Work Injury Attorney in Philadelphia
If you’ve ever attempted to file a workers’ compensation claim through the state’s automated system or through the mail, you know it can be a confusing maze of forms and special instructions. On the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry website, you will find a long list of oftentimes perplexing instructions on how to file claim paperwork through the Workers’ Compensation Automation and Integration System (WCAIS) or by paper. For a system that was designed to help those injured while on the job, the complicated filing process can make it seem as if help is out of reach.
An Overview of PA’s Rules and Regulations
Pennsylvania, like many other states in the nation, allows employees across all industries to apply for workers compensation benefits in the case of an injury, illness, or disability caused while working. This helps protect you against financial struggles and ruin by helping you pay for medical bills and compensating for lost wages. Liberty Bell Workers Compensation law firm stands ready to help you navigate the sometimes-complex process of filing for benefits and managing all the details so you can concentrate on healing.
Workers Compensation Facts
To help you understand the process of receiving workers compensation benefits, explore these simple facts below.
1 – Pennsylvania requires workers compensation insurance coverage.
2 – Employers must use either a state insurance fund, a private insurance company, or self-provided coverage from the employer’s company directly.
3 – Any benefits or compensation only begins after a seven-day waiting period.
4 – Disabilities that last more than 14 days may receive retroactive financial benefits.
5 – No monetary or time-based limits exist to receive compensation for medical treatment that is required due to the injury or illness sustained while working.
6 – An injured employee is required to see a physician on the employer’s insurance company healthcare provider list. If they do not have such a list, or if the employee wants to seek another opinion, they can choose their own doctor.
7 – In the event of an accidental death that occurs at work, the PA workers compensation system will pay out death benefits to the spouse and any dependents to compensate for lost wages and to provide money for funeral services.
8 – Pennsylvania workers comp rules limit attorney fees to 20 percent, which may be added to the overall payout amount.
One of the most important rules to understand about claiming for workers compensation involves the time limits or deadlines for reporting injuries and filing claims. In order to receive fast benefits after the seven-day waiting period, an employee must report the injury within 21 days. Then, the employer has to report within 48 hours to the Bureau of Workers Compensation in the case of a death and within 10 days in the case of an injury.
Is Your Workers Compensation Claim Valid?
For more than 35 years, Gregory Boles and the Liberty Bell Workers Compensation law firm has provided guidance for a wide range of workers in Pennsylvania who have been injured on the job. If you have any questions about whether you can file a claim or not, it makes sense to pick up the phone and call with your questions. You can set up a consultation appointment to get started.
How do you determine if you can file a workers compensation claim to begin with? If you can answer yes to the following questions, it is in your best interest to start the claims process as soon as possible.
1 – Have you sustained any type of injury at work?
2 – Did this injury require medical care or treatment of any kind?
3 – Have you missed work and lost wages due to this injury?
A positive answer for any of these questions means that you may be eligible for financial benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. Speak with a qualified attorney to learn more about your options and to get the help you need to file a claim during this difficult time.
Effective Workers Compensation Filing Process
The Liberty Bell Workers Compensation law firm works tirelessly to get injured employees the benefits they deserve. You have the right to get recompense for necessary medical bills and money to cover the wages or salary that you miss out on from being out of work as you heal. Filing for these benefits requires specific and detailed documentation and deadlines. This is just one of the reasons why having smart attorney on your side can make the difference between denial and acceptance.
In this stressful time, knowing you can trust your attorney to work hard for your rights makes a big difference. However, it is equally important for you to take control of part of the process to make it as swift and smooth as possible.
The Workers Compensation Claim Filing Process in Pennsylvania
One of the most important things to realize when it comes to the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, is that you have to follow all the rules precisely and take specific steps in order to qualify for any benefits you may receive. All workers in PA are covered by this set of rules, so you should be entitled to compensation as long as you were injured at your place of employment or while engaging in job-related activities.
The first step after getting injured on the job in Pennsylvania is to seek medical help right away. Of course, if the injury is severe, you should call 911 or head to the closest emergency room. Even if you feel your injury is not serious, it is very important to get proper medical documentation that outlines exactly what the injury is and what caused it.
Also, some accidents, such as a bump on the head or a fall, can reveal more serious injuries over time. Getting a fast checkup and a medical record started at the hospital or doctor’s office helps not only your physical well-being but your workers compensation case, too. All of this makes the entire claim process go much more smoothly and increases the chance of receiving financial payments.
If an injury or illness occurs while you are working for your employer, the most important thing to do is get emergency medical help as needed. Never put off a trip to the ER because you are worried about compensation for it in the future.
After receiving emergency or acute medical care, follow the steps below.
