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Archive for March, 2021

Will Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Offer Me a Settlement?

In Pennsylvania, if you have been injured on the job or suffered an illness due to your job, you are eligible for workers’ comp benefits. At some point, the workers’ comp insurance company will likely approach you about a settlement. Sometimes, a settlement is in your best interest. You may want to accept a fair lump sum to avoid the time and nuisance of the workers’ comp process. However, before you settle your claim, you should understand what rights you are giving up.

If you have been injured or suffered illness on the job in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you decide what your best options are.

What Is a Workers’ Comp Settlement?

Workers’ comp settlements in Pennsylvania are formally referred to as “compromise and release agreements.”  When you settle your claim, you generally surrender your right to all workers’ comp benefits in exchange for a sum of money.

Most settlements are paid in a lump sum, although the insurance company might agree to a structured settlement if you have severe injuries and need long-term care. A structured settlement is paid over time, be it weeks, months, or even years. Depending on the terms of your structured settlement, you may receive payments each month, annually, or every few years.

When Can I Settle My Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Claim?

In Pennsylvania, the earliest you can settle your claim is four months after your date of injury. However, it’s challenging to value a settlement while you are still recovering accurately. That’s why most workers wait to settle their claims until they reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) when your doctor finds that your condition is stable and will no longer improve with any further treatment.

It’s important to remember that you are typically giving up lifetime benefits when you settle your claim. If you are unsure about whether to settle, an experienced Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you assess the risks and benefits.

What Is a Commutation of Compensation?

You may be able to receive a lump sum payment without agreeing to a full and final settlement. If you are already receiving workers’ comp benefits in Pennsylvania, you can request for them to be paid off in a single lump sum. This is called a “commutation of compensation.” Typically, your total benefits will be discounted by 5% to bring them to present value. With a commutation, you are not giving up your other workers’ comp benefits, such as medical treatment.

Can I Change My Mind?

No. Once a judge approves your settlement and it is signed off, it is final. You cannot reopen your claim or demand additional benefits. Therefore, most injured workers consult with a workers’ comp lawyer before they settle. A Lancaster job injury lawyer will help you understand your claim’s value, negotiate a fair settlement, and ensure that your settlement paperwork is completed correctly.

Contact a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer for More Information About Workers’ Comp Settlements

Deciding whether to accept a workers’ comp settlement is an important decision that will affect the rest of your life. There’s no need to make this decision alone. The Lancaster job injury lawyers Vanasse Law LLC are experienced in this area and can help you examine your various options. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys are on your side and can help guide you through this life-altering decision.

Let us help. Contact us online for a same-day response.

Workers’ Comp Exemptions in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, most employers are required to obtain workers’ comp insurance for their employees to ensure that injured workers receive compensation for medical expenses and wage loss.

The good news for workers is that they are not required to show that their employer was responsible for their injuries through negligence. If they are hurt at work, they receive the benefits. The bad news is that these workers’ comp benefits are employees’ only revenue for compensation. So, they are not allowed to sue their employer for the injuries, even if the employer was at fault.

If you have been injured on the job in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney help you with this important process.

What Workers’ Comp Exemptions Apply to Employers?

Various types of employers are exempt from the workers’ comp requirement. In other words, certain employers do not need to purchase unemployment insurance for their employees. This can have a significant impact on how injured workers go about recovering from their accident-related losses. These exemptions include employer hires only, each under various conditions:

  • Federal Workers
  • Longshoremen
  • Railroad Workers 
  • Casual Workers
  • At-Home Workers
  • Agricultural Workers
  • Domestic Workers
  • Sole Proprietors or General Partners
  • Domestic employees (insurance is optional for employers)

What Are Workers’ Comp Exemptions for Employees?

Certain employees also have the option of requesting an exemption from coverage. These include:

  • Individuals who have been granted a religious exemption because their beliefs conflict with coverage requirements
  • Executive officers who have been granted an exemption
  • Certain licensed real estate salespeople who are exempt based on their qualification as independent contractors

When Can an Employee Sue Their Employer for an Injury at Work?

In Pennsylvania, you may be able to bring a legal claim against your employer under certain circumstances, including:

  • Employers in Pennsylvania are required to carry adequate workers’ comp insurance. If they do not,  you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer to recover damages for your work-related injury or illness, even based on mere negligence.
  • You may be able to sue your employer for harm caused by your employer’s intentional acts if they acted with the specific intent of harming you. 
  • In some cases, you may also be able to sue a third party other than your employer who is partially responsible for your injury. 

Contact Our Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help With Your Job-Related Injury or Illness

Although the issues surrounding injuries and illnesses on the job can be pretty complex, the Lancaster workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law LLC are experienced in this area. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, we can help. Handling workers’ comp claims is all we do. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will help you examine your legal options and guide you through your workers’ comp pr legal claims process.

Let us help. Contact us online. You will receive a same-day response.