Request a Free Workers’ Compensation Consultation
Zachary Zawarski is a Pennsylvania attorney located in Bethlehem that can help injured whose workers’ compensation claims that have been denied by their employer.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Process
Once you are injured at work, you should immediately report the injury to your employer. The employer is required to complete an injury report to submit to their workers’ compensation carrier. The insurance carrier must either accept or deny liability within 21 days. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied by your employer, please call me at (484) 362-9286 for a free consultation.
Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Laws
Injured During The Course of Employment
The basic eligibility requirement in order to receive workers’ compensation is that the injury must occur within the scope of employment. Claims are routinely denied by insurance companies on the basis that the injury is non-work related. If the insurance company finds that your injury is work related and they accept your claim, you will automatically receive medical and wage loss benefits.
No Right to Sue Employer
Workers’ compensation was a system developed to compensate injured workers without requiring them to file a lawsuit against their employer. Your only recourse against the employer for sustaining an injury while working is through workers’ compensation. However, if you were injured due to the result of a defective product, you have the ability to pursue claims against third parties.
Applies to All Employees
Workers’ compensation laws cover all employees whether you are a full-time employee or part-time employee. Â Workers’ compensation laws even apply to unincorporated businesses or businesses with just one employee.
Promptly notifying your employer of an injury is very important in order to preserve your claim. As soon as you suffer a work-related injury, notify your employer or supervisor in writing that you were injured while working, the date of the injury, and the place of the injury. Even if you miss just a one shift of work, if you are injured, notify your employer. Failure to notify your employer may result in a delay or denial of workers’ compensation benefits. You have 120 days to notify your employer about the injury or you will be barred from receiving benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The benefits can be recovered when filing a workers’ compensation claim and they include: (1) payment for lost wages; (2) coverage of medical expenses; and (3) special loss benefits in the event of disfigurement or loss of a body part.
Lost Wages Compensation
Wage-loss benefits are approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Wage-loss benefits can also be offset by other sources of income such as Social Security benefits, retirement pensions, severance pay, and unemployment compensation benefits. If you are able to return to work, but at a lower paying position, you are still able to recover two-thirds between the difference in pay.
Returning to Work or Being Able to Work
The purpose of workers’ compensation is to compensate workers who are physically unable to work due to an injury. Wage-loss benefits generally stop when you return to work. Additionally, if your employer can prove that employment is available to you within your medical restrictions and in your local area, your employer can petition the workers’ compensation judge to stop or reduce your wage-loss payments.