Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Whether you work behind a desk or on a construction site, there’s always the chance that you’ll get hurt. A work-related injury or illness can pose a lot of challenges. Contact the experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers, call us today at (215) 875-7030. to learn about your legal rights and options.
Medical bills can add up as your income declines thanks to lost time at work. Fortunately, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries or illness. We can help you file a claim for workers’ compensation and fight to maximize the benefits you’re awarded. We offer a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to contact our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania law firm today.
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How Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Philadelphia, PA
Many injured workers think they only have to report their injury to receive workers comp benefits. In reality, the process can be much more complex. You’ll have to follow strict rules and meet specific deadlines. Even if you do everything right, your employer could deny your claim.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make a world of difference.
Our legal team at Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers will:
- Investigate to determine the cause of your injury or illness
- Locate all responsible parties and determine whether you’re eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit
- Monitor the progress of your workers comp claim
- Help you file an appeal if your benefits are denied
- Hire experts to testify about your medical condition
- Handle all paperwork and communications with the insurance company
Your employer has attorneys providing advice, guidance, and information. You deserve an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney who will do the same for you. If you have questions about your rights under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws, call to schedule a free initial consultation today.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is actually a type of insurance that (most) employers in the state of Pennsylvania are required to have. These benefits can be used to cover the costs and expenses of an employee’s work-related injury, illness, or disease. When you get hurt at work or because of a job-related task, you can file a claim to recover benefits from your employer’s insurance policy.
In fact, it doesn’t matter if you were fully or partly responsible for your injury. Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system. You’re entitled to benefits regardless of who caused your injury or why you got hurt.
At the same time, if your employer in Philadelphia has a workers’ compensation program, you’re generally prohibited from filing a lawsuit against them for damages. This program exists to protect your employer from lawsuits while still putting much-needed money in injured employees’ hands. You can, however, potentially file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party. You might even have a legitimate lawsuit against your employer if they intentionally or recklessly caused your injury.
Why Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Philadelphia?
Even though you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, it can be difficult to secure the money you need and deserve. Insurance companies aren’t on your side. They want to minimize the benefits you’re awarded. They’ll do anything they can to drive down the value of your claim and limit how much you’re ultimately awarded. Any misstep could jeopardize it and you’ll have to jump through hoops.
At Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve been fighting on behalf of injured workers in and around Philadelphia for more than 30 years. We know the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system like the backs of our hands. We know the laws and procedures that can affect and influence your claim. We’re familiar with the tactics you’ll face during your pursuit of compensation.
When you turn to us for help after a work-related injury, you can benefit from our extensive experience and track record of success. Our attorneys will be there to help you every step of the way and do everything we can to get you all of the money you deserve. You can have the opportunity to focus on recovering and getting better while we aggressively seek benefits on your behalf.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available in Philadelphia?
When you get hurt at or while performing a work-related duty, you may be legitimately entitled to recover compensation benefits. In Pennsylvania, workers’ comp benefits can cover:
Medical Costs: Compensation can be paid to cover all work-related medical costs, including hospitalization, surgery, medical devices, doctor’s appointments, and other expenses.
Lost Wages and Income: If you’re unable to work because of your injury or illness, you can receive benefits for a portion of your lost income.
Amputation or Specific Injury: Specific benefits are available if your injury has resulted in the loss of a limb or if you are unable to use a part of your body.
Death Benefits: Your family may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits if you die within 300 weeks of a work-related injury. These benefits can pay for funeral expenses and provide compensation for the loss of your financial support.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculated?
There are different types of workers’ compensation benefits you can receive after you’re injured at work. Your medical care expenses should be covered in full, as long as you seek medical care treatment from approved doctors and follow insurance company guidelines.
Benefits for Lost Wages
When it comes to benefits for lost wages, however, you won’t just get your regular paycheck. You’ll receive up to two-thirds of your weekly wage, as long as that doesn’t exceed the maximum amount allowed by law.
Benefits for lost wages are calculated using your average weekly wage prior to your injury or illness. This includes the gross remuneration from all of your employers at the time you got injured, including overtime, tips, vacation, and bonuses.
