Reading Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Attorney

Suffering an injury at work can be both physical devastating as well as financially devastating. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act covers nearly every employee. A worker who is injured on the job may be entitled to significant payments for their injuries. However, the Workers’ Compensation process can be difficult to navigate and if you fail to follow all the procedures and guidelines, then you may find your Workers’ Compensation claim denied.

That is why if you have suffered a workplace injury you should work with an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney who can help not only guide you through the process but who can help you file an appeal if your claim is denied. At Lerner, Steinberg & Associates we strive to help you through every step of the Workers’ Compensation process. Our results-driven attorneys have established themselves as some of the most respected Workers’ Compensation attorneys in the area.

If you have questions or concerns about your Workers’ Compensation claim, contact us today for a free case review at (215) 355-6400.

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ Compensation benefits are used by those who have been injured on the job or have become ill as a result of their work, or even for those who have aggravated a pre-existing condition as a result of their work. These payments are designed to pay for medical expenses as well as cover lost wages a worker suffers as a result of work-related injury. Employers are responsible for advising workers of their rights and duties under Section 306(f.1)(1)(i) of the Act. The written notice of these rights and duties is to be provided to the employee at the time of injury or as soon after the injury as is practicable.

Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act you may be entitled to several types of benefits such as the following:

Medical Care

Benefits for medical care can be paid to cover any medical care, therapy, hospital stays, surgeries, and other services needed to treat the work injury and the resulting symptoms. Some injuries have very complex results that require rounds of surgery as well as ongoing care, all of which should be covered. Workers’ Compensation’s medical benefits should also cover things like prescription medication and other supplies.

As long as your injury is work-related and you follow the other rules associated with receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, your medical care should ideally be covered in full. These benefits do not cover other related health conditions, such as pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.

To receive coverage for these medical benefits, you usually need to use a doctor from a list provided by your employer or their Workers’ Compensation insurance company. Generally, this list should include at least 6 care providers to choose from so that you still have some choice in the matter. This could mean that you cannot get care from your normal physician covered, but there are still options to receive a second opinion from a doctor you trust if there is any question about the care you are receiving from a doctor on the list.

Payments For Lost Wages

Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to work or partially disabled and receiving wages less than your pre-injury earnings. Generally, these lost wage benefits are paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of your normal wage, but there are maximum compensation caps under Section 105.2 of the Act. If your injury results in a partial disability and you are still able to work at a reduced wage, then you should receive 66 2/3% of the difference between your current wages and the wages from before you were injured.

Benefits for lost wages start after your 7th day of being unable to work, so if your injury does not last this long, you usually cannot get lost wage benefits. These benefits are supposed to last for as long as it takes before you can return to work at full capacity.

If your injury is better and you are able to return to work, it is usually expected that you do so immediately and stop drawing wage-loss benefits. However, you should always work with a lawyer and discuss your return to work. Many employers and their insurance companies will try to push employees to go back to work before they are truly ready. Not only could this potentially cause another injury, but it could impede your healing process and take an unnecessary toll on your health.

Death Benefits

If the injury results in death, surviving dependents may be entitled to benefits. Benefits should include reasonable burial and funeral costs, usually to a limit of $7,000. Ongoing benefits for family members depend on what surviving family members there are, and different rates are paid to different family members.

For example, a surviving spouse should receive 51% of the workers’ lost wages, up to certain caps. If there is 1 surviving child along with a surviving widow/widower, the two will receive 60% of the deceased’s wages; two or more children and a spouse will receive 66 2/3%. There are different scenarios for when there are children but no surviving spouse, parents as next of kin, and other family situations.

Always check with a lawyer about what kinds of benefits you and your family could be entitled to in the event that a loved one is killed on the job.

Specific Loss Benefits

If you have lost the permanent use of all or part of your thumb, finger, hand, arm, leg, foot, toe, sight, or hearing or you have a serious and permanent disfigurement on your head, face or neck, you may be entitled to a specific loss award.

Specific loss benefits assume that you lose total function in the limb/sense or that the limb is amputated. Typically, the benefits you receive are a payment of 66 2/3% of your average wage for a set number of weeks, depending on the injury. For example, the loss of a hand pays 335 weeks of benefits and the loss of a foot pays 250 weeks of benefits.

