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    Archive for June, 2021

    Employer Responsibilities for Workers’ Comp in Pennsylvania

    In Pennsylvania, like most states, most non-exempt employers are required to provide workers’ comp coverage for their workers so that in the event of a work-related injury or illness, the employees can recover medical expenses, lost wages, and disability. To meet this requirement, employers may either purchase workers’ comp insurance or obtain approval to self-insure.

    Nonetheless, the system works only if everyone does what they’re supposed to do. If the employer fails to hold up its end of the bargain, a worker may find himself unable to recover from Pennsylvania workplace injuries. This breaks the relationship between employee and employer, and it also breaks the law.

    If you have suffered a work-related injury in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer help you ensure your employer is doing what it is required to do to provide you with financial compensation for your work-related injuries.

    What Are the Employer Responsibilities for Workers’ Comp In Pennsylvania?

    The workers’ comp laws in Pennsylvania are designed to streamline the process, not make it more difficult. As a result, employers have only a handful of responsibilities, including:

    • Employers must carry workers’ comp insurance or develop their own “self-insure” system through the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
    • Employers must notify all employees of their workers’ comp rights. Usually, this is done by posting notices in common areas, such as breakrooms, lunchrooms, or next to time clocks, but employees also send out notification messages on a regular basis. The notification should include the name and contact information for the company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier and a list of at least six doctors approved for injured workers.
    • The employer must provide emergency medical care for an injured worker and call for an emergency medical response team when appropriate to the severity of the incident. Injured workers must be given access to emergency care and any reasonable and necessary follow-up care without restriction.
    • The employer must notify its insurer of the incident within one workday of the time the company has been informed that a workplace injury has occurred. If the company self-insures, the company workers’ comp benefits administrator should be notified instead.
    • The employer must provide the injured worker with appropriate claim forms, again within one workday of the time the company has been informed that a workplace injury has occurred. The company also should provide the injured worker with written instructions about filing a workers’ comp claim.

    Speak to a Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer for More Information on Third-Party Claims

    Employers have simple yet critical responsibilities when it comes to workers’ comp claims. Unfortunately, many employers, especially companies without designated human resources personnel, are simply unprepared and are left scrambling to identify and fulfill their duties at the last minute.

    If you have been injured at work, let a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you through this complicated process. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    Third-Party Claims After a Work Accident

    Workers’ comp in Pennsylvania, like most states, is a double-edged sword. The good news is that if you’re hurt on the job, you don’t have to show negligence or any type of fault by the employer. If you are hurt at work, you receive the benefits. The bad news is that your compensation is strictly limited to your workers’ comp benefits; in other words, the workers’ comp benefits are your exclusive remedy. This is known as the “Exclusive Remedy Rule.”

    This is problematic for injured workers because workers’ comp only pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability. Yet, a typical negligence lawsuit also pays non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. So, the key to recovering the most financial compensation is to find a way around workers’ comp and file a negligence or intentional tort claim. If you have suffered a work-related injury in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster work injury lawyer help you be sure you’re recovering the maximum financial compensation you are legally entitled to.

    Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Rule

    Exceptions are rare in Pennsylvania. You are only allowed to bring a lawsuit for your work-related injuries if:

    • Your employer doesn’t carry adequate workers’ comp insurance,
    • Your injury was caused by your employer’s intentional acts, or 
    • There is some third party that is at least partially responsible for your injury.

    Third-party injuries are more common than you may think. For example, some third parties that may be responsible for work-related injuries include:

    • Equipment Manufacturers. Equipment manufacturers are responsible for making sure their products are safe for their intended use. If a defective product injures you, you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer, as well as any entity within the product’s chain of distribution.
    • Toxic Substance Manufacturers. If you become ill from exposure to a toxic substance at work, such as acid or heavy metals, you may be able to bring a claim against the toxic substance manufacturer.
    • Drivers. If you drive for work and are injured in a car accident that is another driver’s fault, you may be able to recover from both your employer’s workers’ comp and the other driver.
    • Government Entity. If a government utility provider fails to maintain or warn about gas or electrical lines properly, you may be able to bring a claim against such an entity.
    • Construction Site Manager. If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be able to bring a claim against the contractors, subcontractors, vendors, or suppliers.
    • Property Owner. If you are working on someone else’s property and some dangerous condition causes you injury, you may be able to bring a premises liability claim against the property owner.

    Contact a Lancaster Work Injury Lawyer for More Information on Third-Party Claims

    Third parties are commonly responsible for work-related injuries and are not exempt from liability by workers’ comp laws. However, it can be difficult to identify who these third parties may be. That’s where a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.