Pennsylvania State Workers’ Compensation Laws and Regulations
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Pennsylvania State Workers’ Compensation Laws and Regulations
Employers have a responsibility to consider the health and well-being of their workers. When an injury or accident happens in the workplace, injured employees are often entitled to earned benefit payments.
Workers’ compensation insurance is intended to cover some of the financial losses that injured employees experience. Recovering from an on-the-job injury is a very expensive prospect.
Many personal injury victims underestimate the financial losses that an accident entails. If you have been hurt while performing your job function, you may be owed financial recovery.
In the state of Pennsylvania, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, some workers are unable to recover the benefits to which they are entitled.
Do not let this happen in your case. Reach out to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer at Morgan and Morgan.
Our team of skilled professionals has a thorough knowledge of Pennsylvania worker protection laws. We have decades of experience successfully fighting for the rights of our clients.
Do not let a tight-fisted insurance provider deny or devalue your workplace injury claim. Medical bills and lost income from on-the-job injuries often result in victims feeling scared about their future.
Let the accomplished legal team of workers’ compensation lawyers at Morgan & Morgan fight for you. Schedule a free legal case evaluation by filling out our easy-to-use online form today.
Requirements for Filing a Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Claim
Maybe you have slipped and fallen in your workplace. Perhaps you have developed a back injury from repetitive movements required by your job.
No matter what type of accident or injury you have suffered, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In the state of Pennsylvania, workers’ comp payments make up for the financial losses of injured workers.
In exchange for these payments, injured workers forgo the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. However, there are certain legal restrictions on who can pursue these earned benefits and under what conditions.
Understanding Work Injuries
In order to file a successful workers’ compensation claim, the harm you sustained must be the result of a work injury. According to Pennsylvania State law, a “work injury” is physical damage, a medical condition, or illness that is caused by the victim’s job.
When most people think of workplace injuries, they picture dramatic accidents resulting in physical damage. These are the most common types of injuries that result in workers’ compensation payments. Common examples include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Broken and fractured bones
- Slip or trip and fall accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
However, some work injuries develop slowly over time. For instance, pre-existing conditions that are exacerbated by the performance of job functions may also qualify the victim for benefits.
Some examples of slowly developing medical conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome and asbestosis. When a job involves exposure to dangerous chemicals or substances, employees may become ill over the long term.
Informing Your Supervisor
In the immediate aftermath of a personal injury in the workplace, it is critical to notify your employer. This is a requirement under Pennsylvania state law for injured employees hoping to recover earned benefits.
According to state regulations, victims must provide their supervisor with a notification of the accident or injury within 21 days of the incident. At the most, injured workers should notify their employer within 120 days of the injury.
Failing to do so may result in a denial of workers’ compensation payments. For this reason, it is critical to submit a written notification of any accident that happens during a workday.
Even if you believe your accident has not resulted in a serious injury, report the incident. Speaking with a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to effectively explore your legal options.
Visiting Your Employer’s Chosen Medical Provider
In some instances, injured workers are required to visit a medical care provider chosen by their employer. However, there are certain criteria needed for this requirement to apply.
First, the employer must provide the injured worker with at least six options for medical care providers. This provides the applicant with a choice of employer-chosen providers.
Second, the business must offer a written statement of its rights and duties in relation to employees. Finally, the employer must secure a written statement that the worker has received notice of the duties and rights.
When a business does not meet these three criteria, injured workers are permitted to seek medical care from a provider of their choice. If you are uncertain about where to secure medical treatment, speak with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer.
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What Costs Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
Workers’ compensation benefits work differently from financial damages in personal injury lawsuits. In a standard injury claim, victims can pursue compensation for multiple types of losses.
For instance, injury victims in negligence cases can seek compensation for personal and intangible harms. These are known as “non-economic” damages.
Some examples of non-economic damages include payments to compensate for:
- Physical pain and anguish
- Emotional distress and turmoil
- Anxiety, depression, and panic disorder
- Loss of quality of life
However, workers’ compensation payments do not extend to cover this type of loss. Earned benefits are intended only to make up for the financial costs associated with the workplace accident.