There are complex rules that deal with how combinations of injuries work, such as how to calculate benefits for the loss of two fingers versus three fingers. There are also rules dealing with calculating benefits for specific losses alongside other injuries and conditions.

Workplace Injuries that are Common in Reading, PA

According to the United States Department of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2015. According to Liberty Mutual, one of the most common injuries in the workplace stems from overexertion and costs employers nearly $25 billion dollars in Workers’ Compensation every year. In addition to this injury type, other common injuries include:

  • Fractures
  • Knee injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries

According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job nearly every seven seconds which results in 12,900 workers who are injured every day.

Back injuries are one of the most common injuries that cause lost time at work. However, most injuries will not arise to the level that you can receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for the injury. Remember, benefits are only paid if you are out of work for more than 7 days (not necessarily consecutive); injuries that cause you to miss one or two days will not get benefits. However, if you do receive a serious injury that keeps you out of work for a sufficient amount of time, make sure to reach out to a lawyer right away for help filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

The majority of serious injuries at work are caused by falls, being caught in or between equipment, being struck by objects, and electrocution. Of course, the conditions of your workplace and the type of work you do will alter what is more common in your field. For example, some of the most common injuries for nurses result from assault by patients while most office workers are going to face repetitive stress injuries. Contrast this with machinists, who are more likely to face injuries from the machines they work with.

What Should You Do if You Have Been Injured on the Job?

If you have been injured on the job, the first thing that you should do is notify your employer that you have sustained an injury while on the job. This is a critical component of any Workers’ Compensation case because if a worker fails to give their employer notice of their injury within 21 days of their injury, then their Workers’ Compensation payments may be delayed or even denied. In addition, if you do not notify your employer or a workplace injury within 120 days of the injury, then you will not be entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation payments.

It is important to also contact a lawyer and work with them during every step of your claim. Once your claim is submitted with your employer, they may choose to deny that your injury is work-related, which could trigger a series of appeals and other processes to get the claim approved. Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you appeal your denial, submit additional evidence and information to support your claim, and fight the case in court if necessary.

Can You Sue for Work Injuries in Reading, PA?

In general, Workers’ Compensation is the primary method for getting compensation after an injury at work. Lawsuits against your employer are not permitted. However, Workers’ Compensation benefits are somewhat limited in that they do not pay 100% of your lost wages, medical care must be provided by an approved provider to be covered, and damages for pain and suffering cannot be claimed. There are potential routes to lawsuits – such as suing a third-party other than your employer – that could open access to these additional damages.

Our Reading, Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Here to Help

Please contact us immediately upon sustaining an injury from a work-related accident or activity. We will listen to the details of your case, explain your options, and be there with you every step of the way. Contact us online or call us at (267) 692-4723 for a free consultation with one of our Workers’ Compensation lawyers about your rights and the value of your work-related injury claim.

What Our Clients Are Saying

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“I hired Ben Steinberg to be my attorney after I was in a serious automobile accident. I hired Ben during a difficult time, and in retrospect it was the best decision I could have ever made. Over the course of our attorney-client relationship, Ben placed an emphasis on keeping me informed and empowered. I came away very impressed with Ben's vast knowledge in personal injury litigation and the inner-workings of the Philadelphia region's legal system. From the outset, Ben was my tireless and zealous advocate. During an uncertain time, Ben was with me every step of the way. I believe that Ben Steinberg's professionalism and unflagging devotion to always act in my best interest is what eventually led to my very significant settlement. I recommend Ben Steinberg as a personal injury attorney in the strongest possible terms.”

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“I was involved in a slip and fall accident. I called Benjamin Steinberg for assistance on what to do. He was professional while being so compassionate and caring. He advised me on what to do, answered my questions and was very patient with me. I knew he was the attorney to handle my case. Ben spoke to me several time to keep me up to date on what was happening with my case and of course he was always concerned about how I was feeling. After several months of medical treatment I felt I was feeling better and spoke to Ben about settling the case. Much to my surprise, I received a larger settlement than I had expected. Wow, Ben is terrific! I would highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for legal help in any type of accident. He is tops as far as I am concerned.”

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