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Archive for March, 2016

Genetic Discrimination and Workers Comp – What to Do If Your Employer Discriminates Based On Genetic History

There are many areas of the law that have been complicated by the advances of science. Examples include the ways that the use of cell phones have impacted driving safety laws, and where embryos that have been frozen in laboratories have become the subject of complex family law litigation. Modern science has also added a layer of complexity to many workers’ compensation cases, as employers have attempted to use an injured or disabled worker’s genetic history against them to dispute a workplace injury claim. The federal government has passed specific laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment, guaranteeing employees that they can not be discriminated against or robbed of any employment benefits based on their genetic information, but this has not stopped employers and their insurance companies from attempting to deny workers’ compensation claims. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits based upon a family history, you need a knowledgeable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney to defend your rights. The attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law can help.

There are a number of conditions that have been linked to specific genes, but there is a very big difference between a genetic characteristic being a risk factor and it being a direct cause of a specific condition or illness. Though there are certain genes that are tied directly to certain diseases, that is not the same as a risk factor, which is simply something that increases a statistical probability. Risk factors do not cause impairment. From the standpoint of being refused workers’ compensation, employers and their insurance companies have attempted to deny claims for such injuries as onsite heart attacks or strokes, claiming that they were caused by a genetic propensity towards high cholesterol, or that an alcohol dependency or addiction might have been caused by an inherited tendency. In some cases, they may ask an injured worker to provide disclosure of family history or genetic information in order to support their denial of a claim.

Of particular concern in the state of Pennsylvania is the fact that when a worker seeks to claim that an illness such as cancer or a lung disease is caused by occupational exposure, they are required to provide proof that the workplace exposure is more likely to have been the cause of their condition than any and all other possible causes, and genes can work against them. Add to that the requirement that a claim has to be filed within a limited amount of time of a hazardous exposure, and these claims can become even more difficult to prove.

When you have suffered a workplace injury and fear that a family history or genetic information may work against your workers’ compensation claim or appeal, you need to make sure that you have a knowledgeable, experienced and passionate attorney representing you. Call the attorneys at Vanasse Law today. We will fight for your rights to compensation.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation HERE.

5 Reasons to Call A Workers Comp Lawyer. You Deserve Compensation for Your Injuries

Workers’ compensation is a benefits program that is there for workers in the state of Pennsylvania. It provides medical expenses and wage-loss compensation for those who are unable to work until they are able to go back. It also provides death benefits to the dependent survivors of those who suffer work-related deaths. Though almost every worker in the state is covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, that does not mean that getting the benefits that you deserve is a straightforward process. Employers and the insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation coverage have 21 days after receiving notice of an injury to either agree that it is work related and issue a Notice of Compensation or Notice of Temporary Compensation, or to deny your claim. Once a claim is denied you have the right to file an appeal, but this process can be complicated and intimidating. If you have been injured or sickened on the job and are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, you greatly improve your chances of success by calling a workers’ compensation lawyer. When you deserve compensation for your injuries, the attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law will fight for your rights.

Though many people attempt to handle their workers’ comp claim and appeal on their own, doing so can be a mistake. The process can be confusing and requires adherence to highly specific deadlines and the gathering and submission of evidence. There are a number of reasons to call a workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you in your claim:

  • A workers’ compensation attorney will make sure that you are aware of all of the deadlines that you are required to meet, including when you need to provide notice of an injury, and how long you are required to receive care from the company-approved physician before being able to choose your own.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to advise you of whether you are able to hold other parties responsible for your injury. Though you can not generally file a lawsuit against your employer, there are many instances in which third parties may be found liable for your injuries. A workers’ comp lawyer will investigate this possibility and advise you of your rights.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to provide you with valuable information about other benefits you may be eligible to receive, including Social Security, unemployment or disability, and to help you to coordinate these benefits so that you are within the law.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will represent you if your employer attempts to terminate, modify or suspend your benefits.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will stand up to the insurance company’s lawyers during the appeals process.

At Vanasse Law, we are passionate advocates for the rights of injured workers. If you have been hurt on the job, call us today to ensure that you get the compensation and benefits that you deserve.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation HERE.