Why Vanasse Law?

See the many reasons Vanasse Law’s dedication, expertise and personal attention makes us THE best choice for injured workers in central Pennsylvania.

Learn More >

Testimonials

“I am so thankful that I was referred to Vanasse Law for my workmans comp claim. Mike & Loraine put me at ease and the outcome was better than I expected…”

More Testimonials >

Get a Free Case Evaluation

*Required

I have read the disclaimer.
Privacy Policy

Archive for March, 2017

What are the Most Common Injuries Healthcare Workers Contend With?

Vanasse Healthcare Worker Workers Comp Lawyer Lancaster

People who work in the healthcare industry often do so because they are passionate about helping others. Whether they are doctors and nurses who have invested years in getting advanced education or aides who are providing much-needed care for elderly and infirm residents of long-term care facilities, these hardworking professionals work long hours providing much needed services that are often underappreciated. Few people give thought to the many hazards faced by healthcare workers. From the same type of slip and fall accidents that can happen to employees in all occupational settings to exposure to contagious diseases, healthcare workers often risk their own health in the service of others. At Vanasse Law, we are experienced workman’s compensation attorneys who can help workers get the compensation they deserve when they are hurt on the job. Here are the most common injuries that healthcare workers have to contend with.

Millions of people work in the healthcare field in the United States, and different positions carry their own unique risks. For those who work in the diagnostic imaging profession, there are concerns about exposure to radiation. For those who draw blood there are concerns about needle sticks and contamination with bodily fluids. But these are the injuries that happen most frequently:

  • Repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal injuries that are a result of doing the same activity over and over again or that require overexertion and strain. In most cases, the healthcare employees that suffer these types of injuries are orderlies, attendants, and nursing aids who may be responsible for lifting and transferring patients.
  • Needle sticks that are a result of routine blood draws or injections, as well as those in which patients are combative. Needle sticks can also occur when needles are improperly disposed of or when they fall.
  • Violence is a common occupational hazard for those who work in healthcare settings. Patients, their family members and friends can all become combative or aggressive in times of stress or grief. Additionally, the patient population can include violent criminals who are on criminal hold pending recuperation, patients who have taken illicit drugs that make their behavior unpredictable, and patients with psychiatric disorders who are similarly difficult to manage. Medical facilities are also frequent targets for robberies by those seeking drugs.
  • Slip and fall accidents happen everywhere, and medical facilities are no exception. Many of these accidents are a result of floors not being cleaned or dried promptly after a spill, or floors being slippery from heavy applications of cleaning products.

The injuries that are most frequently seen in healthcare employees include sprains and strains, slipped discs, bloodborne infectious diseases, infections, and broken bones.

If you are an employee working in a healthcare environment, you are highly vulnerable to on-the-job injuries, and if you suffer one of these injuries you are eligible for workers compensation. You may also be eligible to file a third party claim if negligence on the part of somebody outside of your employer contributed to your injury. At Vanasse Law, we help injured workers get the compensation that they deserve. Contact us today to learn more.

What are the Types of Disability Available to Workers in Pennsylvania?

If you are an employee working in the state of Pennsylvania and you have suffered an on-the-job injury or illness, then you may be entitled to benefits from Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ Compensation is a type of no-fault insurance that provides those who have been hurt or sickened on the job with compensation for medical expenses as well as wage loss benefits when applicable. It also provides certain benefits to the survivors of workers who have been killed on the job. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance – that means that you have no requirement to prove that your employer or coworker is at fault for the damage that you’ve suffered, and that you are entitled to benefits even in cases where your injury is a result of your own actions or negligence. There are certain restrictions on eligibility and coverage, and there are specific procedures that must be followed and adhered to in order to maximize your ability to successfully claim your benefits. Some employers are cooperative when a workers’ compensation claim is filed against them, and others are less so. If your employer or their insurance company responds to your claim for benefits with a denial, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with the counsel and assistance you need.

When an employee’s injury is disabling enough to keep them from work, whether they are totally disabled or partially disabled, they are entitled to wage loss benefits. There are several types of disability benefits available to workers in Pennsylvania. The wage-loss benefits are calculated based on two thirds of the workers’ average weekly wage, and are defined by both a minimum and maximum amount. They include:

  • Total disability benefits – These benefits are provided to workers whose injuries will keep them from returning to the job temporarily, for as long as they have to stay off the job. If the injury keeps them from being able to perform their job duties for 104 weeks, the injured worker will be evaluated to determine whether the disability is partial and impacts less than half of their body, or total, impacting more than 50 percent of their body. For those injuries deemed as being partially disabling, the benefits are limited to a period of no longer than an additional 500 weeks. For those injuries determined to impact more than 50 percent of the body, the disability and benefits are effectively considered permanent.
  • Partial disability benefits – When an injured worker is evaluated and assessed at having less than 50 percent of their body impaired, they are deemed able to perform light-duty work and able to earn again. If there is a difference between what their new assignment pays and their pre-injury wages they can receive partial disability benefits calculated at two thirds of the difference, capped at a maximum weekly rate. This benefit is limited to a 500-week period, during which time they may be reassessed as totally disabled.
  • Specific Loss benefits – These are provided to compensate for permanant loss of use of specific body parts or for serious and permanent disfigurement.

