder and elbow injuries
- Wrongful death
Transportation accidents – Truck drivers have dangerous jobs. According to OSHA, the trucking and transportation industry sees a high rate of work-related fatalities. We represent long-haul truckers, delivery drivers, and other workers whose jobs require lots of travel.
Healthcare worker injuries – Nurses, at-home care providers, and other healthcare professionals work under strenuous conditions and frequently suffer job-related injuries.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “a hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work.” OSHA has explained that “the rate of injury (in a hospital) is almost twice the rate for private industry as a whole.” Part of this high risk is due to what healthcare workers experience every day. Healthcare professionals typically work long hours under physically demanding conditions: exposure to disease, hazardous materials, lifting patients, performing repetitive tasks, and putting patients’ needs ahead of their own.
If you are exposed to an infectious disease at work, or suffer an injury while caring for a patient, you are entitled to seek workers’ compensation.
Work-related illnesses –Work-related illness can occur from exposure to hazardous chemicals and other dangerous materials at work. Exposure to these dangerous toxins and chemicals can lead to serious respiratory conditions, renal disease, chemical burns and some forms of cancer, including mesothelioma.
Workers’ compensation and specific loss injuries
If your work injury resulted in permanent scarring/disfigurement, the loss of a limb, or impaired use of a body part, you may be eligible for “specific loss” payments.
Unlike regular workers’ compensation, you may collect specific loss payments even if your injury does not stop you from working. You do not need to be out of work in order to receive specific loss compensation. You simply must be able to show that your injury happened in the course of your job duties. You must also notify your employer of the injury within 120 days of its occurrence, and submit a workers’ compensation claim within three years of the date the injury was sustained. However, the earlier you act, the better.
How much will I be paid for specific loss?
The amount of money you receive for a specific loss injury will depend on the body part or function you have lost. For example:
- For the loss of a hand, you will receive 335 weeks of payments
- For the loss of a thumb, 100 weeks
- For the loss of an eye, 275 weeks
- For the loss of a foot, 250 weeks
- For the loss of a leg, 410 weeks
- For a permanent loss of hearing in both ears: 260 weeks
See this chart for a complete list of specific loss injuries and the number of payments you will receive for each.
Workers’ compensation death benefits
Thousands of Americans are killed performing their jobs each year. If a worker dies as a result of a job injury or illness, the worker’s family is entitled to receive death benefits. Even if the injury or illness did not cause an immediate death, death benefits may apply if the worker passed away within 300 weeks of sustaining the workplace injury, or toxic exposure.
Workers compensation death benefits are paid to the surviving family members who depended on the deceased person for financial support. Those eligible include: a spouse, minor children, a dependent adult child or parent. Workers’ comp must also pay the reasonable costs of burial, up to $3,000.
A petition for death benefits must be filed within three years of the worker’s death.
Workers’ compensation and penalty petitions
When an Employer or insurance company violates the provisions of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker may be eligible to file what is called a penalty petition. Actions that may warrant a penalty petition can include:
- Delaying payment to a claimant without cause
- Terminating benefits unjustly
- Denying a claim due to an improper investigation of the work injury
- Failing to notify the injured worker, within 21 days, that the claim is denied
- Failing to pay medical bills
Injured workers who file a penalty petition may be eligible for an award of up to 50 percent of the past-due amount owed, plus interest, and attorney fees.
If you file a workers’ comp claim, can you bring a case against a third party?
Workers’ comp insurance allows you to collect compensation for a work-related injury without filing a lawsuit against your employer. However, there are certain situations where you may be able to bring a claim against a third party. A third-party claim is an action against another person or entity responsible for your injury. For example, if a faulty piece of machinery resulted in an accident, you may have cause to bring a claim against the machine’s manufacturer. Even if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may still pursue a third party claim in addition to your existing comp claim.
At Munley Law we have represented numerous workers whose job related injuries involved negligent third parties. For example, we handled the third-party claim for a woman who was seriously hurt in a forklift accident, and secured a $12 million settlement.
To learn more about your legal options, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law. We will explore every avenue to make sure you get the maximum recovery.
Recent Workers’ Comp Settlements
- $325,000 – Low back injury requiring multiple surgeries
- $265,000 – A worker who suffered a lumbar sprain
- $250,000 – An injury resulting in a double amputation above the knee
- $165,000 – An employee who suffered a shoulder sprain
- $130,000 – A work injury resulting in low and upper back, shoulder, and neck sprain
- $128,832 – An ankle fracture sustained at work
- $125,195.20 – A neck and back injury sustained on the job
- $120,000 – A low back sprain that occurred at work
- $106,000 – An injury resulting in a torn rotator cuff
- $100,000 – A work injury that aggravated an existing knee injury
- $100,000 – An employee who sustained a finger fracture at work
Workers’ compensation client testimonials
“Without Caroline Munley, I’m not sure where I would be. After cutting off the tip of my finger at my construction job, I was worried that my career would be at risk. But Ms. Munley reassured me that filing a workers comp claim doesn’t mean I would lose my job. She was with me every step of the way and helped me get back on my feet again. Now I’m back on the job and it’s all thanks to her help!”
-Maggie, a Workers Compensation Client
“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, a Workers Comp Client
Let our workers’ compensation attorneys help you
If workers’ comp denies your claim, you should seek a work injury lawyer immediately. Our dedicated team of lawyers and paralegals will help you get the benefits you deserve.
Our workers comp law firm understands that the aftermath of a work-related accident can be a difficult time in your life. We are here to help. Contact us now for a FREE case evaluation for your workman’s compensation case. Call us at 844-686-5397 or click here to email us. A member of our work accident injury team will get back to you right away.