If you were injured in an accident at work, or suffered an injury while you were performing your job duties, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to obtain the benefits you deserve, particularly if your employer makes an error, or if your Workers’ Compensation claim is initially denied. In other cases, injured workers run into difficulties when their benefits are unexpectedly suspended or terminated. If you were hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, our Delaware County Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you pursue the full benefits that you are entitled to.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in PA?
Delaware County is home to dozens of major employers and thousands of small businesses, providing Pennsylvanians with jobs in aviation, education, energy, medicine, finance, and other industries. But while there are many opportunities for work in Delaware County, there are also many opportunities for work-related injuries to occur. A wide variety of work accidents and work injuries can give rise to a Workers’ Compensation claim, including:
- Amputation Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel
- Chemical Exposure
- Commercial Property Hazards
- Construction Accidents
- Defective Industrial Equipment
- Electrocution Accidents
- Facial Injuries
- Falling Object Strikes
- Falls from Heights
- Fatal Workplace Accidents
- Head Injuries
- Heart Attacks
- Joint Injuries
- Manufacturing Accidents
- Occupational Disease
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Soft Tissue Injuries (Sprains, Strains)
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Concussions
- Wrongful Death
Workers’ Compensation benefits can provide financial support for disabled workers and their families after a serious workplace accident or job-related accident causes an injury or death. However, in order to obtain benefits, you must be covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
Fortunately, most types of employees in Pennsylvania are protected by Workers’ Compensation coverage, which employers are generally required to provide. You are typically covered, and could qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits in Delaware County, if you are a:
- Full-Time Worker
- Part-Time Worker
- Seasonal Worker
You may not be covered if you are an agricultural worker, railroad worker, shipyard worker, or an employee of the federal government. However, employees who are not covered by Workers’ Compensation laws can look to other sources for benefits following an injury, such as the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
Additionally, even in situations where an employee is covered, it is sometimes appropriate to explore the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if your workplace injury was caused by a defective product, such as a defective industrial saw or defective electrical wiring, you may have a cause of action against the company that manufactured or designed the defective product.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Delaware County, PA
Our experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you decide whether you have a valid claim. If you do have a valid Workers’ Compensation claim, your lawyer can help you determine what steps you must take to obtain benefits. In addition, it is common for insurers or employers to initially deny a Workers’ Compensation claim. In the event your claim is denied, a qualified Delaware County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Lerner, Steinberg & Associates can handle the appeals it will take to get you the benefits you are owed. In addition, we can help you if your benefits are suspended, modified or terminated. Finally, our lawyers can bring suit against any third parties that contributed to your injury or illness. Because time is very important in these cases, you should not delay in contacting us if you think you have a claim. Waiting to do so could result in delayed or forfeited benefits.
To speak with one of our knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation attorneys, or to arrange a free consultation, call us at (215) 355-6400, or use our convenient online contact form.
When you have enjoyed a good relationship with your employer, and then you are injured on the job, it is difficult to anticipate how your relationship with that employer is going to change. The Workers’ Compensation process is unmistakably adversarial in nature. You and your boss are no longer on the same side of the fence, and you may need outside legal assistance to assure that your are properly compensated for your medical care, lost wages, and any other PA Workers’ Compensation benefits to which you are entitled.
Consult with one of our Workers’ Compensation lawyers before you sign any documents placed before you by your employer or the insurance carrier.
Unfortunately, you can no longer count on your employer to do the right thing. In fact, you may be pressured to make decisions on your own that irreversibly harm your claim or limit its potential for cash benefits. Alternatively, you may be placed in a position in conflict with your employer, which might jeopardize your ability to return to work if and when you recover from your injuries. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help.
How Long Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last in PA?
Workers’ comp is not “one size fits all,” but rather, tailored individually to each injury victim’s situation. Some claimants continue to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for many years, while others receive benefits for a shorter period of time.
The maximum amount of time you can receive Workers’ Compensation benefits in Pennsylvania is up to 500 weeks, or about nine and a half years, if you were partially disabled by the accident. In other instances, the claimant can continue to receive benefits for the rest of his or her life. The amount of time that you will receive benefits depends on factors such as:
- The nature and severity of your workplace injury.
- The extent to which you were disabled by your injury.
- When and whether you recover to the point where you are able to return to work.
Several different types of benefits may be available to you, depending on the effects of the injury or accident. Types of Workers’ Compensation benefits in Delaware County include:
- Death Benefits – Death benefits provide support for the surviving loved ones of an employee who was killed in a fatal work accident.
- Medical Care Benefits – Medical care benefits pay for “reasonable” medical treatment, such as stitches to close a laceration from a workplace accident.
- Specific Loss Benefits – Specific loss benefits may be available to employees who become permanently disabled or permanently disfigured due to a workplace injury – for example, the loss of a finger, thumb, hand, toe, foot, arm, or leg to an amputation accident.
- Wage-Loss Benefits – Wage-loss benefits are payments that help compensate employees for lost wages while they are recovering and unable to work. Wage-loss benefits are available for both totally disabled employees and partially disabled employees.
Our Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
It is not unusual for people who have worked in Pennsylvania for decades to be unfamiliar with terms such as wage loss benefits, specific loss benefits, or dependency claims. Even if you have heard the terms, there is no reason to expect that you will be able to protect your rights with regard to medical benefits, lump sum settlement, or a death claim without guidance. In addition, issues of third party claims and subrogation often complicate Workers’ Compensation claims further.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a workplace incident, you may be too preoccupied with the emotional aspects of the aftermath to think clearly and fully grasp the nuances of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law. The experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the law firm of Lerner, Steinberg & Associates would be glad to take the reins for you in maneuvering through the Workers’ Compensation system, and to ensure the maximum possible benefits to which you are entitled.
Your adversaries—your employer and the insurance carrier—may try to commandeer your treatment by suggesting which doctor you should use, even when you meet the criteria to choose your own doctor right from the start. The carrier may miscalculate the benefits amount, even if inadvertently. An accident involving an amputation or the loss of a limb is calculated using a different method that is not necessarily logical, again raising the possibility for error. If you require surgery due to your work-related accident, there is the chance that you will be eligible for more benefits down the road for scarring or disfigurement caused by the operation, but you need to know that those benefits exist. Let our Workers’ Compensation lawyers guide you through any and all issues that may arise with your workplace injury claim.