Determining what type of benefits you should be seeking can be complicated. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law have extensive experience in representing injured Pennsylvania workers and getting them the benefits that they deserve. Contact us today to learn more.

How the Threat of Employer Retaliation Discourages Agricultural Workers from Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims in Pennsylvania

Workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance that employers are required to carry for their employees. It provides a safety net for those who are injured on the job, giving them the promise of reimbursement of medical expenses and the replacement of lost wages in exchange for the loss of ability to file a personal injury or negligence lawsuit against their employer. In the state of Pennsylvania, most employers are required to carry this insurance, but there are some notable exceptions, and this includes many agricultural employers. The state does not exempt all agricultural employees from access to workers’ compensation, but there are strict guidelines that outline who is and who is not required to provide this coverage for their employees. Making matters even more frustrating is the fact that even when coverage is provided, some workers are hesitant about filing a claim for fear of being fired. If you are an agricultural worker, you need to know your rights – in many cases a lack of knowledge is how the threat of employer retaliation discourages agricultural workers from filing workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania.

In the state of Pennsylvania, employers who hire agricultural workers are required to provide workers’ compensation if they pay even one worker wages of $1,200 or more. They are also required to provide this coverage if the employ even one agricultural worker for thirty or more days in a calendar year. But even in cases where this coverage is offered, there are several factors that can prevent injured workers from filing a claim for the benefits to which they are entitled. These include concerns about benefits being denied to workers who are undocumented and the difficulty in having an employer-endorsed physician sign off on the need to recuperate. In some cases, a worker may be afraid that their employer will retaliate against them for filing a claim. Retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim most frequently takes the form of firing an employee within days or weeks of a claim being filed, and this is obviously enough to be an effective deterrent against filing a claim. It is bad enough for a worker to have to pay for medical expenses without also having to face the fear of having their entire economic support system.

If you have been injured in the course of your work for an agricultural employer and are concerned about filing a workers’ compensation claim, you need a knowledgeable attorney to help you navigate the system. Likewise, if your position has been terminated after having filed a claim for workers’ comp benefits, then you may be the victim of retaliation. In either case, you need a powerful and aggressive advocate who will stand up for your rights and make sure that you get what you deserve. Vanasse Law is a Lancaster law firm that specializes in protecting the rights of injured workers. Call us today to learn how we can help.

 

Are Medical Expenses Covered in my Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Medical Expenses and Workers Comp in Lancaster, PA

The cost of healthcare is one of the biggest issues that Americans face today. Treatment of injuries and illnesses is far more expensive than it ever has been, and many people are forced into severe financial hardship as a result of trying to balance their previously-existing bills and trying to pay for emergent care. When a person is injured on the job and their injuries require professional treatment, there is good reason for them to be concerned about who is going to pay for the medical bills, especially if their injury or illness keeps them from being able to report to work and continue earning wages. Workers’ compensation benefits were created specifically to address these worries. If you have been hurt or sickened on the job and need information on the benefits to which you are entitled, contact the Lancaster workers’ compensation law firm of Vanasse Law today.

Workers’ compensation is a specialized insurance policy provided by employers to their employees. The benefits provided by workers’ compensation include reimbursement for all medical expenses, as well as compensation for time away from work as a result of the injury or illness. The availability of these benefits can provide injured workers with a real sense of confidence and security, as they provide the promise of not having to shoulder medical bills on their own, and even provides at least a portion of their normal weekly wages. Those who suffer long-term disabilities that keep them from returning to work, or any of a highly specific list of injuries including the loss of a limb or disfigurement are also entitled to additional compensation. The trade-off for being provided with these benefits is that the employee is not able to pursue a personal injury claim against their employer. This can be a positive for both sides, as it avoids a drawn-out and animosity-driven lawsuit in which the employee would need to prove that the employer is at fault and the employer would need to defend themselves. Unfortunately, over the years many employers have lost sight of the trade-off, seeing workers’ compensation benefits as a burden and arguing against having to provide its benefits.

Getting the workers’ compensation medical benefits that you deserve should be a straightforward and easy process, but that is not always the case. Though some employers will quickly and willingly approve your workers’ compensation claim, others will drag their feet or deny your claim, forcing you to either pay for your expenses on your own or go through a challenging appeals process. If your employer denies your claim, the best way for you to ensure that you get the benefits you deserve is to work with an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney who knows the system and who knows how to ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly and your documentation is presented in a way to support your claim.

If you need workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law to learn more about how we can help.