Injuries at work are not uncommon, but if they are serious enough to prevent you from working for a certain period of time, you might be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation provides injured employees with a whole host of benefits, including medical coverage and a portion of lost wages. Injured workers might be eligible for these benefits if their injuries happen at work and they cannot return to their jobs. How long your benefits last depend on whether your disability is permanent or temporary. To be eligible for Workers’ Compensation, your injuries must have occurred while you were working and prevented you from going back to work for no less than 7 days. If you are out of work for only a few days, you might not be covered. To initiate a claim, you must report the injuries to your employer and speak with an attorney about submitting a claim. Claims are sometimes denied for various reasons, and your attorney can help you avoid common mistakes so your claim is as strong as possible.
To arrange for a free evaluation of your claim with our Workers’ Compensation attorneys, call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.
Potential Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation in Wilkes-Barre
Workers’ Compensation can greatly help injured employees struggling to make ends meet after being injured. Among the benefits provided are medical expenses and some of your lost wages. Unfortunately, damages for pain and suffering are not included among Workers’ Compensation benefits, and lawsuits against employers for additional damages are barred.
Your claim should provide medical benefits for any necessary treatments for your injuries. This includes many kinds of expensive medical treatment, which is great for injured workers. However, treatments that are not necessary might not be covered. For example, surgery to treat an injury might be necessary and covered. Cosmetic procedures to eliminate scars from the initial surgery might not be covered.
You can also claim some of your lost compensation and income. Generally, injured workers can expect to receive about two-thirds of their average salary. These benefits may last indefinitely for as long as you are injured and unable to work. Benefits may cease if you make a full medical recovery, can return to full employment, or can do other jobs with no decrease in salary.
Who May File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation in Wilkes-Barre
While the Workers’ Compensation system is designed to help injured employees, not all employees are eligible. Eligibility requirements are strict, and if your employer or the insurance company has doubts regarding your claim, an attorney can help you prove that your claim deserves fair compensation.
To be eligible, your injury must have occurred while you were working in furtherance of your normal job duties. For example, if you work in an office as a secretary, you should be covered if you are injured on the office stairwell. Similarly, if you work with heavy machinery in a factory and are hurt while using said machinery, your claim will likely be approved.
You might be in trouble if your accident did not happen at work. If you left work without permission to run some quick errands and were injured in an accident, you probably cannot claim Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The trouble is that many claims occur outside of the workplace, but the employee is still on duty. This is a common problem for those who travel as part of their job. Injuries while traveling for work should still be covered, but our Workers’ Compensation attorneys might need to come up with evidence showing that you were indeed working during the accident.
Next, your injuries must keep you out of work for no less than 7 days. These days of missed work do not need to be consecutive, but they should be directly related to your injuries. Worker’s Compensation benefits typically kick in after the 7th day of missed work.
Eligibility might be hard to determine if you are too injured to perform your current work duties, but your employer can assign you different duties that you are medically capable of doing. If there is no decrease in your pay, you might not be eligible. However, if your new work is paid less, you might still claim benefits to make up the difference in income.
How to Initiate a Workers’ Compensation Case in Wilkes-Barre
The first step to initiate a Workers’ Compensation claim is to report your accident and injuries to your boss. You should report your injuries immediately. Even if your boss is not around during the accident, you should send a text or email anyway.
You must alert your employer because they are responsible for sending a first report of the injury to their insurance company that pays for Workers’ Compensation. Even if you have been disabled for less than the required 7-day period, you need to report your injuries.
After your employer notifies their insurer of your injuries, the insurance company might approve or deny the claim. However, if your employer does not send the claim to the insurance provider or does not believe you are injured, an attorney can help you submit a claim yourself.
Why a Workers’ Compensation Claim Could Be Denied in Wilkes-Barre
Many claims are denied because of simple mistakes. For example, suppose you do not report the injuries to your employer immediately, or your employer forgets to submit a first report of the injuries to the insurance provider. In that case, your claim might be more heavily scrutinized. Your lawyer can help make sure forms and paperwork are properly filled out and submitted.
In other cases, claims are denied because of a lack of information in the initial reports and claims submission. The insurance company needs details about how the accident happened and how it fits the eligibility criteria for Workers’ Compensation. If details are lacking, your claim is more likely to be denied.
If your claim is denied, an attorney can help appeal and hopefully have your claim reconsidered and approved. The appeals process is more complicated than the initial filing process, and you should definitely speak to an attorney if your claim was recently denied.
Call Our Wilkes-Barre Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Support Now
Schedule an appointment with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers for a free, private case review by calling Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.