When a worker is injured on the job, they will need compensation to help them through this difficult time. Fortunately, Workers’ Compensation is available to most employees injured at work in Bensalem.
Workers’ Compensation provides injured workers with benefits that will cover a certain amount of their lost wages and any medical expenses relating to their injuries. While this process can be overwhelming for those just injured, our experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help submit your claim so that it is approved without delay.
For a free case consultation, contact our Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today at (215) 355-6400.
Types of Damages that Workers’ Compensation Covers in Bensalem
Workers’ Compensation in Bensalem is designed to provide an injured worker with benefits for certain losses. These losses are usually referred to as “damages,” which our Worker’s Compensation lawyers can help you recover. Importantly, Workers’ Compensation will cover a certain amount of your income while you are out of work. It will also cover medical expenses related to treating your injuries. However, Worker’s Compensation is not intended to cover losses for pain and suffering. These non-financial damages can only be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation insurance will compensate you for the income you lose as a result of your work-related injury or illness. It is intended to cover your lost wages until you recover from your injuries. For example, suppose you miss work for several weeks because you broke your arm on the job. In that case, you will receive compensation for those missed days until you return to work or your doctor says you can return safely with accommodations made for your injury.
Unfortunately, your lost wages are not compensated under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation rules at the same rate as your normal pay. Injured workers usually receive about 66%, or two-thirds, of their weekly income while out of work. However, your lost wages benefits will not be taxed.
How long you receive lost wages compensation will depend on the nature of your injuries. For instance, the loss of a finger is compensated for a certain number of weeks, depending on which finger was lost.
Injured workers are also entitled to compensation for medical expenses related to treating their injuries. These expenses typically include doctors’ visits, including chiropractors, as well as prescription medications needed. Many injured workers require physical therapy to fully recover, which Workers’ Compensation should also cover.
Other medical costs related to your injuries will also usually be covered, like braces, crutches, or any other supplies you require. Further, surgeries should be covered if they are reasonably related to treating your injuries. Keep in mind that treatments, procedures, or medications deemed unnecessary will not be covered.
Who is Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Bensalem
In order to recover the compensation listed above, you must work for an employer that is required to provide Worker’s Compensation insurance. This is usually not an issue for most injured workers since most employees are covered under the state’s laws. However, certain employers are exempt from adhering to Pennsylvania’s Worker’s Compensation rules. Thus, their employees will not be covered and will not be able to file for Worker’s Compensation with the state.
The most common employees typically denied Worker’s Compensation coverage in Bensalem are “independent contractors.” An independent contractor can be thought of as their own boss and usually only works in a loose relationship with their “employer.” Therefore, the state does not require companies to cover these employees. A well-known example of an independent contractor would be a Lyft or Uber driver. Further, employees of the federal government working in Bensalem cannot qualify for Workers’ Compensation through the state.
How to Get a Workers’ Compensation Claim Started in Bensalem
Most workers do not expect to get injured on the job and probably do not think too much about what they will need to do if they ever are. Unfortunately, the Workers’ Compensation process can be complex, and knowing where to start can be difficult without legal counsel. However, the Workers’ Compensation process can be broken down into a number of important steps that can give you a better idea of what to expect when filing your claim.
Determine If Your Employer Carries Workers’ Compensation
Since most employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation in Bensalem, it should be evident from your first day on the job whether your employer carries it. This is because 34 Pa. Code § 121.3b(a) requires all employers to provide information regarding a worker’s rights to compensation when they are hired. The law also directs employers to provide this information again when a worker is injured on the job.
The materials your employer provides should include details about how to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. If you are unsure whether your employer provides coverage or never received the abovementioned materials, you can look up your employer through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s online database.
Submit Your Claim
The Workers’ Compensation claims process truly begins when your claim is filed. However, reporting your injuries to your employer is not the same as filing a formal claim. Your employer is only responsible for notifying their insurance provider. You are required to prepare your claim and file it. However, an employer has up to seven days from the day you were injured to make a report of your injuries. As for filing your Workers’ Compensation claim, it is highly recommended that you file it as soon as you have the necessary documentation to support your case.
Approval of Your Claim
Once your claim has been successfully filed, it could take up to 21 days to receive notice of your claim’s status. Within that time, though, you should be informed of whether your claim has been approved or denied. In many cases, workers receive what is known as a “notice of temporary compensation.” This notice means that your claim has been approved while the insurance company investigates further. However, the insurance company can only take up to 90 days before they must make a final decision.
Upon final approval, documentation containing the details of your Workers’ Compensation coverage and how long it will be provided will be issued to you. If your claim was denied, you can fight your case through the Workers’ Compensation appeals process.
Our Bensalem Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
Call our Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 for a free assessment of your case.