In a standard civil claim, these payments are known as “economic” damages. Some of the losses that workers’ comp payments make up for are:
Injured workers who file successful workers’ comp claims are not required to pay for necessary medical care. Earned benefits typically cover the following types of care and treatment costs:
- Hospital stays
- Ambulance rides
- Travel associated with medical needs
- Necessary surgeries
- Prescription medication expenses
- Diagnostic labs and tests
Injured employees are not required to pay a medical co-pay or any other treatment fee. However, greedy insurance providers may attempt to deny you the medical care that you need.
Securing help from a Morgan & Morgan workers’ compensation lawyer will give you the best chance of receiving maximum compensation.
Lost Wages and Income
In many cases, injured employees are unable to work their normal jobs while they recover. When this happens, victims forgo the money that they typically count on.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania make up for a portion of injured employees’ lost wages. In most instances, these earned benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage.
There are certain exceptions to this rule regarding lost income. For instance, Pennsylvania state law sets a maximum limit on the amount that applicants can receive per week. Workers who typically make significant incomes may not recover two-thirds of their average weekly pay.
In other cases, applicants may recover 90% of their typical average weekly income. When you file for workers’ compensation, you must report wages you earn from other work or employment.
Is There a Time Limit on Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
No. There is no legally mandated time limit for injured employees to receive benefit payments. Ideally, the victim will receive compensation until they have fully recovered from their injury.
However, remember that employers have an incentive to pay as little as possible. Insurance providers also hope to downplay and value the damage that workers experience following on-the-job accidents.
For this reason, it is important to secure legal representation when seeking earned benefits. The accomplished workers’ compensation lawyers at Morgan and Morgan have a decades-long track record of success.
When we represent you, you can rest assured that your case is in the best possible hands. We will fight diligently to recover maximum compensation in your workplace injury case.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim?
In almost all instances, injured workers are not legally permitted to file a lawsuit against their employer. Typically, workers’ compensation benefits are the only option for recovering financially from a workplace accident or injury.
Accepting these earned benefit payments releases your employer or business from further legal liability. However, determining who is responsible for your injuries can be difficult.
Often, more than one party is legally responsible for the damage that an injury victim sustains. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer will review the facts of your case to determine who should be held accountable.
While you cannot file suit against your employer, you may have the option of pursuing a claim against a third party.
For example, suppose that you are injured in a work-related car crash because of another party's negligent behavior. In this situation, you may have a valid personal injury claim against the negligent party. A skilled attorney will help you determine the best way to pursue the money you need.
By holding negligent third parties accountable, you may be able to obtain additional financial compensation. Speak with a Morgan & Morgan tort lawyer to settle the issue of legal liability in your case.
Will a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Require Payment Before Taking My Case?
No. Reputable workers’ compensation law firms operate based on a contingency fee model. This approach to legal payment ensures that accident and injury victims pay nothing until their case is resolved.
During your free Morgan and Morgan consultation, we will determine the validity of your workers’ compensation claim. When we take your case, the cost of legal services is covered by a portion of the financial recovery from your claim.
This means that our clients do not pay a single nickel until we get the money that they deserve. You should never hire a disreputable tort attorney who demands upfront payment.
Our compassionate legal professionals know that injured workers have enough burdens to bear. Unless we effectively settle or win your case at trial, you will not pay anything for legal representation through Morgan and Morgan.
Free Consultations Through Morgan & Morgan
When you need accomplished legal representation in Pennsylvania, look no further than the nation’s biggest tort law firm. The attorneys at our firm boast more than 30 years of successful accident and injury cases.
Since our founding, Morgan and Morgan has recovered over $15 billion for our clients. We will not rest until you receive the payments to which your labor entitles you.
The Morgan and Morgan team knows the tricks that unscrupulous coverage providers and employers use. Our skilled legal representatives know how to effectively counter these tactics.
Do not wait. Fill out the simple contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
We will happily review the facts of your case and help you pursue every penny you are rightfully owed. Contact Morgan & Morgan today.