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    Archive for November, 2022

    Workers’ Compensation: What Are Scarring and Disfigurement Claims?

    Being injured on the job is one of the last things that you expect or hope to happen when you are working to support yourself and your family. While immediate medical care may address any threatening injuries, those that result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, and disability can be especially impactful. 

    If you’ve experienced life-altering, long-term injuries on the job, workers’ compensation provides you with the money you need to cover the costs and damages associated with your injury. When it comes to scarring and disfigurement, there are specific damages that your PA workers’ compensation lawyer can help you identify, measure, and collect. 

    Permanent Disfigurement is Defined by PA Statute 

    Through rules published by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, disfigurement benefits are those that are paid when there is a serious, permanent, unsightly disfigurement to the head, face, or neck area. Disfigurement benefits are available for a period ranging from 1 week to a maximum of 275 weeks. The PA Dept. of Labor & Industry clarifies that there is no set payment amount for disfigurement benefits, noting that an agreement properly recorded through an agreement form between the employee and employer and/or their insurance carrier is necessary to determine the amount. 

    Negotiating what your disfigurement benefits are worth and how long you should be entitled to receive them can be difficult when trying to recover from your injury. With a skilled Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC by your side, we’ll handle the entire process on your behalf. 

    What Kind of Compensation is Available for Scarring and/or Disfigurement? 

    If your injuries have led to long-term changes in your appearance due to scarring and other causes, you may be eligible for disfigurement benefits. Disfigurement benefits are generally paid as an additional element of your compensation beyond the temporary and/or permanent disability benefits that you may already be receiving following your workplace injury. 

    Accepting a Settlement Prevents Any Further Recovery of Damages 

    It is important to understand that accepting a settlement from the insurance company is a final amount and equates to the end of your ability to collect any additional compensation. Insurance companies make more money when they pay injured persons less, so offers of settlement are often for much less than you deserve. 

    Your PA workers’ compensation attorney helps you collect the evidence you need to accurately and completely measure your damages so that you and your family aren’t left covering costs linked to your injuries in the future. 

    Discuss Your Case with a PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer 

    To learn how an experienced workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law can help you navigate your disfigurement claim or initial workers’ compensation claim after your injury, visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation.

    What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation and Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

    Medical marijuana has provided a preferable alternative to pharmaceutical drugs for a variety of patients in Pennsylvania. The options available to persons who are experiencing chronic pain and a variety of other medical conditions in the United States were, as recently as the late 20th century, limited largely to opioids, muscle relaxers, injections, and a broad range of other drugs and treatments. These pharmaceutical drugs and treatments often have negative side effects and can lead to life-destroying opioid addictions. 


    If you have been injured on the job and mandatory drug testing revealed the presence of marijuana in your system, you may encounter difficulty collecting the benefits you need to cover the costs and damages linked to your injuries. Connecting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who knows how to navigate the legal complexities surrounding medical marijuana will support the best outcome in your claim. 

    While Medical Marijuana is Legal Under PA Law, It Remains Illegal Federally

    Medical marijuana is governed by the PA Department of Health, which was signed into state law in 2016 to “provide access to medical marijuana for patients with a serious medical condition.” Despite the fact that a number of states have legalized medical marijuana in addition to variations on recreational markets that resemble alcohol, the Marijuana Policy Project notes that marijuana remains federally illegal. 

    Insurance Companies May Reduce or Deny Claims Based on Violation of Federal Law

    Insurance companies may refer to federal legislation when attempting to deny or reduce the claims of injured persons who are found to be using federally illegal substances that may have led to them being “intoxicated” when the injury happened. 

    THC Lingers in the Body After the Intoxicating Effect Has Subsided

    While medical marijuana might provide patients with legal treatment options, it is also important to understand that THC is different from alcohol in terms of measuring active levels in the body. While a blood or breath test can determine if an individual is chemically intoxicated by alcohol and a variety of other substances, marijuana lingers in the system for days or even weeks after the intoxicating effect has subsided. To collect on your workers’ compensation claim, it is essential to prove that you were not intoxicated by medical cannabis at the time of the accident. Working with an attorney familiar with navigating this complex process successfully can be extremely helpful for your claim. 

    Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Case with an Experienced Lawyer

    To learn how an experienced local attorney from Vanasse Law can help you navigate the complex interrelationship between workers’ compensation claims and medical marijuana use, visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation. We’ll go over the important information about your accident and injury and determine what your case might be worth and how we can help if it’s a claim that fits with our focused and dedicated firm.