Workers Compensation Attorney in Philadelphia
If you’ve been injured during the course of your employment, you may be able to collect benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system. The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits for the damages associated with a work-related injury or illness. The state’s work comp system may cover benefits for:
- Medical bills
- Total or partial disability
- Lost wages due to the inability to work
- Job displacement
- Death benefits
The Right to Choose Your Own Medical Care
Many people who are initially injured at work asked if they can use their own doctors to diagnose the issues and provide ongoing treatment. While no one can stop you from using any doctor you choose, the PA Workers Compensation Act requires a visit to a designated healthcare provider within 90 days of the initial incident. Some employers gladly include your personal physician on this list. However, many of them get these lists directly from their insurance companies. Seeing one of these physicians does not negate your right to see your own chosen physician, too.
When a designated healthcare provider list is supplied, the injured worker should get a written document outlining who all the allowed doctors are and what they must do to follow the regulations appropriately. All employees must be made aware of this list and sign a document stating that they received it. According to Pennsylvania law, employers must provide a minimum of six different healthcare options for injured workers. If the selection of allowed physicians changes at any time, employer is responsible for getting another signature to prove that the employee knows.
Make an appointment with a required healthcare provider within 90 days to protect your workers compensation claim. If you desire, you can get a second opinion or additional necessary treatment from a physician outside of the list. For some injuries, particular specialists are required. You are usually responsible for finding your own and engaging their services. No matter what, make sure you get full documentation of all treatment you receive as this will allow you to make an appropriate and accurate claim in your workers compensation case.
How Long Do Workers Compensation Benefits Last?
No definite answer exists to this question. The length of time that you receive disability compensation has to do with the injury you receive and your ongoing medical treatment needs. Ordinary compensation without disability does not provide ongoing payments. Your best bet for a complete and appropriate answer to this question comes from talking with your attorney directly. They will know the particular information about your case.
Partial or Temporary Disability
If the injury you sustain at work interferes with your ability to perform your job duties as you did before, you may be granted partial disability status. This can last for up to 500 weeks and gives you a certain percent of your lost wages for that time. Most periods of partial or temporary disability last a much shorter time is this, so the payout will be much smaller. It is calculated based on your injury, the income you received prior to it, and if you can work part-time or at a different job with possibly lower wages until you heal completely.
Total or Permanent Disability
If you are completely unable to work either for a long period of time or forever, you can receive total disability benefits. Initially, these last just 104 weeks. After this time passes, you may be required to get a medical examination to determine if your disability continues. Once permanent disability status is proven, the two possibilities of compensation include either ongoing payments based on a percentage of your wages or one mass settlement amount.
If the injury at work results in an amputation or any other type of disfigurement that heals but impact your ability to earn the same wages as before, the employer’s insurance company may offer a lump sum payout as well. These are the types of decisions best handled by an experienced attorney. The Liberty Bell Workers Compensation law firm handles these types of cases frequently. If you have any questions about the compensation you may receive after injury occurs, schedule consultation to speak with the attorney as soon as possible.
What Workers Are Covered in PA?
The vast majority of employees in Pennsylvania are covered by the state’s workers comp rules. It does not matter if you work 40 hours a week or are only a part-time employee. Even seasonal workers have coverage. Contractors are not employees of a particular company do not fall under the same regulations. Also, people who work less than 30 days on a farm do not get workers comp benefits. People who receive coverage under a federal workers compensation program are not also covered by state system. This includes federal employees of all types, railroad and maritime workers, and others. Coverage is optional for domestic help.
The workers compensation rules do not differentiate between injuries specifically caused by the job and those that were purely accidental that occur while on the job. Both physical and physiological injuries are covered. This means that things like respiratory illnesses due to asbestos exposure are considered injuries in Pennsylvania. By law, all of these things must be reported to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers Compensation. Approximately 160,000 are reported each year. The majority of these are in the educational, health care, utility, trade, and transportation industries.
In the case of an accidental death, workers families also receive benefits through the PA workers compensation program. These death benefits are remitted directly to the closest family members who are at least partially dependent on the deceased individual, namely the spouse and minor children.
What Kind of Payouts Does Workers Comp Give?
This is another question without a definitive answer as it depends completely on both the medical needs and income of the person who gets injured. These guidelines also get updated semi-frequently. As of 2019, workers compensation in Pennsylvania pays:
- 90 percent of your wages if you earn less than $582.77
- $524.50 weekly if you earn from that point up to $786.75
- Two thirds of your wages if you earn from that point up to $1573.50
- $1049 if you make more than that amount
Remember that this amount is not guaranteed automatically for the full time you may be injured or feel ill. Workers comp benefits change based on ongoing medical reports and other criteria. The moment you are deemed able to work again, the benefits will go away. This is another reason why having an experienced workers compensation attorney on your side matters. If you are still suffering from the injury you sustained at work, lowered benefits could seriously impact your family’s financial stability.
What Kinds of Injuries Are Covered?
In general, any type of injuries sustained while working for your employer is covered as long as it affects your ability to function on the job. Of course, you will not receive compensation for simple injuries that do not involve a high amount of medical bills or recovery time. Workers comp does cover the following.
