Being injured at work can be a huge wrench in the works, especially for people living paycheck to paycheck. Fortunately, the Workers’ Compensation system can help you make ends meet while you cannot work.
Workers’ Compensation is meant for people injured at work who can no longer perform their normal work duties. Generally, your accident should have happened within the scope of your employment, and you must be unable to work for at least 7 days. Submitting a claim should begin with telling your employer about your injuries right away. Once the insurance company responsible for paying Workers’ Compensation benefits is made aware of the situation, your claims might be approved or denied. Not all accidents are “just accidents,” and many injured workers want to hold the person responsible for their injuries accountable. While further legal action might be possible, suing your employer is generally off-limits, barring special circumstances. The benefits available through Workers’ Compensation often cover your medical costs and a portion of your lost earnings.
Arrange a free review of your claims with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers by calling Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.
Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation in Ambler
The primary rule regarding eligibility for Workers’ Compensation is that your accident and injuries must have happened at work within the normal course of your duties. Just because an injury prevents you from returning to work does not mean you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation. To determine whether your accident was sufficiently work-related, our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can review your official work duties and any other duties you were expected to perform.
An accident might not fall within the scope of your job, and you might be ineligible for Workers’ Compensation if it happened outside work or while you were off duty. For example, a bus driver injured in a crash while picking up and dropping off passengers might be sufficiently work-related for Workers’ Compensation. If the driver was injured while the bus was parked and they were off duty on a break, the situation becomes a bit murky.
On top of that, you cannot claim Worker’s Compensation immediately after you are injured. To be eligible, you must be disabled and unable to work for at least 7 days. If your claims are approved, your benefits are paid from the eighth day onward. Must be disabled and unable to work for at least 7 days. If your disability lasts at least 14 days, you may receive compensation for the first 7 days.
How to Submit a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Ambler
The first step in getting Workers’ Compensation is to inform your employer about your accident. Report your injuries to your employer immediately. Do not wait until you have been unable to work for 7 days. Your employer should report your injury to their Workers’ Compensation insurance provider immediately after the injury occurs.
Waiting to report your injuries might not automatically bar you from getting approved for Workers’ Compensation, but it will likely make the process more difficult. Failing to report your injuries quickly might lead to confusion about when you were injured, and you might end up waiting longer for benefits.
Your employer might not submit the first notice of your injury to the insurance company until 7 days after the accident. However, injuries resulting in death should be reported within 48 hours. Your claim might be denied or approved, depending on the situation. Alternatively, the insurance company might approve temporary benefits while they conduct a more thorough investigation of your claim.
Speak to an attorney after reporting your injuries to your employer. Your attorney can help you make sure that the claims and reports are filed correctly and contain enough evidence and information to convince the insurance company to approve your claims.
How Worker’s Compensation Affects Your Right to File an Injury Lawsuit in Ambler
Workers’ Compensation may or may not be your only option for legal recourse after an injury. In Pennsylvania, injured employees eligible for Workers’ Compensation can usually not sue their employers. However, other parties might still be fair game.
Suing Your Employer
Lawsuits against employers are usually not permissible where injured employees are eligible for Workers’ Compensation. However, special circumstances might allow you to get around this restriction and file an injury lawsuit against your boss. You may sue your employer if your employer deliberately caused your accident. The Workers’ Compensation system does not allow tortious employers to evade liability for their actions.
The tradeoff is that you do not need to prove fault or negligence when claiming Workers’ Compensation. Even if your employer is at fault for your accident by their negligence, they usually cannot be sued. The same rule applies to injured employees. Even if you negligently caused your own accident, you may still be eligible for Workers’ Compensation.
Suing Third Parties
Not all potentially liable parties are off-limits. Many third parties can still be sued even if you file a Workers’ Compensation claim. This often comes up when your work-related injury is also a product liability case. If a defective tool or piece of equipment you normally use for work malfunctions and injures you, you can sue the manufacturer. Other possible defendants include trespassers or people who intentionally injured you, such as in assault cases.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation in Ambler
Benefits available through Workers’ Compensation generally encompass medical expenses and lost income. Getting immediate medical attention is crucial to your claim, as we need records of your treatments and costs for your employer’s insurance company.
Workers’ Compensation typically encompasses reasonably necessary medical expenses. Often, emergency treatment and related aftercare should be covered. The insurance company might deny any treatments that are not entirely necessary. Covered treatment often includes prescriptions and medical devices like mobility aids or prostheses.
Your claims may also cover a portion of your lost income. For people totally disabled and unable to return to work, Worker’ Compensation may cover up to two-thirds of your lost income. Once you begin receiving benefits, there is no limit on their duration. You may continue receiving compensation for lost income as long as you are out of work.
Speak to Our Ambler Workers’ Compensation Lawyers About Your Claim
Schedule a free evaluation of your case with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers by calling Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.