Workers’ Compensation is provided by employers to cover injuries at work and help victims of workplace accidents get medical costs and continued wages covered during their recovery. While many workers rely on these benefits, insurance companies and employers are often reluctant to cover accidents in full, and workers often need help from attorneys to secure their claims and get the coverage they need.
Working with an attorney can help you to make sure that your claim is full and complete from the beginning, potentially increasing your chances of your claim being successful. We can also help fight denials and lapses so that you get the continued benefits you need.
Contact our Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today at (215) 355-6400 for a free review of your case.
How to Get Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Bethlehem
To get Workers’ Compensation benefits, you first need to be covered at your job. Under Pennsylvania law, most employees should be covered under their employer’s Workers’ Compensation policy from their first day of work, with no delay or vesting period before these benefits kick in. Additionally, this should cover part-time, seasonal, and full-time workers. Independent contractors might not be covered though, so speak with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers if you need help getting alternative benefits through a lawsuit.
The process begins with your injury and the initial treatment. After an injury, you should inform your supervisor and get medical attention. Some employers make it hard for workers to leave the job site and go to the hospital because they want to avoid having to pay for medical care. However, you should always get the medical care you need and get records of that care.
After getting treatment, you will have additional notice requirements your attorney can help you with. This often involves forms you file with your employer to report the accident and begin the Workers’ Compensation process.
From there, your attorney can help you with any additional claims, filings, and appeals.
What Injuries Are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation in Bethlehem, PA?
Generally, any work-related injury should be covered by Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania. This means that cuts, scrapes, broken bones, back injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and any other injuries brought about because of the conditions and actual job tasks at work should all be covered under Workers’ Compensation.
Some injuries are hard to prove or relate back to your work conditions because they are broad injuries that relate to other tasks you do outside of work. For example, back injuries often consist of an acute or sudden injury, but you could have years of wear and tear on your spine from both work tasks and tasks at home (or even just bad posture). Nonetheless, if the concrete, sudden injury happened at work, your injury should still be considered work-related and eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Similar issues occur with repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel, and other conditions like these.
Work-related illnesses can also qualify you for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Again, it is often harder to link conditions like these to your work conditions. Some well-known cancers and other conditions – such as asbestosis, silicosis, and mesothelioma – are more and more readily traced to work conditions and exposure to dangerous substances at work. But other conditions like lung cancer could be traced to many sources, and convincing the Workers’ Compensation insurance company that your work conditions were to blame might be a difficult task you will need our attorneys to help with.
Fighting Workers’ Compensation Denials and Terminations in Bethlehem, PA
If your initial Workers’ Compensation claim was denied, our lawyers can help you appeal and work to get the claim accepted. There are clear channels through Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation system that our lawyers can pursue to have the initial claim reconsidered, appealing the case to a workers’ compensation judge and to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board.
When you receive notice that your claim was denied, it is vital to speak with a lawyer and get your appeal filed immediately. As long as you are still out of work and dealing with medical expenses related to your injury, it is important to get the benefits you need to support yourself and your family without delay.
Likewise, when you receive notice that your benefits have been suspended or terminated, you should get legal help right away. Many times, benefits are suspended or terminated because of clerical issues or mistakes. Other times, your employer might have requested the termination or suspension because they believe your condition has improved or they find out that you have returned to work and are still getting benefits. In many cases, these claims are unfounded, but it still means going to court and appealing the denial to get the rest of your benefits as you deserve them.
What Benefits Workers’ Compensation Provides for Workers in Bethlehem, PA
Throughout Pennsylvania, Workers’ Compensation insurance is designed to pay for medical bills and a portion of your lost wages.
The medical treatment in these cases should cover care from many different healthcare providers, including chiropractic care. However, you might need to see a provider that is approved by your employer and their insurance company, though you should always have a few options to choose from. Medical care should last until you reach “maximum medical improvement,” meaning that you have recovered as much as you can, even if you are not back to 100%. A doctor should decide when you have reached this point, not your employer.
Wage loss benefits should cover around 2/3 of your average weekly wages, up to certain limits. Often, Workers’ Compensation does not provide your full wage while you cannot work, but it should still provide reasonable replacement wages.
Workers’ Compensation does not cover things like property damage or pain and suffering from the accident, but a lawsuit might. In some cases, you can sue third parties or others responsible for your injuries, though lawsuits usually cannot be filed against your employer for work injuries.
Call Our Bethlehem Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
For help with a work injury, call the Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today at (215) 355-6400.