Know What to Ask an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer
A workplace accident may mean prolonged medical treatment, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and time off work. Workers’ compensation benefits exist to cover these expenses, but obtaining your benefits isn’t always easy. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you recover the benefits you are owed.
In Pennsylvania, most employees are covered under workers’ comp for medical costs and lost wages caused by a work-related injury or death. Under Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law, injured workers have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they have been injured while carrying out their work-related tasks either on-site or off-site. How long these benefits last depends on the severity of your injury and the possibility of long-term disability.
Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies often deny workers’ comp claims, even when they are valid. That’s where a workers’ comp lawyer can help.
If your comp claim was denied, or your benefits are being terminated before you are able to return to work, call a workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. If you have been injured at work Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys’s workers’ compensation lawyers can talk to you about your rights. Call us at 844-303-7321 to schedule a free initial consultation.
What Should I Do After a Work-Place Injury?
You might feel like your injury seems minor and decide not to seek medical attention after a work-place injury. This is a mistake. Even minor injuries can worsen with time. For example, a head injury or concussion left untreated can lead to traumatic brain injury later on.
This is why you need to seek medical attention immediately after a work-related accident. As soon as you can, fill out an incident report form at work and report your accident to your supervisor. We recommend filing the incident report within 3 days of the accident if you can. The state of Pennsylvania allows you 120 days to file this report, but the sooner you can file it with your employer, the better.
What Happens after I File an Incident Report about my Work-Place Accident?
Once you’ve submitted the incident report, insurance adjusters are likely to contact you to find out more about the accident and injury. Be careful. You should always speak with a skilled workers’ comp lawyer before talking to an insurance company. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can speak to the insurance adjuster for you so that you don’t unintentionally say something that will negatively affect the benefits you might receive.
What Kinds of Injuries Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
All kinds of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, including:
- Bone fractures
- Burns, caused by heat or chemicals
- Contusions, lacerations, and crushing
- Loss of use of a body part
- Illnesses contracted on the job or caused by work
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Being struck
In addition, injuries and diseases made worse by your job are covered under workers’ compensation. Some injuries are referred to as “specific loss” injuries. When an employee suffers a “specific loss,” compensation is provided for the loss or loss of use of an arm, leg, hand, finger, or other extremity. Vision and hearing loss caused by work are also covered by workers’ compensation. Specific loss benefits are paid regardless of whether the employee misses work as a result of the injury.
Nearly 35% of the injuries suffered by workers in 2020 were either a sprain or strain, with injuries to the shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, and fingers being the most common. Over a quarter of injuries were caused by overexertion as a result of lifting, pulling, pushing, or carrying.
Are Work-Place Injuries Common in Pennsylvania?
According to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, over 147,000 workers in Pennsylvania suffered injuries at work in 2020. Workers in the Education and Health Services industry suffered the most injuries, followed by those in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities.
People working in the healthcare system, such as in hospitals and other care facilities suffered the most injuries in the Education and Health Services industry. In the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industry, employees working at garden centers, building material stores, food and beverage retail centers, and general merchandise stores, as well as those working in warehouses and as couriers suffered the most injuries.
What Should I Do if My Loved One Died in a Work-Place Accident?
If your family member died from a work-related injury or illness, death benefits in a workers’ compensation policy can provide compensation to you. Most workers’ comp policies can pay for the funeral and provide financial support to you as a member of the late worker’s family. Family members may be able to receive weekly death benefits calculated as a percentage of the deceased worker’s salary. There is a weekly maximum limit on death benefits set by the state based on the state’s average salary.
To determine if you are eligible to collect death benefits when your loved one died on the job, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. We can talk to you about your options and how to get the compensation you deserve.
What Do I Do If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Denied?
According to the Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ comp benefits should cover medical bills and wage loss if you become ill, injured, or have a previous condition worsened by your job. [start]
Unfortunately, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance firm can deny your claim on the following grounds:
- Your employer argues your claim is not valid
- Your employer states your injury is not serious or “real”
- You provided inaccurate information in your incident report
- You filed the application more than 120 days after the accident
- You or your injury isn’t covered by the employer’s workers’ comp insurance
- Your employer argues injury happened outside of work
- Your employer accuses you of using illegal drugs or alcohol while at work
The good news is that you can challenge the denial of a workers’ compensation claim if it was denied. Unfortunately, appeals can be difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating. This is not what you want to deal with when you’re trying to get back on your feet. A workers’ compensation lawyer well-acquainted with the law can handle the appeal process for you.
