Were you or your loved one injured while on the job? If so, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits employees who get sick or injured from a work-related cause, and it includes compensation for missed wage replacement, disability benefits, and death benefits.
Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Law
If you’ve been injured while on the job, you’re worried about how you’ll pay your bills while taking time off to recover. Pursuing workers’ compensation can help you and your loved ones manage your injuries. Those who become injured at work are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of their injuries. Even if an employee’s negligence caused his or her injury, the employee will still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Employees must inform their employer immediately after an injury and consult with a medical professional to evaluate the full extent of their injuries. If you’ve been injured on the job, don’t wait to pursue your claim, or you may miss the deadline for filing. Working with an attorney can help you ensure that you obtain the total amount of benefits you deserve. Contact the skilled employment law attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace to learn more about our workers’ compensation services.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
If you have become injured well on the job and qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you can be reimbursed for medical expenses, lost wages, and ongoing care costs. When an employee dies due to a workplace injury, his or her beneficiaries can claim benefits for funeral expenses and death benefits.
Workers’ compensation will pay for the medical expenses related to your workplace illness or injury. These expenses include emergency room visits, surgeries, recovery time in the hospital, prescriptions, physical therapy, and more. Workers’ compensation will also replace some of your lost income if you need time off of work to recover from a work-related illness or injury. For example, if a construction worker breaks his leg in a workplace accident and can’t return to work for a month, workers’ compensation will replace some lost wages.
Ongoing Care And Disability Benefits
Some work-related illnesses and injuries are so extensive that they need more than a single treatment. For example, if an employee in a warehouse seriously injures his or her back while lifting a heavy box, the employee may need ongoing physical therapy before returning to work. Workers’ compensation benefits will cover the ongoing costs of treating the injury.
When an injury is severe enough to temporarily or permanently disable an employee, the employee may be eligible for disability benefits. For example, suppose an employer loses a leg and becomes partially disabled due to a work-related accident. If the employee can’t return to work due to his or her injuries, workers’ compensation benefits will cover the treatment cost and supplement some of the missing wages through disability benefits.
Common Workplace Injuries
All workplaces have the potential to be dangerous for employees, including office buildings. However, some workplaces are more dangerous than others. For example, construction workers suffer a high number of injuries every year as they perform their jobs. In Pennsylvania, the most common work-related injuries involve the knees and lower back. Strains and sprains in the back, knees and other joints are commonly claimed injuries for Pennsylvania residents. Other common workplace injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Puncture wounds
- Occupational illness
Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Most Pennsylvania employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Benefits are available for employees who become injured or develop an illness while on the job. If you become hurt or sick outside of work, you won’t be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, employees who were intoxicated when they became injured in a workplace accident and employees that intentionally hurt themselves will not be entitled to benefits.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Pennslyvania
As an employee, you won’t receive worker’s compensation benefits until you have filed your claim. In Pennsylvania, employees have 120 days to file their workers’ compensation claim. The state must either accept or deny the application within 21 days of the employee filing the claim. The steps you take after a workplace accident are important and will play a role in how quickly you can obtain benefits.
After a workplace injury, it’s crucial that you inform your employer immediately that the injury has occurred. You will also need to see a medical professional and begin filing the necessary paperwork to take full advantage of your benefits. At Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace, we can evaluate your claim and help you submit an application that is accurate and thorough. If your employer is denying that an accident happened or refusing to submit your application, one of our attorneys can negotiate with your employer and hold them accountable.
Why Was My Claim Denied?
Receiving notice that your claim has been denied can be frustrating. Applying for workers’ compensation is always a complex process, and it can be even more complicated when a claim is denied. There are many different reasons why claims are denied, such as:
- The clam wasn’t filed within the time limit
- The applicant does not have a valid medical diagnosis
- There is a lack of medical evidence to support the claim
- The injury was intentional
- There is insufficient information regarding the claim
- The applicant was intoxicated at the time of the accident
Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you became injured while at work, and another person’s negligence caused your injury, you may have a right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. When an employee accepts workers’ compensation benefits, he or she agrees not to pursue a lawsuit against the employer. In some cases, the most strategic option for the employee is to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. More damages are available to the employee through a lawsuit.
Skilled Legal Representation from Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you or your loved one have been injured in a workplace accident, the attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation to discuss your legal rights.