Workers' Compensation Lawyers in Schuylkill County
We're Here to Guide You Through the Process
While in the workplace, we should feel safe and secure. There is a duty of care that should be upheld by employers to make certain that their employees are not exposed to any unnecessary danger while they are at work. However, mistakes are unfortunately all too common, especially for such construction workers or other jobs that involve high risk.
When an employee is injured, the victim may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits as they make their recovery. This compensation can go toward covering medical expenses, as well as provide wages to the victim while they recuperate. However, it may not be as easy as you may think to secure these benefits after an injury in the workplace.
To ensure that you receive the proper amount of compensation, it is in your best interest to retain an attorney. An attorney can help if your claim was denied or delayed, or if you have any questions about the process. An attorney can also help if you were offered a lump sum settlement and want to be certain that you receive full and fair benefits.
Ready to learn more? Call our Schuylkill County office at (888) 268-0023 today!
What Should I Do if I Was Injured?
There is a very particular process that you must go through if you wish to gain workers' compensation benefits. Before taking any action whatsoever, please reach out to a Schuylkill County workers' compensation lawyer from The Law Offices of Anthony Urban, P.C.
Some things to remember as you proceed include:
- Be sure to file a report with your employer.
- Gather all the necessary information from your employer about how to file.
- Get medical care from the doctor that your employer suggests.
- Research what types of benefits are available to you.
What Types of Injuries or Conditions Are Covered?
The Pennsylvania Workmen's (Workers') Compensation Act provides compensation for employees who are injured as a result of employment, without regard to fault. This includes work-related injuries and occupational diseases or conditions.
Injuries can occur from:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Falling objects
- Construction site mishaps
- Or any number of accidents on the job – even if the worker alone caused the injury.
Occupational health conditions can occur through:
- Repetitive motion
- Exposure to noise
- Chemicals, or other hazards
This can cause deafness, loss of motion, reduced range of motion of a limb, or pain and limited movement such as carpal tunnel syndrome. An employer may be liable for aggravating a condition as well.
Medical Benefits & Wage Indemnity for Missed Work
Workers’ compensation claimants are entitled to medical benefits and wage indemnity for missing work. Benefits begin to be payable upon notice of injury for medical treatment and after five days off work on account of a work-related injury. Wages are paid at the rate of 2/3 of the average weekly wage. Injured workers cannot sue an employer for pain and suffering. However, claimants do not need to prove negligence or fault to be entitled to benefits.
An employer may issue a notice of compensation payable if the employer agrees that an injury occurred, but the employer may limit or restrict the description of the injury, and therefore the injured worker should seek the advice of an attorney. A competent attorney can ensure that the worker’s injury is properly represented, including all supporting documentation, to avoid underpayment or even an outright denial of a workers’ compensation claim.
Who Is Covered?
An employer must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover its workers, or else the employer may be subject to additional damages or penalties. Some types of workers are not entitled to workers compensation under state law, but they may be entitled to other compensation through federal programs such as the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) for railroad workers or the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) for post office and other government employees.
Resolving Workers’ Compensation Claims
Sometimes employers offer lump sum settlements or compromise and release agreements to resolve a workers’ compensation claim with an employee, which may cover medical benefits or future wage indemnity payments, or both. It is important to evaluate whether the offer is fair. Our Schuylkill County workers’ comp lawyers can offer guidance if you have been presented with the option to “settle” a workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, a lump sum settlement or compromise and release agreement must be approved by a workers’ compensation judge.
If you received an offer to settle or a notice to terminate benefits, or if you are dealing with any unnecessary delays or other issues related to your claim, you should immediately seek legal counsel. Accepting a settlement may jeopardize your right to future benefits.
Third-Party Liability & Your Right to Compensation
If you sustained an injury caused by another person not employed by your employer, such as in a truck accident, plant explosion, or construction site accident, you may also seek pain and suffering from the outside third-party tortfeasor. This would be handled as a personal injury action as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim. As an injured worker, you may also be entitled to social security disability benefits for a condition that renders you unable to work.
When Do I Need to Hire an Attorney Regarding My Work Injury?
When you are injured on the job, figuring out what steps to take next can be confusing. First and foremost, always inform your employer of the injury and seek immediate medical attention. States require that you notify your employer within a day, or a few days, of the incident, so make sure you inform them as soon as possible.
As an employee, you have rights to workers’ compensation, as designated by your state. You have:
- The right to file a workers’ compensation claim.
- The right to return to work (with permission from your physician).
- The right to disability compensation if you are temporarily or permanently unable to return to work.
- The right to a workers’ compensation attorney throughout the process.
You also have the right to refuse requests, should you find them unreasonable or unethical. For example, if your employer offers an incentive to keep you from filing a workers’ compensation claim, or threatens to fire you, this is illegal. This is one of many examples where it would be best to obtain legal representation for your claim.
Some other situations where you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney include:
- You applied for Social Security disability benefits.
- Your employer denied your claim.
- Your employer did not pay your settlement on time, or the settlement did not cover your lost wages.
- You suffered an injury that temporarily or permanently prevents you from returning to work.
At Anthony Urban Law Offices, P.C., we care about you. Our experienced and professional workers’ compensations lawyers know how to build a strong case to recover your benefits. Our professionals understand the complexities of workers’ compensation laws, and are ready to help guide you through your claim process.
Let Us Assist You
We understand that you may be feeling very overwhelmed after an injury, and you should be focusing on healing instead of a complex legal process. Our team of workers' compensation attorneys is here to take care of these matters for you. Start by requesting a free consultation with our team. We can address any questions or confusion you may have and help you move forward.
Call (888) 268-0023 now to get in
our team at The Law Offices of Anthony Urban, P.C.