Do you need to appeal a work comp benefits denial? Discuss your options with a qualified Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys workers’ comp lawyer today. Call 844-303-7321 or contact us here to schedule a FREE initial consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Workers’ Compensation
Q: What is Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation?
The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system is designed to protect both employees and employers. Through the system, hurt employees receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability caused by work-related injuries and disease. Employers pay to cover their workers. In exchange, employees cannot sue their employees for compensation that is paid to them through workers’ compensation. For most employers, workers’ comp coverage is required. If employers do not cover their workers, they may be sued by their employees and may be criminally prosecuted.
Q: How do I know if I am covered by workers’ comp?
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires most Pennsylvania employers to protect their employees with workers’ comp insurance, no matter how large or small the business. Employees are covered by Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp system for the entire time they work, beginning on the first day of the job. Full-time, part-time, and most seasonal workers are covered.
Because workers’ comp pays injured employees for their on-the-job injuries, your work injury claim goes through a special process within the workers’ compensation system. It is not handled in court and is not heard by a court judge. Rather, a workers’ compensation claim is decided by a workers’ comp administrative judge. Some claims are also resolved through negotiation and settlement, or through alternative dispute resolution processes like mediation.
While most businesses are required to provide workers’ comp coverage to their employees, some are not required to provide workers’ compensation benefits. Some situations where a worker might not be covered by Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp include:
- People covered by specific workers’ compensation laws, such as railroad workers and federal employees,
- Agricultural workers who work less than 30 days in a year for one employer,
- Farm workers who earn less than $1,200 annually from one job,
- Independent contractors who are not employees,
- Volunteer workers, and
- Workers who provide domestic services such as house cleaning and lawn care.
Q: How long do I have to report my injury or file a claim?
Under Pennsylvania law, you must report your injury to your employer within 120 days of the injury. You must file your claim for compensation within 3 years of the date of your injury. These time limits make it very important for you to speak with an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as possible. If you do not report your injury or file your claim on time, your claim will be denied and you will not be able to receive compensation.
Q: How much money will I receive for my injuries?
The amount of money you can receive for your injuries depends upon several factors, including:
- How severe your injuries are,
- Whether you are totally or partially disabled, and
- The amount of time you are unable to work.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, workers in Pennsylvania received over $2.8 million in 2019 for workers’ compensation benefits.
Q: What is a “third-party” claim in workers’ comp cases?
When a person is injured on the job, sometimes someone other than the employer could be held responsible. If someone else is responsible because they acted negligently or recklessly, they may be required to pay for your losses and damages. This other person is referred to as a “third-party.” Claims against third-parties are not part of the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. Claims against third parties may be pursued in court.
Q: What makes Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys different from other personal injury law firms?
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, you don’t just get a workers’ compensation lawyer, you get a law firm. Our attorneys work together as a team to give you the benefit of having the insight, experience, and combined efforts of our entire team. Our attorneys are highly-skilled and have earned a reputation for working harder than other attorneys to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve in your worker’s comp case. Our mission is to help injured victims — so call us today for a FREE case evaluation.
Q: How can I afford the workers’ comp attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys?
The workers’ compensation lawyers of Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any fees to Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys unless we collect money for you. It means there are no charges to you until we obtain money for you for your losses.
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims process can be difficult and time-consuming. It can also be frustrating for people who are unfamiliar with filing workers’ compensation claims. One simple mistake could put your whole work comp claim in jeopardy. Worse still, even if you’re already receiving your benefits, the insurance company can decide to stop your payments before they are legally allowed to stop paying.
You need a highly qualified attorney to help you secure the compensation you deserve for as long as is necessary. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys’s experienced personal injury lawyers are dedicated and committed to winning you a favorable outcome. We accept all kinds of workers’ compensation cases, large and small, and have obtained many top settlements and verdicts for clients.
Every workers’ comp lawyer in our law firm is professional, aggressive, and very skilled at helping hurt employees get the compensation they deserve. We work hard to protect your interests and ensure you are satisfied with your case’s outcome.
Call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys toll-free at 844-303-7321 today to speak to a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer. Or contact us using our online form. We look forward to providing you with a free initial case evaluation.