WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET HURT ON THE JOB?


You should always provide immediate notice to your supervisor if you are injured on the job or involved in a work accident, even if you think you are going to be okay in a few days or will not need to miss work. If possible, ask to fill out an incident report. Many people ask, why not wait and see how it goes before giving notice?

Just because you are not in pain after an accident does not always mean that you are not injured. Sometimes you go to bed fine and wake up the next day feeling like a train hit you. Tolerable pain may progressively worsen. If it does turn out you are fine, no harm has been done by reporting the incident.

The other reasons to give notice right away are that some employers require drug testing after an accident or will give you the chance to work light-duty. Some employers also have lists of approved doctors to treat with following a work injury. Usually those medical visits are covered at no cost to you.

Furthermore, waiting days or weeks to report an injury makes the insurance company think that you were injured at home or that you have some other reason for making up a claim. Many times, well-meaning and honest people keep working in pain after they are injured. They don't want to rock the boat by reporting an injury and hope the pain will go away on its own. As a result, they don't meet quotas or leave work early due to their injury. This often results in a performance warning or even being fired.

Waiting until you are disciplined or fired for performance issues to report a work injury pretty much guarantees your claim will be denied. The insurance company will not view you as the loyal, hard-working employee you are, but as someone looking for revenge...

WHAT INJURIES ARE COVERED?

Pennsylvania workers' compensation laws provide coverage for all types of work injuries, even ones you might not have thought of as covered. In addition to common low back and musculoskeletal injuries, did you know the following injuries are covered in Pennsylvania?
  • Injuries caused by repetitive work, such as carpal tunnel and tennis elbow;
  • Heart attacks while working or as a result of job stress;
  • Psychological injuries caused by abnormal work conditions or as a result of physical injuries;
  • Illness from exposure to chemicals and mold;
  • Occupational diseases (silicosis, firefighter cancer and heart diseases);
  • MRSA Staph infections (common in health care settings and prisons);
  • Concussion and traumatic brain injuries;
  • Hearing loss caused by exposure to noise at work;
  • Scars to the face and neck;
  • Eye injuries and vision loss;
  • Amputations;
  • Injuries sustained while traveling for work or attending work-related functions;
  • Hernias;
  • Aggravation of pre-existing degenerative conditions of the body;
  • Injuries occurring on company parking lots or in company vans; and
  • Injuries due to workplace assaults.

The list goes on and on. Not sure if your injury is covered? Call us. We call you back.

ARE ALL WORKERS COVERED?

If you work in Pennsylvania or the accident happened here, you are covered. It does not matter if you are a temporary worker, if you are paid in cash, live out-of-state, or even if the accident happened the first day on the job.

Pennsylvania generally excludes independent contractors from workers' compensation. However, just because your employer calls you an independent contractor does not mean that you really are one. If your employer tells you what to do and controls all aspects of your work, you may actually be an employee able to receive workers' compensation. Landscapers, truck drivers and construction laborers are often intentionally mislabeled as independent contractors by their employers to avoid workers' compensation claims.

Not sure if you are covered? Call us. We call you back.

WHAT BENEFITS DOES WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROVIDE?

Pennsylvania law provides for payment of wage loss and medical benefits, among others. Wage loss benefits are paid at the rate of 2/3 to 90% of your pre-injury income, depending on your actual earnings.

You do not need to miss work to be entitled to workers' compensation. Medical-only claims are covered and the law provides for payment of medical bills, with no co-pays. Medical benefits include payment for treatment with doctors, physical therapy, specialist visits, surgery, injections, medications and devices like canes and knee braces.

In addition to wage loss from the job you are injured at, you are also entitled to collect wage loss for any other jobs you had at the time of your injury if you can't work.

If you do return to work but can only work part-time or earn less money as a result of your injury, you can get workers' compensation wage loss benefits in the amount of 2/3 of the loss of your earnings.

Other benefits available include specific payments for loss of extremities, vision loss, hearing loss, and scarring on the face and neck. You do not need to miss work to claim these benefits. Fatal claim benefits are payable to spouses, children and dependents to replace the earnings of the loved one that they relied upon, and to defer funeral expenses.

DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER?

You have the absolute right to represent yourself, but if you do, the Judge is not allowed to go easy on you or to give you legal advice. The Judge is required to hold you to the same standards as your employer's attorney. You will be expected to take medical depositions at your own expense and to know what your burden of proof is and how to meet it.

Most employer attorneys only handle workers' compensation cases and know the law and the Judges extremely well. No matter how nice they may be, the fact is that they only represent your employer's interests, which are rarely the same as yours. It is their job to settle for the lowest amount possible, not for what the case would resolve for if you had an attorney. Even if the defense attorney knows you are selling your case short and feels bad about it inside, he or she cannot ethically tell you that.

By choosing Kaufman Law you are taking control of your case by being represented by a Certified Workers' Compensation Expert that will always act in your best interest to get you all the benefits you deserve.

Free Consultation and No Fee Unless We Win

There never a charge for you to meet with us. Under the law, workers' compensation attorneys are only allowed to charge a 20% contingency fee, which means no attorneys fees will be paid unless and until you win your case. The 20% will be deducted from any wage loss benefits awarded or settlement received. You never write us a check.