Notify Your Employer
In Pennsylvania, you have 21 days to report an accident or incident at work that results in an injury. If you wait too long, you may not get any workers compensation benefits at all. It is important to follow the required process, too. You cannot simply call your manager and say, “Hey, I was injured at work.” Under the law, your employer should post an LIBC-500, which is a legal form that lists their contact information, their insurance policy carrier’s information, and all necessary contact points that you must inform. Follow the instructions. If you do not see this form posted anywhere, ask your employer directly.
After initial treatment is given, or if emergency medical care is not necessary, the next step is to inform your employer properly of the event and subsequent injury. This may involve reporting to a manager, human resources department, union representative, company owner, or any other individual that your particular company designates as the one to inform. This information should be readily available at your workplace. If you are unable to go to work, which is usually the case after an injury, get a coworker or family member to contact them and find out who you should inform.
The initial report should include when the injury happened, where it happened, what kind of injury it was, and how you were affected physically or otherwise. File this report or send notification within 120 days of its occurrence. If you wish to get temporary benefits automatically to cover medical bills and lost wages as soon as possible, file this report or otherwise notify the employer within 21 days. When it comes to successful workers compensation claims, the sooner the better.
Get Complete Medical Documentation
Even if you received emergency medical treatment, it is beneficial to any workers compensation claim to get follow-up appointments and documentation of the full injury and related issues. Also, keep your own notes about how you feel, pain involved, and how the injury affects your day-to-day living.
Most injuries and illnesses sustained on the job require more than one emergency room visit. It is vitally important to get all of the care you need so you can heal as well is possible. Every appointment, discussion with your doctor, treatment plan, and symptom should get recorded fully. This documentation will help prove how much money you are entitled to in your workers compensation case.
In Pennsylvania, you will probably have to set up an appointment with a company physician from a list of approved medical care providers. You are, of course, also allowed to make your own arrangements and get diagnoses, treatment, medication, or other help from your personal physician and specialists as needed. No matter who cares for you, you must follow all their instructions and keep up with all treatment plans. If you do not do so, you may forfeit your right to compensation.
Engage the Services of an Attorney
Calling to set up an initial consultation with a lawyer who specializes in workers compensation in Pennsylvania is one of the first things you should do after you are medically stable. The Liberty Bell Workers Compensation law firm is standing by to help. Handing over the responsibility of documentation, deadlines, and claims can alleviate a lot of stress associated with any type of accident or injury.
Follow Up on All Recommendations
Always follow the healing or treatment regimen your doctor prescribes for you. Keep all necessary and suggested appointments. Do not skip out on proper medical care or ongoing therapy or rehabilitation for any reason. Your number one goal is to protect your health and heal as much as possible. Your attorney’s job is to make sure you get all the compensation coming to you under the law.
Submitted a Claim? What Happens Next?
After a workers comp claim gets filed, the company’s insurance policyholder response within 21 days with a denial or acceptance of the claim. If you were the injured party, and your claim is denied, you should contact an experienced attorney firm immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to appealing this decision.
For a claim acceptance, a take up to 21 days to get a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable Form or an Agreement of Compensation Form. These need to be filled out accurately and quickly if you want to get financial payments from the insurance company. Another important document is the Statement of Wages form, which reveals your income so that compensation for lost wages is paid to you. Final investigations by the Bureau may take up to 90 days. After that time, paperwork specific to your workers compensation case comes next, before payouts are made in full. At this time, you will usually get some type of lump-sum settlement with the possibility of additional benefits for ongoing medical treatment.
Pre-existing Conditions and PA Workers Compensation
Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania does offer compensation benefits for workers with pre-existing conditions. However, the burden of proof rests on the worker to show that this condition or injury became worse due to an incident or actions in the workplace. Proving this requires a considerable amount of medical documentation in most cases.
How Workers Comp Works
Pennsylvania law requires the majority of companies to have a workers compensation insurance policies in place. Payouts to the injured person exist to cover doctor’s appointments, ongoing treatment, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, and, in the case of a wrongful death while working, death benefits to the individual’s dependents.
Since one of the requirements of receiving benefits involved notifying the employer within 120 days of the specific incident that caused the medical problem, situations with pre-existing conditions become rather complex. How do you determine the date that an injury, illness, or stress related physical condition started to get worse due to a job?
Making a Pre-Existing Condition Worse
Workers compensation exists to provide financial help to those who were injured due to something that happened while they were actually working for their employer. This could be anything from falling off a ladder and breaking a leg to an occupational illness due to exposure to chemicals. If you sustained an injury or developed some type of condition before you started working, it may not be covered by workers compensation.
