Know Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Rights
There are a few things that every workplace injury victim should know about his or her rights under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act:
- The law is on your side. In comparison to other states, Pennsylvania has one of the fairest workers’ compensation systems. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act allows for lost wage benefits and medical benefits for the work injury.
- Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier should be responsible for the payment of any reasonable, necessary and causally related medical expenses associated with your work injury.
Our team is ready to help you pursue maximum workers’ compensation. Since 1936, we have been dedicated to helping Pennsylvania’s workers. Our longevity can be attributed to the fact that we are willing to aggressively pursue the needs of each of our clients. We will engage in that pursuit without ever losing sight of your individual needs.
About PA Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers compensation provides workers (or their families, in the case of death) with a set level of compensation for their injury. The good thing about this program is that it takes away the burden of a costly litigation and the worker is guaranteed compensation.
Most of all the 55 different workers compensation programs in the United States are run by the state. These programs vary regarding the particular state and what types of injuries are covered. There are also more than 1,200 commercial insurers operating in the U.S. Most employers and companies are required by the government to have worker’s compensation insurance.
Most worker’s compensation programs will pay in full for most of the lost earnings and medical expenses. They will even either pay for the loss of future income or provide vocational rehabilitation for a new job. When a worker is killed on the job, all funeral costs will be covered, and a wage replacement may be in effect for the family. In the case of a work injury, all payments will be given in cash benefit after three to seven days, and compensation will be provided for medical expenses.
Filing A Workers Compensation Claim In Pennsylvania
Most US employees are covered under the worker’s compensation law. In some states, some people are exempt from worker’s compensation benefits; This includes owners, small businesses (5 people or less), agricultural workers, domestic employees and independent contractors. Although these enterprises may be exempt from receiving worker’s compensation, they may still have to carry general liability insurance.
Workers compensation covers more than just injuries that occur at work. Worker’s compensation also includes illnesses or effects suffered from long-term exposure to hazardous or strenuous conditions in the workplace. This can be anything from hearing loss from drilling noises or carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive typing.
The Coming and Going rule is another exemption. You would not receive worker’s compensation if you were hurt on your commute to or from work. However, other transportation-related injuries may be covered by worker’s compensation, such as running errands for an employer, traveling or transporting goods.
If you are hurt at work, you should hire a dedicated and experienced worker’s compensation lawyer to help you. This is especially important if you think that your claim might be challenged by the insurance company or your employer.
Though it’s important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible, you should also make sure to file a claim with your employer right after the injury occurs. Your employer will then offer you an employer claim to fill out. The employer or the insurance company may go against the allegation, which would result in a court hearing.
Monetary compensation is one-half to two-thirds of average compensation, but this amount is tax-free, which means that you will most likely receive a level of income that is close to your income before the injury. Also, all of your medical expenses will be covered.
Sometimes workers, especially those that are on long-term disability are often offered a settlement. Accepting a settlement may be good for you, but you also have to take into account the possibility of unforeseen medical costs in the future. If this is a concern of yours, you should consider sticking with your current compensation plan.
A big part of any worker’s compensation case is the independent medical examination (IME). A doctor that is chosen by the insurance company will perform this exam. This report will be used to decide the compensation offer. Be observant and aware when you are undergoing one of these exams. Come prepared with a list of questions and take notes before and after the exam.
If you happen to be unhappy with the result of your worker’s compensation case, it may be difficult to sue. However, an experienced worker’s compensation attorney can help you file an appeal to the state worker’s compensation board.
Workers Compensation By The Numbers
The figures surrounding worker’s compensation show you how widely used it is. In 2014, Benefit payments that were paid under worker’s compensation totaled $62.3 billion. Medical benefits accounted for $31.4 billion of that spending.
From 1994-2012, the medical only cases rounded to about 57.3%. This number represents some workers that recover fully and return to work- benefits end.
Some workers, unfortunately, return to function without a full recovery. This may result in fewer duties and a smaller salary. Because they are still partially disabled, these workers receive temporary partial disability benefits. Between 1994 and 2012, temporary partial disability benefits made up 60.8% in average.
Workers that are permanently disabled receive permanent total disability. These cases made up of less than 1% from 1994-2012. These numbers indicate that significant, permanent disability may be less than the other figures but compensating those that endured catastrophic injuries at work is expensive.
The third class of benefits is a permanent partial disability. Workers that fall in this category have permanent disabilities, but they are still able to work. The injury affects the claimant’s life but does not stop them from working. On average, permanent partial disabilities make up 40.7% of workers compensation claims from 1994-2012. These numbers prove that worker’s compensation is an enormous, yet considerable expense.
How We Help Injured Workers
At the Philadelphia-based law firm of Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo, we have a proven process to get your compensation. We start with education, navigating the tricky legalese and explaining everything you need to know about “workers’ comp.”
No matter how you were hurt at work, we are prepared. We’ve won workers’ compensation cases involving many types of injuries:
- Construction accident injuries
- Industrial work injuries
- Car accidents while on the job
- Representation of health care workers
- Office worker injuries
- Injuries to carpenters, cable installers, electricians, and firefighters
- Union and teamster representation
- Representation for workers in almost every type of industry
Our lawyers are interested in building something a bit stronger than an attorney-client relationship. We want to build a person-person relationship. We want to make it clear to you that we care about your situation, and we want to do everything within our power to get what is right for you.
Start Your Initial Consultation, Get Your Compensation
We want to hear about your case and provide you with the information you need to make the decisions that are right for you. All workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning we do not get paid unless we get your benefits started, we prevent the insurance company from stopping or altering your benefits, or you choose to settle your case.