Many workers worry about what happens to them after being hurt on the job. In many cases, injured employees can file Workers’ Compensation claims to get benefits to help them while they recover.
The Workers’ Compensation system encompasses a wide variety of injuries. To be eligible, your injuries must occur on the job, and you must be an employee within the legal definition. To kick off your claim, you must report your accident to your employer as soon as possible. You should speak to an attorney for help filing your claim so that all forms and paperwork are filled out correctly. Benefits might include coverage for medical expenses and some of your lost wages. Your benefits and how long you receive them vary based on your unique circumstances. One significant complication is that injured employees cannot usually sue their employer, but third parties responsible for the accident may be held liable in a lawsuit.
For a free case review, call our Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.
Accidents and Injuries That Might Warrant a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Chester County, PA
Generally, most employees are covered by Workers’ Compensation as soon as they begin working. This means you should be covered on your first day on the job. To be eligible, you must meet the legal definition of an employee under Art. 1 § 104 of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
The definition is broad, and only a few types of workers are not considered employees under the law, like independent contractors, longshoremen, or merchant marines.
The definition of an employee usually includes every person working for the state, including county employees and people who work for local municipalities, and anyone working under a contract of hire (this encompasses most employees), including minors. Sole proprietors and business partners may elect to participate in Workers’ Compensation.
Your accident must have occurred on the job and within the scope of your employment. For example, you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim if you were injured by faulty equipment you use to do your job. You could not file if you were hurt in a car accident on your way to work. Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you determine if your injuries warrant a claim.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Chester County, PA
Ideally, you should notify your employer of your accident and injuries immediately. If your injuries are not immediately apparent, you should still inform your employer of the accident. If you wait too long, your benefits might be delayed or denied. Generally, injured employees should notify employers as soon as practicable. Notice of the injuries can be orally or in writing but should include the date and location of the accident if known.
Once you have lost a shift or day of work because of your injuries, your employer is required to report your injury to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and your employer must choose to accept or deny the claim. If your employer does not make this initial report or denies the claim, you can file your own claim and get a hearing with a Workers’ Compensation judge.
You should hire an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you fill out the necessary forms to initiate your claim quickly and correctly. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you move your case forward, so you do not sit in limbo with no benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Chester County, PA
Workers’ Compensation benefits may be used to pay for reasonably necessary medical care. This includes emergency medical care, ongoing treatment, and equipment like crutches and wheelchairs.
Total disability benefits may be paid if you cannot return to work. You may receive these benefits until you can return to work or have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). After 104 weeks, your employer or the insurer can request a medical reevaluation. Total disability benefits are about two-thirds of your average weekly salary. TTD benefits are usually not paid for the first 3 lost workdays. However, if you miss at least 14 days, you may be paid for those third 3 days.
Partial disability benefits are also available in cases where injured employees can return to work but only for lighter or less intense work than before their injuries. Generally, you may be paid less than you were earning previously until you can return to your regular job or have reached MMI. Partial disability benefits may last for a maximum of 500 weeks. Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can assist you in getting the most out of your benefits.
There are additional benefits for employees who lose body parts. If you lost all or a portion of your thumb, fingers, hand, arm, leg, feet, or toes, you should be adequately compensated. You may also be compensated for other significant disfigurement or the loss of senses like sight or vision.
Can I File a Lawsuit and a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Chester County, PA?
While you can file a lawsuit after submitting a Workers’ Compensation claim, you cannot usually sue your employer. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employers are shielded from liability for accidents and injuries covered by Workers’ Compensation.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit against third parties who might be responsible for your accident. For example, if you were injured because of defective safety equipment at work, you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you make the most of your legal options. A Workers’ Compensation claim can help you recoup medical costs and some of your lost wages. A personal injury lawsuit can help you recover additional losses, including non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Call Our Chester County, PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Call our Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 to discuss your situation in a free case review.