For example, if you injured your neck in a vehicular accident before starting work, can you receive compensation for additional neck pain caused by certain incidents at work? As long as you and your attorney are able to prove that the employment situation made the neck pain worse, workers compensation benefits are available to you. Other conditions that may be covered under these rules include knee injuries, arthritis, herniated discs, or nerve issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Prepare For a Denial of Claim
Trying to get workers compensation benefits for a pre-existing condition is much more difficult than getting them for something that obviously started at work. Many employers and their insurance policies automatically deny claims without direct proof of work-related injury. Denials also come from missing the 120-day time limit, not providing sufficient documentation, or simply making mistakes in the filing process.
When it comes to pre-existing conditions, it is quite easy for a company to say that it was caused by something outside of work and therefore not their responsibility. After all, if you get whiplash in a bad car crash, it could get worse over time even if you did not have to hunch over an industrial machine all day at work, for example. In these cases, it makes much more sense to engage the services of an attorney who has experience appealing denials and getting workers the compensation they deserve.
The Appeals Process for Pre-Existing Conditions Explained
After the workers compensation claim is initially denied, the law office of Liberty Bell Workers Compensation can file an appeal for you. For the highest chance of success, you should let a skilled attorney handles the paperwork. If the appeal was denied, you have one more chance to receive benefits.
The process involves filing original appeal paperwork plus appropriate copies with the Workers Compensation Appeal Board. This action also has a 120-day deadline from the original denial of claim. Your attorney will also record why they are appealing a denial and add in copies of all documentation. This represents the final chance that any employee has to get workers compensation benefits. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court can decide to hear the case or deny the appeal right away. If they decide to allow your attorney and you to have this final appeal, you will need to appear at the court date as requested. This is not something you can usually do successfully on your own.
Work Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia
Feeling confused and unsure of what you need to do to get the claims process started? The skilled work injury attorneys at the Liberty Bell Workers Compensation can sympathize with you and know how hard it can be to deal with the work comp system when you’re not feeling well physically.
Don’t let your feelings of confusion and uncertainty stop you from contacting a competent work injury lawyer participating in our joint marketing program. One call to our office can relieve your stress of having to dealing with the claims process and prevent you from being denied benefits.
Work Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia
Filing a work comp claim doesn’t have to be complicated. Look to a dedicated work comp attorney at Liberty Bell Workers Compensation to handle every aspect of your claim from start to finish. No matter what type of injury you’re suffering from, they will meticulously prepare all claim paperwork, and work with your employer and their insurance carrier to come to a reasonable settlement.
With a trusted work comp lawyer in our group by your side, all you will have to do is:
- Get proper medical attention
- Tell your supervisor about the injury
- Focus on your recovery (if a full recovery is possible)
Work Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia
Did you know you only have a certain amount of time to report your injury? Typically, you have 120 days from the date the injury occurred or the date the injury was discovered to report the injury to your employer. Failing to report your injury within the 120-day window of time could cost you compensation.
At Liberty Bell Workers Compensation, our knowledgeable work injury staff recommend you report the injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. You will not be penalized for reporting the injury too early, however, you could be penalized for reporting the injury too late.
Philadelphia Work Injury Attorney
As a worker injured on the job, you may be able to obtain money for different types of damages, such as disfigurement, lost income, job displacement, disability, and medical bills. Contact an aggressive work injury lawyer at Liberty Bell Workers Compensation right now by calling 215.399.0089. When you call, we’ll get to work right away to ensure you get the most compensation possible. Consultations are free and every case is taken on a no recovery, no fee basis.
More Information About PA Workers Compensation
When injury or illness affects your ability to continue at your job after an accident or incident at your place of employment, you are entitled to benefits by the Pennsylvania state government. The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act will pay for medical treatment and lost wages for the time when you are unable to work or, in the case of an untimely death due to a work incident, death benefits paid directly to the dependents of the employee.
Attorney Gregory Boles has helped individuals and families through this complicated process for more than 35 years. He works tirelessly to make things go as smoothly as possible to minimize stress and get most compensation you are entitled to under the law.
The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act
The legal requirements for workers compensation in PA involve full coverage for all full and part-time employees and seasonal staff across all industries, large corporations, nonprofit entities, small businesses, and more. It does not matter where or when the employee was hired or what type of work they did for the company. Even if you worked in another state while under the employment of a Pennsylvania business, the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act has you covered.
The Benefits of Hiring a Skilled Attorney
The entire process to file for, back up, appeal, and secure workers compensation benefits is filled with specific rules, a lot of paperwork, and strict deadlines. It can include court appearances, witness statements, depositions, and more. Attempting to handle all of this yourself under the best conditions would cause a lot of conflict. Doing it after you have been injured or rendered disabled from an accident or other issue at work makes it nearly impossible.
You need a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney on your side to handle all of the unique requirements of your workers comp claim successfully. The law firm of Liberty Bell Workers Compensation provides all the expertise and hard work needed to fight for the benefits you deserve. With more than three and a half decades of experience in the field of workers comp, you can feel confident you are getting the very best attorney to protect your rights.