Securing workers’ compensation benefits can be an uphill battle. Many applicants are initially denied, forcing them to go through an appeals process in order to secure the benefits they are rightfully owed. With so much effort going into winning these benefits, few people give much thought to what happens after you win a workers’ compensation case.
Stapp Law, LLC provides unrivaled legal guidance to those who have been injured in workplace accidents. As your legal team, we will be by your side as you seek your workers’ comp benefits, and will ensure that you understand everything that comes next.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Comes After a Workers’ Compensation Case
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Stapp Law, LLC are pleased to offer free case evaluations to those located in or near the Williamsport, PA area. During these no-obligation consultations, we review the details of a person’s work injury and what caused it, determine whether they have legal standing to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, and answer any and all questions they may have.
In addition to these free consultations, we have also compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about what happens after you win a workers’ compensation case.
When Will My Medical Bills Be Paid?
Health care is not cheap, and medical expenses associated with workplace injuries can carry a hefty price tag. According to healthcare.gov, the average cost to treat a broken leg is around $7,500, while staying just three days in a hospital will run you $30,000. You should not be forced to empty your own pockets when your injury was not even your fault.
The good news is workers’ compensation benefits cover your work injury medical bills. Within the first several weeks of winning your case, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will pay any outstanding medical bills incurred as a result of your work injury. The insurance company is also obligated to pay all future medical costs that stem from your work injury.
When Will I Receive My Initial Workers’ Compensation Award?
You should receive your initial workers’ compensation award within 30 days of the judge’s decision. This award retroactively covers the lost wages and other benefits you would have been entitled to from the date of your accident up until winning your case. Under Pennsylvania state law, this award should also include 10% of your accrued award. In other words, if you were injured on Sept. 1, 2021, but were not awarded benefits until Sept. 1, 2022, you would be awarded an initial payment of a year’s worth of benefits with 10% interest.
If your payment does not include the interest that you are owed, contact your attorney immediately to inform them of the problem. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to “forget” the extra interest you are owed in an attempt to save money and boost their own bottom lines.
How Often Will I Receive My Benefits?
Following your initial award, your workers’ compensation benefits will be paid on either a weekly or bi-weekly basis. In general, you will be paid with the same frequency as you did prior to your injury. If you received your paycheck every other week before your work accident, you can expect your workers’ compensation benefits to also arrive bi-weekly.
How Do I Pay My Lawyer?
The majority of workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they can offer their services without requiring upfront payment. Instead, their fees will be automatically deducted as a small percentage of your weekly or bi-weekly check. The insurer will pay the attorney directly. This leaves you free to focus on your recovery and well-being.
When Do Benefits End?
There are multiple ways for your workers’ compensation benefits to come to an end.
- You return to work. If you return to work, even if it is for a different employer, the insurance company can request that your benefits be suspended as you are no longer suffering any wage loss as a result of your injury. There are exceptions to this general rule, though. If you earn less than you did prior to your injury, the insurer will still pay 2/3 of the difference between your new income and your pre-injury income.
- The insurer determines you are able to work. In order to continue receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, the insurance company will have you undergo an independent medical examination twice a year. If the doctor determines that you are capable of either returning to your old position or working in some capacity, the insurer will likely move to halt benefit payments.
- Your impairment rating is less than 50%. After receiving workers’ compensation benefits for 104 weeks, Pennsylvania state law requires individuals to undergo an impairment rating evaluation. If your disability rating is 50% or higher, you will be entitled to continue receiving your benefits indefinitely. A disability rating of less than 50% will place a cap of 500 additional weeks of benefits.
Just because the insurance company or one of its doctors says you are ready to go back to work does not mean that you have physically recovered enough to maintain gainful employment. Do not allow yourself to be pushed around by an insurer; contact your attorney right away if you are being bullied into returning to work before you are ready.
Helping Work Injury Victims Secure the Benefits They Deserve
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you deserve to be fully and fairly compensated for your lost wages and medical bills. Most employers and workers’ compensation insurers will do everything within their power to limit your ability to recover the benefits to which you are entitled. That’s where Stapp Law, LLC comes in.
Our attorneys are proven advocates for work injury victims. Whether you are ready to file your initial claim, or have been denied and need to file an appeal, we are here for you. Contact us today by calling our Williamsport law office or filling out our convenient online form to schedule your free case evaluation.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Pennsylvania?