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Archive for May, 2016

Police and Firefighter Injuries – How a Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

Police and Firefighter InjuriesEvery single day that they head off to work, police officers and firefighters put their lives and well-being on the line. Day in and day out, firefighters and police officers are exposed to traumatic situations that put them in harm’s way. They take on their role with courage, bravery, and commitment to the communities that they serve, and unfortunately their efforts often result in injuries. In the state of Pennsylvania, when these public servants are injured or sickened on the job, they are covered under the same workers’ compensation policy that almost every other worker in the state is. They are eligible to receive reimbursement for their medical expense after filing a workers’ compensation claim, and are also eligible to receive payment for lost wages if their injury. Unfortunately, as is true for other employees, there are some instances when these claims filed for police and firefighter injuries are denied by their employer or their employer’s insurance company. When this happens, the attorneys at Vanasse Law, LLC can provide the guidance and representation that they need.

By their job definition police officers and firefighters are both responsible for keeping citizens safe. Ironically and at times tragically, they are often the ones who end up getting hurt while fulfilling their duties. The most obvious potential injuries faced by police officers include assaults, gun shots, stabbings, and car accidents, but just as is true for workers in other occupations, they are also at risk for overexertion injuries and stress. They run the risk of being exposed to dangerous chemicals or toxins, and unique to their positions they are at risk for exposure to radiation from traffic radar devices. Firefighters are most obviously at risk for burns, smoke inhalation and injuries sustained from the collapse of the buildings that they rush into, but they also are at risk for strains, sprains and muscular pain from overexertion and cancer due to exposure from hazardous condition such as the presence of asbestos or other toxins. Both groups are at risk for exposure to infectious diseases such as hepatitis, meningitis, HIV, and others.

Firefighters in the state of Pennsylvania have special rights when it comes to the risk of occupationally-caused cancer. A law was created in 2011 that established cancer as a compensable disease for firefighters who have spent four or more years in continuous firefighting duties and who can prove exposure to a Group 1 carcinogen.

Firefighters and police officers who have been injured on the job are encouraged to seek legal advice regarding their workplace injury or illness in order to ensure that all paperwork is in order and deadlines are met. Having an attorney by your side is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation that you deserve.  The attorneys at Vanasse Law, LLC are committed to providing all of our clients with the information and knowledgeable counsel that they need. Contact us today to book a free consultation.

Spinal Cord Injuries on the Job- What Steps to Take

spinal cord injuriesNo matter how a spinal cord injury occurs, its impact can be long lasting and life changing. The expenses involved in treating a spinal cord injury can quickly climb to mind-numbing levels, and the pain and disability that follows can leave you unable to continue working. If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury on the job, then you are likely to be entitled to both compensation for any wages that you lose, and for compensation for your medical expenses. There are specific steps that you need to take in order to preserve your ability to file for workers’ compensation, and it is important that you follow these steps exactly. The attorneys at the Lancaster workers’ compensation law firm of Vanasse Law are compassionate, experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who can provide you with the legal guidance you need to make sure that your rights are protected.

Spinal cord injuries vary in severity but are generally defined as any damage to the bundle of nerves that is located within the spinal column. These nerves make up the message center between the brain and the rest of the body, sending messages telling limbs and fingers to move and relaying sensations like heat, cold, softness, and sharpness back from the fingers and surface of the skin. At their most severe, spinal cord injuries can leave those who have suffered them completely paralyzed from the neck down. Even a slight disturbance within the spinal cord can leave a person unable to control their bladder, unable to regulate their body temperature, unable to function sexually, and more.

Spinal cord injuries that occur on the job are often a result of a fall or some kind of trauma or blow to the spine. Many workers suffer spinal cord injuries while operating motor vehicles while others are a matter of being crushed by heavy equipment. However your accident occurred, if the injury took place on the job then you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation, a no-fault insurance that your Pennsylvania employer is required to carry and which provides injured workers with the ability to receive compensation without needing to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer, or to assign blame for what has happened to them.

In the state of Pennsylvania, workers who are injured are required to notify their employer about their injury within 21 days. Following this your employer will send a report to their insurance company, as well as to the Workers’ Compensation Bureau, and 21 days after giving notice to the employer they are required to either respond with a denial of liability or begin providing compensation. With an injury as serious as a spinal cord injury, there is likely to be an extended period when you are unable to work. For more information on the options available to you, contact Vanasse Law today. One of our knowledgeable attorneys will explain the process and let you know what you can expect from the workers’ compensation process.

Lancaster Workers’ Compensation and Brain Injuries – Steps to Take

Accidents that occur at work can range from minor to traumatic. Some have minimal impact on a worker’s ability to return to the job, but serious accidents resulting in brain injuries can be life changing. These injuries can happen in a number of different ways, including violent acts on the job, machine entanglement, and vehicle crashes. A worker may suffer a brain injury from walking into a stationary object, from an object falling onto their head, from themselves falling from a height, and from slip and fall accidents. The different ways that brain injuries can occur and the wide range of severity of these injuries makes each circumstance difference, but in all cases when a worker suffers a brain injury on the job, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. The Lancaster workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law, LLC are here to help and guide you as to the steps you need to take to protect your rights and get the compensation and benefits that you deserve.

When you have suffered an injury on the job in Pennsylvania, there are are certain steps that you must take in order to ensure that your rights to file for workers’ compensation are protected. It is important that you report your injury properly, immediately reporting the incident to your supervisor, personnel department or union steward as soon as possible. When you do so, you should be sure to provide them with the date of the injury, where the accident occurred, and what part of your body was impacted. This must be done within 120 days of the accident. Reporting the accident within 21 days makes you eligible to receive benefits after missing work for seven days.

Once you have reported the incident, you need to make sure that all of your injuries and medical bills are well documented. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible – this may need to be from a physician approved by your employer. Make sure that you follow all of the doctor’s treatment instructions and keep notes on everything.

Within three weeks of receiving notification of your injury, your employer can either accept or deny your claim. If they accept then benefits will soon be provided, but if they deny then they may either pay benefits without accepting liability or issue a denial. Then you have three years from the incident to file a petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and to have your case heard by a Workers’ Compensation judge. Having an experienced attorney by your side to act as your advocate is essential and will make a big difference in your success. Should the judge decide against you, a Lancaster workers’ comp attorney can then help you with an appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, the Commonwealth Court, and even to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The impact of a brain injury can last a lifetime. If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of an incident at work, then make sure that you have a passionate workers’ compensation attorney working on your side to make sure that you get all appropriate compensation. Contact the law firm of Vanasse Law, LLC today.