Get Your Workers’ Compensation
Under the best circumstances, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance covers injuries at work. Pennsylvania requires most businesses that have workers, full- or part-time, to meet their statutory workers’ compensation obligations by either getting an insurance policy or self-insuring themselves.
Still, this is no guarantee that your employer will fairly compensate you in the event of an injury. Also, if you’ve suffered a reasonably preventable injury or trauma caused by unsafe working conditions, you need an experienced lawyer. We can ensure that you receive adequate compensation. Your employer should raise your current workers’ compensation payout if your medical bills exceed it.
Therefore, if you need a Scranton workers’ compensation attorney in Pennsylvania, you need Kalinoski Law Offices P.C.
What does workers’ compensation cover and how do I apply?
After a work injury, if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to obtain coverage for:
- Lost wages
- Medical treatment
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Other benefits
Workers’ compensation is not suing your employer, but requesting compensation via benefits they should have under their insurance carrier. To file for workers’ compensation, you need to do the following in association with a workers’ compensation lawyer:
- 1. File a claim to notify your employer.
- 2. Only complete employee-designated sections and be sure to sign and date the form.
- 3. Keep records of everything you fill out.
- 4. Return the claim to your employer.
- 5. Your employer must then complete the employer section and give you a copy. If your employer does not give you one, request a copy for your records.
- 6. Typically within 14 days, you will receive a status letter from the insurance company.
You will be medically evaluated as part of the process. Under Pennsylvania law, you must see an approved doctor for your first 90 days of treatment. In general, your employer must provide you with a list of at least six designated healthcare providers from which to choose.
But what happens if your employer doesn’t comply with the state workers’ compensation laws? Or cheated you out of benefits?
Many people who are injured at work believe they are automatically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But as our Scranton lawyers will tell you, this is not the case. In some instances, you can have a legitimate workplace injury. However, your employer or insurance company may refuse to pay benefits.
It’s not in the insurance company’s best interests to comply with your compensation requests. In fact, insurers make money by denying, delaying, and undervaluing claims. They’ll try to give you the run-around to minimize the benefits you’re ultimately rewarded. That’s where a Scranton workers’ compensation attorney can help.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act
In 1915, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted the Pennsylvania Workmen’s (Workers’) Compensation Act as a way to define the conditions where benefits are available to injured employees and the procedures for obtaining them. Similarly, the Act also applies to occupational illnesses that have longer-lasting implications.
Under the Act, some businesses are exempt from coverage including:
- Employers/individuals covered under other workers’ compensation acts (ie. railroad workers, longshoremen, and federal employees)
- Domestic servants
- Agricultural workers who work fewer than 30 days or earn less than $1,200 in a calendar year from one employer
- Employees who are exempt due to religious beliefs
- Those with executive status in certain corporations
If you are not an exempt employee, there are steps you can take to ensure your workers’ compensation claim is handled appropriately–specifically if the claim is denied.
The Risks of Filing a Claim Without an Attorney
However, as an injured employee, it can be very hard to figure out your rights through PA’s workers’ comp laws. Doing it alone can also increase the chances of errors and omissions, costing you your benefits.
Severe injuries, medical care, and ensuing bills can take a toll on your mental health. The last thing you want to worry about is whether you have considered every detail of your case. Yet, these little things can be the difference between a successful settlement and a lost cause.
That’s why we recommend you entrust your case to a seasoned Scranton workers’ compensation attorney from a reputable law firm like Kalinoski Law Offices. Our workers’ compensation lawyers will analyze every aspect of your situation and strategize the most advantageous solutions.
What If Your PA Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Once you apply for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer will rule your application initially. Their insurance company will also likely help them decide whether to approve your claim.
That said, applications for workers’ comp can be denied for several reasons, such as:
- Incorrect information on the accident report
- Exceeding the 120-day deadline
- Employer questions validity and severity of the injury
- Employer states the injury occurred outside work
- Employer claims the injured worker engaged in illegal activity, like drug use
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, there are steps you can take to recoup losses for your injuries. The first step is to appeal the decision. You have up to three years from the denial to have your case heard by a judge. Expect to show evidence and attend hearings and mediation sessions that may follow.
But handling an appeal can be nerve-wracking, especially if you feel as though your employer has purposely wronged you. But you don’t have to handle it alone. Consult workers’ comp lawyers in Scranton to learn more about your case.
Contact an Attorney in Scranton, PA: Kalinoski Law Offices P.C.
Attorney Craig P. Kalinoski of Kalinoski Law Offices P.C. in Scranton handles cases dealing with the cause of workplace injuries, unpaid medical bills in excess of offered compensation, hearing loss claims resulting from workplace conditions, reduced or denied compensation benefits, hearing loss, permanent physical scars or other disfigurements as a result of the injury.
If you live in Pennsylvania and have been injured at work, don’t wait — inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible, and contact our office in downtown Scranton to ensure that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.