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Archive for November, 2015

Reporting Accidents in The Workplace – The Best Practices Should You Ever Need Legal Action

No matter what kind of environment you work in, injuries can occur. Workplace accidents are an all too common occurrence, and depending upon the circumstances there may be perfectly good reasons for not immediately reporting the incident to your supervisor. But reporting a workplace accident is an essential part of the process of filing a successful workers’ compensation claim, and failure to do so may jeopardize your eligibility to receive the benefits that you need and deserve. The Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law is dedicated to helping those injured in workplace accidents to navigate the claims and appeals process. For experienced legal help, call us today to set up a convenient appointment.

There are a number of reasons why an employee might not report a workplace accident right away. Many decide not to mention an accident initially because they hope that the injury won’t impede their ability to work – they hope that after a few hours of rest and perhaps a couple of anti-inflammatories, they’ll quickly recover. If the accident was their own fault they may not even realize that they are entitled to workers’ compensation, as many don’t know that this essential benefit is available regardless of who is to blame for the injury. In some cases, an accident is so severe immediately after it happens that there is no time to file an official report. Whatever the reason, those who don’t report workplace accidents and then find themselves in need of compensation for medical expenses or lost wages may learn that their failure to meet this basic requirement results in a much more arduous road to compensation, and perhaps even to failure.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, injured employees are supposed to report the incident in which they were injured immediately. In the best case, accidents are supposed to be reported to the employer within 21 days, but the rules permit employees up to 120 days delay in reporting the accident to their employer in certain circumstances. Failure to do so puts the injured worker at risk of being denied benefits that they would otherwise have received. Reports of accidents should include all of the essential information, including the date and how it happened. Upon receipt of the accident report, the employer is then required to file a report with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Once an employee completes reporting their workplace accident, the prescribed protocol generally includes the employer providing them with a list of approved physicians who have been specifically designated to treat workplace injuries. These doctors are familiar with the workers’ compensation process, and provide appropriate treatment for a minimum of 90 days following the first meeting with the employee. Later, employers are able to request that employees seek help from specific physicians that they have selected.

If you have questions about the workers’ compensation process or need help in reporting a workplace accident, the attorneys of Vanasse Law can help. We are committed to helping injured employees get the compensation that they deserve, and we’ll work hard on your behalf.

Learn More About Reporting Accidents In The Workplace HERE.

Workplace Back Injuries – Common Back Injuries Sustained in The Workplace

When you think of workers’ compensation and workplace injuries, there’s a good chance that the image that comes to mind is of an employee with an injured back. There’s a good reason why this is what you think of first – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), roughly twenty percent of all workplace injuries or illnesses involved the back, adding up to over one million back injuries every single year. Back injuries make up 25% of all workers’ compensation claims.  Most back injuries that occur on the job come about as a result of lifting, and four out of five involve the lower back. If you have suffered a workplace back injury and need information about your rights as an injured worker, call the attorneys of Vanasse Law. We are experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Lancaster, and we have a wealth of knowledge to support you in all aspects of the workers’ compensation applications and appeal process.

There are a number of common back injuries that are sustained in the workplace. These are divided into two different categories: non-accidental injuries that occur as a result of normal, non-strenuous activities, and accidental injuries that are the result of an unexpected action or strain.  Back injuries may result from physically demanding jobs that require a good deal of lifting, straining or twisting, but they can also come from the poor ergonomics provided by office chairs, standing for long periods of time, or working hunched over a computer all day.  Where the former can come in the form of overextensions result in muscle strains, tears, and ruptures of the discs in the spine, the injuries from sitting are often more along the lines of neck strain and lower back pain.

The back is made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, vertebrae, disks, and connective tissue, and workplace back injuries can damage any of those. Though injuries can happen anywhere along the spinal column between the head and the tailbone, the majority of workplace back injuries involve the lower back. Perhaps the most common of these are disk problems, which result when one of the disks that act as a shock absorber between the vertebrae in our spinal column are suddenly compressed and ends up protruding out of its normal position. If this disk touches a spinal nerve it can result in severe pain.  In most cases this type of injury is the result of improper lifting. Other common injuries occur when the ligaments that support the connections between the vertebrae in our spine are pulled beyond their capacity as a result of twisting or turning. In most cases, back injuries are a result of exceeding the capacity of the back’s structures, and can result in pain and disability that lasts a very long time.

If you have suffered a workplace back injury that requires medical attention or restricts you from doing your job, you would benefit from having a skilled workers’ compensation attorney helping you navigate through the workers’ compensation claims process. To set up an appointment to discuss your case, call Vanasse Law today.

