Workers in Doylestown are exposed to dangerous conditions every day. If they are injured at work, it is important to know how their injuries will be covered.
Workers provide their time and skill to their employers. Thus, most employers are compelled to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance if one of their employees is injured. The process can be complex, but if you sustained injuries on the job, no matter how minor, you are entitled to compensation.
For a free case evaluation with our Workers’ Compensation attorneys, call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 today.
Common Types of Injuries that Qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Doylestown
Depending on the type of work you do, you could be exposed to several dangerous conditions. Some injuries could be the immediate result of an accident, and the treatment is more straightforward. However, some injuries our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you recover benefits for are caused by the occupational stresses of the job and are more difficult to diagnose.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common and painful injuries workers suffer in Doylestown. These types of injuries include strains, sprains, and tears to muscles and ligaments. They often occur when an employee overexerts themselves while performing their job duties. For example, a delivery person who lifts heavy boxes could strain their back muscles and become unable to work until they heal from their injury.
In more severe cases, surgery could be necessary to correct the problem. For instance, surgery is usually needed to heal from repetitive motion injuries. Repetitive motion injuries are similar to soft tissue injuries but are more severe because they occur over time rather than all at once as a sprain or strain does. The repetitive motion causes gradual damage to the body part being used repeatedly, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, whereby nerves in the wrist become damaged due to constant use in the same motion.
Another common injury at work is fractured bones. Broken bones can occur at work in numerous ways, including delivery vehicle accidents, falling objects, and slip and fall accidents. Many fracture injuries are caused by crushing incidents from heavy machinery. Fortunately, broken bones are covered by Workers’ Compensation and will also cover you if your fractures led to partial or full amputations of a limb or finger.
Chemical Burns and Poisoning
Chemical burns can occur when a worker is exposed to chemicals at work that cause irritation or burns on their skin. Chemical poisoning occurs when an employee inhales toxic fumes or absorbs them through their skin while working around hazardous substances such as pesticides or cleaning products. The damage done by these types of injuries can be life-threatening.
If you work in an environment with airborne toxins or dust, you could develop asthma as a result. Asthma is a serious condition that affects the victim’s airway, making it difficult to breathe. If you never had a history of asthma but have developed symptoms after being exposed at work, you might have a claim for Workers’ Compensation.
What You Should Do After Being Injured at Work in Doylestown
Knowing what to do after getting injured at work can be critical to getting you compensation quickly. First, you will want to make sure your employer has the necessary insurance to cover your injuries. If so, you can recover compensation for a workplace injury even if you were at fault for the accident. It is important to report your injuries as soon as you can after being injured. The process is not immediate and can take up to seven days for your benefits to start coming in.
Determining Your Employer’s Coverage
Arguably the hardest part of the Workers’ Compensation process is knowing what to do to get a claim started. Most people do not think about getting injured at work and, thus, do not consider what steps to take after being hurt. However, if your employer is required to carry Workers’ Compensation per Pennsylvania law, 34 Pa. Code § 121.3b(a) also requires them to post information about workers’ rights to file a claim and provide material detailing how to do so. The law also directs employers to inform new employees when they are hired of their Workers’ Compensation rights in the event they are injured.
If an employer does not have any information posted on the walls, they might not carry Workers’ Compensation insurance or could be violating the law. Fortunately, you can check with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry online to determine if your employer has coverage. If they do not provide coverage when required by law, you might need to consider filing a lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries.
Submit Your Claim
The Workers’ Compensation process truly begins when you report your injuries. The best thing to do is report your injuries immediately after they occur. The sooner you report your injuries, the more likely your claim will be approved without issues. However, your injuries might be so serious that you cannot report them just after sustaining them. Not to worry, though. You have 21 days to report your accident to your employer.
Once you have reported your accident, your employer has seven days to file a claim with their Workers’ Compensation insurance provider. You will typically need to submit evidence supporting your claim for benefits. This usually includes medical examinations and diagnoses regarding your injuries and recovery time. The caveat is that you will be required to visit a doctor your employer selects if they offer you a list of doctors to visit. However, if you believe the employer’s chosen doctor has diagnosed you incorrectly or is recommending invasive treatment, you can usually get a second opinion for a doctor of your choosing.
Once you have the necessary documentation, you must submit your Workers’ Compensation claim yourself. You can find the steps to do so, including forms, here.
If your claim is approved, you start receiving benefits after seven days. However, you will want to confirm if the compensation is temporary. If you are receiving temporary compensation, this means that the insurance company is taking more time to investigate your claim. The insurance company can investigate your case for up to 90 additional days but must approve or deny it at that point. Once the claim receives final approval, you will get a notice of compensation payable, confirming your compensation agreement. If your claim is denied, You can appeal the decision to a Workers’ Compensation Judge assigned to your case.
Our Doylestown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
Contact Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today at (215) 355-6400 for a free case consultation with our Workers’ Compensation attorneys.