If it’s the first time you were injured at work, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed. You and your family live paycheck to paycheck. Will your health insurance cover your medical bills? What about your lost wages? Essentially, you need to know what benefits you should expect.
With few exceptions, most Pennsylvania employees are entitled to receive benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. That said, your employer may not have to comply with the provisions of the Act if your employment falls into any of these categories:
- Federal workers
- Railroad workers
- Domestic workers
All things considered, these are just some job classifications that do not require employers to maintain state-mandated workers’ compensation insurance coverage. You should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to find out what happens if you are excluded from coverage.
In comparison with many other states, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws rank high. For one, they allow for no-fault insurance. This means you don’t have to prove negligence to receive benefits. If you were distracted and slipped and fell at work, you don’t have to worry that you won’t receive benefits because you were a little clumsy.
Pennsylvania employers also receive some assurances as a result of the state’s laws. You cannot sue your company or a co-employee for something that occurs at work.
Injured at Work Can Mean Occupational Disease
When people think of work injuries, they generally relate to a particular accident. However, that’s not always the case. You may also make a claim for harm caused by an occupational disease. These could include any of the following:
- Exposure to chemicals or other deleterious substances
- Repeated lifting and bending
- Stress-related injuries
As a result of your exposure, you could find that you suffer from neurological disorders or industrial asthma. In some situations, chemical burns and poisoning, as well as industrial dermatitis surfaces after repeated occupational exposure.
More than likely, your first concerns are payment of your medical bills and reimbursement for lost wages. You will receive the latter if you need to stay out of work for more than seven days. Of course, the doctor must authorize you for the lost time. Depending on your income, calculations may be as high as 90 percent of your average weekly wage.
For employees averaging more than $786.76, benefits represent 66 2/3% of their earnings. That said, the maximum for a 2019 accident is $1,049.00 weekly.
When you are hurt at work, the workers’ compensation carrier pays your bills. You should not submit them to your health insurance company as they will be denied.
Partial and Total Disability Benefits
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you could receive additional money even if you return to work. When you are released from treatment, an independent medical exam will come up with a disability rating.
You should know that this issue often proves contentious when evaluating workers’ compensation claims. If you receive a disability rating of less than 50%, you will receive partial disability benefits. You may be entitled to additional benefits for disfigurement or injuries to specific body parts.
What if you receive a disability rating of more than 50%? In the case you are that severely injured, you can expect lifetime disability benefits.
When you’ve suffered a work-related accident, you need experienced legal advice. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli to set up a meeting with attorneys who understand and care about getting you the best possible resolution to your claim.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.