If you’re a salaried employee, this is fairly easy to calculate. It’ll just be your gross weekly wage reported on your paycheck. If you’re an hourly worker, your average wage will depend on how much you make, how many hours you typically work, and how long you’ve been with your employer.
In 2022, the maximum weekly benefit, as established by the Department of Labor & Industry, is $1,205. You can receive up to 90 percent of your average weekly wage if you earn less than $600.55.
How Long Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Philadelphia?
The answer depends on the extent of your injury. Under Pennsylvania law, there are four ways to categorize your injury.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD): You’re not able to work at all for a limited amount of time. You’re expected to be able to go back to after you’ve recovered from your on the job injury. If you’re considered to be TTD, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages for up to 90 days.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Your injury will keep you out of work for more than 90 days, and you may never make a full recovery. You can collect benefits for lost wages for up to 500 weeks.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD): You’re injured so severely that you’ll never be able to return to work. You can potentially receive workers’ compensation benefits for the rest of your life.
Disfigurement: You may be entitled to compensation for a specific loss if your injury results in disfigurement or the specific loss of a limb or body part. The duration of your benefits depends on which body part has been affected.
The extent of your disability benefits will depend on your Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE). The IRE establishes the degree to which you are disabled because of your injury. This will be determined by your treating physician.
How Do I Recover Workers’ Comp in Philadelphia?
Here’s what you need to know about recovering workers’ compensation benefits if you’ve been injured on the job in Philadelphia.
Notify Your Employer: You’re legally required to notify your employer of your workplace injuries or illness within 120 days. If you report the accident within 21 days, you can receive benefits from the date of your injury. If you report your injury after 21 days, you can only receive benefits from the date you told your employer. It’s best to report the injury as soon as you can.
Seek Medical Attention: If it’s an emergency, don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention at the closest emergency room. If it’s not an emergency, you’ll probably have to receive treatment from a physician who’s been pre-approved by your employer’s insurance provider. After 90 days, you can seek treatment from your own doctor.
File Your Claim For Benefits: To collect benefits, you’ll have to file a formal claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. To do this, your employer must first submit a First Report of Injury to the state to initiate the proceedings. You’ll have to file it within three years of your injury or risk losing out on the right to collect benefits.
Employer Submits Claim to Insurance: Your employer has to immediately notify its insurance provider that you’ve gotten injured at work. The insurance carrier will have 21 days to consider your claim and either approve your request for benefits or issue a denial.
If your claim is accepted, you’ll get a Notice of Compensation Payable and begin to receive benefits. If it is denied, you’ll have the opportunity to appeal that decision. An attorney can play a critical role in helping you secure benefits and fight to appeal a denied request for compensation.
How Do I Know Whether My Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Accepted?
Once your employer notifies the insurance company about your injury, they have 21 days to decide whether to accept the claim. The workers’ compensation insurance coverage can also pay temporary benefits for up to 90 days and later notify you that they aren’t accepting your claim.
What if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
You can’t sue your employer for damages even if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.
Still, you have options if your employer denies the claim. You can request alternative dispute resolution where a workers’ compensation judge will hear your evidence and try to resolve the issues in your case. You have the right to be represented by an attorney during this claims process.
If the judge denies your claim, you’ll be informed about your right to appeal the denial.
Can I Recover Workers’ Comp if I’m in a Union?
Union workers face particular challenges when injured on the job. As a member of a union, you receive additional health insurance and retirement benefits on top of hourly wages. However, if you sustain an injury that prevents a speedy return to work, you and your family can potentially lose those benefits.
With extensive experience in representing union members in workers’ compensation cases, our attorneys know the stakes and how to navigate potential pitfalls. Our union workers’ compensation attorneys can help ensure that you keep your hard-earned benefits, tell us about your situation today.
Do I Still Receive Health Benefits With a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Not necessarily. If you’re out of employment due to a work-related injury or illness, your employer may choose to stop paying your health insurance benefits, including premiums. There are limited exceptions, such as if you’re in a union or qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protection (which is applicable for up to 12 weeks).
While you’re out of work, you may receive a COBRA Notice. COBRA allows you to maintain your employer-provided health benefits for a limited time, but you must pay for the coverage at your own expense.