- Limb injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, and amputations
- Spinal or neck injuries, nerve damage, or paralysis
- Physical, electrical, or chemical burns
- Severe concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Electric shocks
- Repetitive strain or stress related injuries
- Problems due to exposure of toxic materials or radiation
- Work-related eyestrain, mental stress, or psychiatric issues
The majority of workers comp claims come from excessive physical exertion such as those sustained when lifting heavy loads or pulling and pushing equipment.
Why Do So Many Injuries Occur?
While some workplaces are inherently dangerous, the majority of injuries sustained happen because proper safety protocols were not followed or some type of error, defect, or maintenance issue caused equipment or the environment to be unsafe.
For example, if a piece of heavy machinery is broken or maintained improperly but still in use, it creates a high risk of injury or even death. Other examples of unsafe working conditions include obstructed pathways, improper material storage, and spills of hazardous materials like oil and chemicals. Poorly designed workspaces cause many stress-related issues ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to severe spinal problems. They also include insufficient safety barriers. Failure to follow proper Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines present a large problem all across the country. Also, many injuries occur when workers are not appropriately trained in either the job they are required to do or safety precautions.
Workers Compensation or a Third-Party Lawsuit
The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act operates as a type of two-way insurance for both employees and employers. Under this program, workers cannot sue the company that employs them due to an injury sustained at work. Instead, they receive appropriate compensation for medical care and lost wages. This occurs even if the injury was the employee’s own fault.
However, if the injury or illness was caused by the negligence or particular actions of a third-party and not the employer, it may be possible to file a third-party claim or lawsuit with the help of an attorney. You must prove that this third-party, such as an equipment manufacturer, was specifically responsible for the accident that occurred. These personal injury claims can cover medical care, loss of wages, but also things like emotional distress, pain and suffering, and compensation for loss of companionship.
When you contact the Liberty Bell Workers Compensation firm, you get the help of an expert benefits attorney with more than 35 years of experience. Get the help you need to navigate the workers compensation system and determine if any third-party negligence occurred. Our goal is to help you get every benefit you deserve after experiencing an injury or illness at work.
How to Receive a Workers Comp Settlement
In the event of any injury or illness occurring while you are at work, filing a workers compensation claim is of the utmost importance unless you want to be stuck with exceptionally high medical bills and scrambling to pay your bills with missed wages. Employees in all counties in Pennsylvania have the right to make a claim against the workers comp insurance and, if approved, get financial coverage for these things. In order to do so successfully, contact a qualified and experienced attorney for help. With over 35 years of fighting for the rights of PA workers, Gregory Boles is the right choice.
The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act provides for two different types of benefit payouts: full compromise and release, and modified compromise and release.
Full Compromise and Release
In the “full” workers compensation benefit payment option, you get a lump-sum payout intended to cover all medical bills, treatment, and lost wages. This negates any potential for claiming additional benefits or disability in the future. If you agree to this settlement type, you do not get any more money for an injury sustained at work.
Modified Compromise and Release
The “modified” workers compensation option also provides a lump-sum settlement with no possibility of additional payments for disability or lost wages. However, you do have the option of claiming future medical bills and treatment costs with your attorney. This is highly beneficial for the types of injuries or illnesses that do not have a 100 percent heal rate or cure. Your attorney can help you determine which is the best option for you.
Injured, Confused, Scared? Call Now!
At Liberty Bell Workers Compensation, our ethical work injury staff understand how daunting and confusing the work comp system can be, especially when you’re trying to focus on getting better. We want you to get well and back to work as soon as possible, too, which is why we will fight for your workers’ compensation benefits allowed under the law. Our compassionate workers compensation staff have years of experience assisting those injured on the job and can help you during a stressful time.
Get Representation Now!
When looking for a lawyer to represent you, you want a lawyer who puts you and your case first. You also want a lawyer with proven case results. The dedicated work comp attorneys at Liberty Bell Workers Compensation treat every case as if it were their own case and treat every client how they would like to be treated. We have successfully obtained full work comp benefits for decades for many injured workers in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.
Skilled Lawyers, Decades Of Experience
The skilled workers compensation staff at the Liberty Bell Workers Compensation have handled cases involving many different types of work-related injuries and illnesses, including:
- Brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder and elbow injuries
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Hearing loss
- Fatal injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hand injuries
- Asbestos poisoning
- Diseases caused by exposure to toxic chemicals
No matter what type of injury or illness you suffered while at work, do no wait to speak to a knowledgeable work comp lawyer at Liberty Bell Workers Compensation. Waiting to seek legal counsel could result in a case denial or delay. Although the law allows injured workers up to 120 days to report an injury, your ability to obtain full benefits may be limited if your injury is not reported within 21 days of the injury occurring. The sooner you tell your supervisor about your injury, the better!
Philadelphia Workers Compensation Help
Let an aggressive workers comp attorney at Liberty Bell Workers Compensation properly present your case to greatly reduce your chances of being denied benefits. They know how a serious work-related injury can negatively affect almost every aspect of your life and want to see you get on the path to a proper recovery (if a full recovery is possible).
Call 215.399.0089 today to make an appointment to speak privately with a caring work injury attorney at Liberty Bell Workers Compensation. All of our consultation we offer are free consultations and we won’t pressure you to hire us. In fact, we are so confident we’ll get you the best possible case outcome; we take your case on a contingent fee basis. Simply put, you won’t owe any legal fees until you obtain benefits.