Learn more about Workplace Back Injuries HERE.

Lancaster Factory Accident Lawyer – How We Can Help If You Have Been Injured

As the eighth most populated city in the state of Pennsylvania, Lancaster is a metropolis that has a robust manufacturing industry. In addition to the various factories that provide public tours for the enjoyment of the tourists, the city is home to world class manufacturers of vacuum tube products, contract manufacturers, automobile manufacturers and distributors, food processing and manufacturing plants, and more. Though these are all valuable contributors to the local economy, as job sites they can be dangerous places. Factory work accidents are an all too common occurrence that can require medical attention and keep you out of work for an extended period of time. When you or a loved one is the person has been injured in a factory accident your immediate concern focuses on their injuries and rehabilitation, but you also are left wondering how you’re going to pay the medical bills and household bills during recovery. Workers’ compensation is a benefit that is specifically designed to provide for workers who have been injured on the job, but navigating the claims process can be frustrating, confusing, and complicated. The Lancaster factory accident lawyers at Vanasse Law are completely dedicated to helping injured workers get the compensation to which they are entitled. Call us today and let us make a difficult process simple.

Factory accidents can take many forms and have many causes ranging from slip and fall accidents or being caught under a pile of falling boxes, to explosions, fires or chemical leaks that can lead to tragic endings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common factory injuries include:

  • Overexertion injuries such as back injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries from doing the same movement over and over, generally leading to tissue damage and pain
  • Body movement injuries as a result of being required to sustain uncomfortable positions or motions such as crawling, kneeling, bending or twisting
  • Transportation accidents such as those involving forklifts
  • Exposure to harmful substances in the environment, including chemicals and other toxic materials
  • Contact with objects and equipment such as falling objects or limbs or fingers getting caught in machinery
  • Fires and explosions

Workers also face the same types of risks that can be encountered in any environment, including tripping over hazards on the floor, having things fall on them, and being subjected to temperature extremes. Injuries can range from broken bones to bumps and contusions, from amputations or burn to spinal cord injuries, skin disorders, traumatic brain injuries or vision loss. For a worker employed in a factory, the physical impact of these injuries can also be devastating financially, particularly if they are unable to return to work. Workers’ compensation is there to provide a cushion for those who have been injured in Lancaster factory accidents, and the lawyers at Vanasse Law are here to make sure that you get the benefits to which you are entitled. Call us today and we’ll get started immediately on providing the help that you need.

Learn more from our Lancaster Factory Accident Lawyer HERE.

PA Workers Compensation 101 – Understanding Your Rights in Pennsylvania

No matter what industry you work in or what type of work you do, when you’ve been hurt on the job you have a lot of challenges in store. We know that your primary goal is to get better, but that’s going to take medical attention and time. Getting the compensation that you need to cover your injuries and your time away from work shouldn’t be a chore, but it often is. In the state of Pennsylvania, the process can be extremely complex and time consuming, especially if you attempt to go it alone. Having an experienced Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law firm by your side to represent you can greatly increase your chances of having your claim approved. At Vanasse Law we have extensive knowledge of the Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation process. We know what needs to be done and will help you at every step along the way.

It can be hard to know what to do after you’ve been hurt at work. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation system can be overwhelming and it’s easy to miss an important step or deadline. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.  The first thing that you need to do is to report your accident and any resulting injury to your employer. You must do this within 120 days of knowing that your condition is work related – if you miss this deadline, your employer is not required to provide you with these essential benefits. After this you are required to see one of your employer’s approved workers’ compensation doctors for the first 90 days of your injury. If your employer has a list of these physicians posted and you fail to use one of them, your employer is able to deny paying medical bills incurred during those first ninety days.

Once you have reported your injury, your employer needs to file a “First Report of Occupational Injury” with their insurance company as well as the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Upon receipt of this form, the insurance company has 21 days in which to review the claim and accept it or deny it. Your employer also needs to accept or deny responsibility for your injury. Denial will result in you receiving a Notice of Compensation Denial, while acceptance results in a Notice of Compensation Payable. If you are denied you will need to file a claim petition within three years of the day of your injury. This will lead to hearing in front of a judge to determine whether you are entitled to benefits or not.

As you can see, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation process is highly specific and complicated, but the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law have been working with the system for many years and can anticipate and address all of the potential outcomes. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation and see how we can help.

Learn more about PA Workers Compensation HERE.