Contact our workers’ compensation lawyers if you’re dealing with issues regarding your healthcare benefits. We will review the facts of your case to determine if you apply for other types of benefits, including social security or disability. We represent injured people throughout Philadelphia, PA, and we’ll work to receive the best outcome in your case.
My Company Says I Have to Use Their Doctor. Is This True?
It is true to a certain, limited extent. Under Section 306 (f.1) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, if your employer has established a list of at least six designated healthcare providers (with specific requirements), you must see one of those designated providers to receive workers’ comp benefits. You must seek treatment with them for at least 90 days from the date of the first visit.
For these provisions to be enforceable, your employer must:
- Provide clearly written notifications to employees of their duties and rights
- Ensure that each employee is informed of the provisions and understands them by seeking a written acknowledgment of such
It’s important to note that a medical provider of your choice can render any treatment you receive after the 90-day period. However, you must notify your employer within five days of the first visit. If you fail to provide notification, your employer may not be responsible for paying for those services if they are deemed unnecessary or unreasonable.
If you never signed an acknowledgment of these conditions, they may not apply. Additionally, your employer’s designated list of medical providers may not fulfill the requirements listed in the statute.
Of course, you can see a doctor of your choice at any time after your workplace injury. However, your claim may be denied if you see a doctor outside of your employer’s designated list.
It’s understandable if you have questions.
These rules and requirements can be confusing for injured workers in Philadelphia. Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you navigate the complicated workers’ compensation claims process while you focus on recovering from your traumatic injuries. Call us today for immediate assistance to discuss our practice areas and how we can help you.
I Was Injured While Working for My Employer But Not At Their Location. Am I Covered?
You should be covered, even if you weren’t on location at the office, warehouse, plant, factory, or another workplace. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation covers employees who are injured within the scope of their employment.
If you’re performing job duties that further your employer’s interests and are injured in the process, you should be covered by workers’ comp – even if it didn’t occur at their place of business.
Some examples may include:
- Running errands for your employer (e.g., picking up a part or delivering a parcel to the post office)
- You are a remote worker, or your job duties require constant traveling to different locations (e.g., you’re injured while visiting a customer)
- You are performing any type of job duty or task for your employer when you’re injured
Contact an attorney immediately if your workers’ compensation benefits are being denied because they say your injury didn’t happen at work. Many of these claims are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and we’ll get to the bottom of the reason for the denial.
We’ve helped countless clients seek benefits after their workers’ comp claims were denied. We’ve conducted independent investigations, filed appeals, represented clients at hearings, and pursued fair outcomes.
We can also determine if a third party is liable for your injuries if you were hurt while working off-site. If we can identify another responsible party, we can file a personal injury claim on your behalf and work toward a favorable settlement for your injuries, pain, and suffering. We’ll be prepared to fight for you in court if we fail to secure a fair out-of-court agreement.
How Much Does Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
At Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t have to pay any attorneys’ fees upfront. In fact, we only collect a fee if we recover compensation in your case.
Like most attorneys, our fee is determined based on a percentage of your weekly benefits if we win your case. In Pennsylvania, that fee is limited to 20% of your benefits.
We Handle All Workers’ Compensation Matters
If you’ve been injured or developed an illness because of your job, the attorneys at Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help. We handle all workers’ compensation matters, including those involving:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Broken bones
- Eye injury
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Neck and back injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Occupational disease
- Construction injuries, and
- Fall and elevated fall injuries.
It doesn’t matter if you were injured in a work-related motor vehicle accident or fell on a construction site. If you suffered an injury at work, our experienced personal injury lawyers understand that injured workers sometimes don’t get the compensation they deserve and will fight to maximize your award and achieve the best result possible. Give our law firm a call today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Review
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Philadelphia Physical Therapist
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Additional Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Resources
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- Workers’ Compensation Lawyer 101: Can You Sue Your Employer for Negligence as an Injured Worker?
- Can You Reopen a Closed Workers’ Compensation Case in Pennsylvania?
- Drug Testing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania
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Areas We Serve In Philadephia, PA
Swarthmore, Springfield, Drexel Hill, Havertown, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting, Jenkintown, Elkins Park, Bryn Athyn, Feasterville-Trevose, Bensalem, Croydon, Andalusia and more.