Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for nearly every Pennsylvania employer with at least one employee. This kind of insurance coverage protects and provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job through the course of their work. In an ideal world, every injured employee would be able to easily file a workers’ comp claim and receive all the compensation they need for medical bills and lost wages. But unfortunately, things don’t always go this smoothly.
When things get complicated, a Lewisburg workers’ compensation lawyer from Stapp Law, LLC can help make sure the system works as it is intended to. If you were injured on the job in Lewisburg, PA, Union County, or the surrounding areas of central Pennsylvania, get in touch with our office to find out how we may be able to help you. A Lewisburg workers’ comp attorney with decades of experience can evaluate your situation and provide practiced legal guidance.
What Are Workers’ Compensation Laws in PA?
The PA Workers’ Compensation Act dictates the type, amount, and duration of benefits that injured employees can receive in our state. Workers’ compensation benefits after an injury may come in the form of medical benefits to cover your medical expenses, and wage loss benefits to cover the earnings you lost. The benefits you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries, your recovery time, and what impact the injuries had on your life and ability to work.
There are several types of workers’ compensation benefits injured Pennsylvania employees may be entitled to receive. These include:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) or Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). These benefits generally apply to employees who are injured and temporarily unable to work (or only able to perform lighter duties), but are expected to make a full recovery and return to their original job. The amount of benefit is calculated using the average weekly wage (AWW) of the employee before the injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability. If an employee is disabled after an injury and only able to perform work at a lower wage than what they previously earned, they may be able to receive two-thirds of the difference between the AWW before the injury and the AWW after their return to work, for up to 500 weeks.
- Specific Loss Benefits. This type of benefit compensates an employee who suffered a workplace injury resulting in a specific permanent disability, like the loss or impairment of a body part. There are certain amounts that may be awarded to someone who lost a hand, a thumb, an eye, a foot, a leg, or the ability to see or hear through the course of their work.
- Disfigurement Benefits. These benefits may be paid to an employee who suffers an injury resulting in serious, permanent disfigurement to the head, face or neck. These benefits may be awarded up to a maximum of 275 weeks for qualified employees.
- Permanent Total Disability. These benefits only apply when an employee suffers a severe injury that leaves them completely unable to work and earn wages.
- Death Benefits. Surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents or siblings of workers killed on the job in Pennsylvania may be entitled to receive death benefits after a loss. These benefits may include a percentage of the deceased’s wages, and money to cover burial expenses.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act was designed to make sure that companies carry the insurance policies necessary to cover the costs when an employee gets hurt doing their job. But, like most areas of the law, the regulations defined by PA workers’ comp laws are complicated. And, in an effort to save money, companies sometimes look for ways to exploit loopholes, sidestep mandates, and avoid properly compensating injured employees or their surviving family members. Your Lewisburg workers’ compensation lawyer from Stapp Law, LLC will work hard to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Reasons a Workers’ Comp Claim May Be Denied
There are many reasons an injured employee may not be able to recover the compensation necessary to pay for their medical bills and make up for lost income. At our law firm, we devote time and effort to learning all the ways a workers’ comp claim may be denied and how to prevent them. Our job is to make sure our clients receive the compensation to which they are entitled under the law. The following are some of the reasons that may be cited when a workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is denied:
- The claim was not filed by the legal deadline (referred to as a “statute of limitations”)
- The claim was filed incorrectly
- The information in the report was incorrect or disputed by the employer
- The severity of the injury was disputed by the employer
- The employer disputed that the accident was work-related
- The employer claimed the injuries resulted from something other than the workplace accident
- The employer disputed that the injury should be covered under workers’ comp
- The employer claimed employee substance abuse at the time of injury
There could be numerous other reasons a claim is denied. Sometimes, an employer will attempt to prevent an injured worker from receiving any benefits at all. In other cases, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but they are cut off before you have recovered and are able to work again. No matter your situation, it’s never too late to speak with an attorney who can recommend what steps to take next.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help Me?
Not every workplace injury requires the legal assistance of a lawyer. If you are injured at work and are able to smoothly file for and receive the workers’ compensation benefits you need, it’s probably not necessary that you look for a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you. This is the best case scenario. We know many employers in Lewisburg strive to make sure their employees are protected and suitably compensated if injured at work.
But there are other situations when a Lewisburg workers’ comp lawyer may be your best chance for getting the benefits you need to cover medical expenses and lost wages. For example, if there are disputes with your employer about whether or not your injury was work related, if your injuries are severe enough that you may be facing permanent disability, or if you lost a family member to a workplace accident, many complications could arise that are best handled by a legal professional.
At Stapp Law, LLC we handle many types of workers’ compensation claims, including cases involving:
- Construction accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Occupational illnesses
- Toxic exposure
- Oil and gas worker injuries
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Workplace brain injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Hearing or vision loss due to working conditions
- Burn injuries and electrocution
- Work-induced respiratory illnesses
- Injuries and illnesses in the healthcare profession
- Scaffolding and crane accidents
- Work-related motor vehicle accidents
- Farm and agriculture injuries
- Transportation accidents
- Powerline injuries
- Stress, PTSD, and other work-induced psychological trauma
- Wrongful death
If you were injured or lost a loved one to a work-related injury, we can work with your schedule to set up a consultation to discuss how your case can move forward. Our team at Stapp Law, LLC always offers honest and compassionate legal advice to individuals and families exploring options in Lewisburg, PA and the surrounding areas.