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    10 Industries With The Largest Number of Injuries & Illnesses

    Workers’ compensation is not limited to just one or two types of industry types. It is a type of insurance available to almost all workers in virtually every type of occupation. Even so, some industries by their very nature are more dangerous than others. Following are the top 10 industries, according to the Insurance Information Institute, with the highest numbers of injuries and illnesses in 2020. At Vanesse Law, LLC, we help people injured in any line of work obtain the benefits to which they are entitled. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with a Lancaster workers comp lawyer

    #1 Nursing Assistants

    Nursing assistants take the top spot on our list, and it’s not surprising why. Nursing assistants typically work in high-stress, fast-paced environments. They are hands-on with medical patients and assist in all types of medical procedures. Some of the most common injuries sustained by nursing assistants are: 

    • Chronic Pain
    • Strains, Sprains, & Bruises
    • Infectious Diseases
    • Fractures

    Nursing assistants also have a high rate of back injuries due to their strenuous job duties, which include manually lifting or moving immobile patients. 

    #2 Registered Nurses

    Like nursing assistants, registered nurses (RNs) are expected to perform physically demanding tasks as part of their job. Constantly moving, RNs are exposed to many opportunities to slip, trip, or fall. They are exposed to hazardous substances, including infectious diseases, drugs, radiation, and accidental needle sticks. Chemicals used for disinfecting and cleaning medical environments are also a danger.

    A Lancaster workers comp lawyer is often needed to help an RN obtain the full amount of compensation they are owed for work-related injuries and illnesses. 

    #3 Laborers

    The third-ranking industry for the largest number of illnesses and injuries is laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (laborers). These workers typically work full time and are responsible for moving stock and other materials. It is labor-intensive work, and is mostly performed in warehouses, around large equipment, and sometimes around hazardous materials. The constant lifting, pulling, and moving is a major contributing factor to the injuries laborers sustain. 

    #4 Truck Drivers

    Truck drivers of large, heavy trucks and tractor-trailers have a large number of musculoskeletal injuries. The incidence rate for musculoskeletal injuries in truck drivers is 3.5 times higher than the national average. Most of those injuries are to the arm, neck, and back, and are caused by falls and contact with equipment. Another contributing factor is the uncomfortable postures that often accompany the tasks truckers must perform, such as placing tarps and checking tires. 

    #5 Stockers & Order Fillers

    Stockers and order fillers often go by different work titles, such as Inventory Specialist, Stocker, and Warehouse Clerk. They are responsible for stocking shelves, packaging items in preparation for shipping, and unloading materials. They also operate the equipment needed to complete their jobs, such as forklifts, and ladders. These positions require a large amount of lifting, pushing, and pulling, which leads to strains, sprains, and other musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries often result in the need for workers’ compensation benefits.

    #6 Licensed Practical & Licensed Vocational Nurses

    Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) have a high number of occupation-related injuries and illnesses. People in these career fields perform many basic nursing duties, including lifting immobile patients and administering medications intravenously. 

    Exposure to harmful substances and drugs contributes to a large number of injuries. Another contributing factor is constant movement, including lifting, stretching, and bending. If you are an LPN or LVN and you have been injured on the job, it is in your best interest to contact a Lancaster workers comp lawyer

    #7 Retail Salespersons

    A retail salesperson is someone whose job it is to sell a product, from cars to clothes and everything in-between. Being a retail salesperson means moving and being on the go as it is not a sedentary position. This is the biggest contributing factor to retail salespersons being number 7 on this list. They do what is necessary to promote their product, and this often means repetitive motions, lifting, standing, and reaching. Being on the go also means retail salespersons experience slips and falls outside on ground that is wet, icy or covered in snow. Injuries are typical to the back and shoulders. 

    #8 Personal Care Aides

    A personal care aide is a person that provides care to people that are unable to perform daily living tasks on their own. This includes elderly persons and persons with disabilities. Job tasks can include providing assistance with personal hygiene and toileting, cooking, and housework. This type of work is very physically demanding and that is the reason there is a high rate of injuries in this profession. Common injuries include sprains, strains, and overexertion. 

    #9 Production Workers

    A production worker ensures that production moves along smoothly by monitoring machinery and checking on product quality. Their job can also include assembling products and operating heavy machinery. Accomplishing their daily tasks requires exposure to dangerous conditions, and common injuries include repetitive stress injuries, machine-related injuries, burns, slips and falls. 

    #10 General Maintenance & Repair Workers

    General maintenance & repair workers is a catch-all title for workers that provide any type of service to maintain or repair a product. These laborers may be responsible for painting a house, repairing a roof, or repairing machinery. Their tasks are extremely varied and may be performed indoors or outside, during the day or at night. Because of the variety in what they do, injuries to general maintenance and repair workers can be caused by a wide range of activities, including falling, tripping, or machine related-injuries. 

    Talk With a Lancaster Workers Comp Lawyer at Vanasse Law, LLC

    When you have been injured on the job, you need counsel that understands the worker’s compensation system in Pennsylvania. Contact our firm to speak with a Lancaster workers comp lawyer to find out how we can help you recover the compensation that you are owed. We have the experience and knowledge you are looking for. 

    6 Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available in Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania employers are required to provide their workers with workers’ compensation benefits. This insurance coverage is there to provide much-needed financial resources to injured workers and their families and is not limited to just one type of benefit. Pennsylvania actually recognizes six different forms of workers’ compensation benefits, as explained by our Lancaster work injury lawyer.   

    Temporary Total Disability 

    Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are typically available to workers whose on-the-job injuries prevent them from performing any type of work in any capacity. Eligibility for TTD benefits begins one week from the date you, the injured worker, were last able to work, and you can receive ⅔ of your weekly wage as TTD benefits up to a predetermined maximum amount. Calculating your wage amount correctly is key to receiving the full amount of benefits you are owed. Included in TTD are:

    • Gross wages
    • Bonuses
    • Annual vacation pay (prorated)
    • Federally reported gratuities
    • Any payments received from your employer for lodging

    While you are able to receive TTD indefinitely, it is not guaranteed. After 104 weeks of receiving TTD, an employer may request that you have an impairment rating evaluation (IRE). Should the IRE determine that your injury has left you with less than 35% impairment, your status may be changed to permanent partial disability.

    Common examples of conditions and injuries that qualify for TTD benefits are:

    • Severe cuts & lacerations
    • Temporary blindness
    • Head injuries

    Permanent Partial Disability 

    Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) are available to you if you have been injured and are able to work, but in a capacity that is modified from your previous position. Benefits are calculated by finding the difference between the wages earned with your previous position and the wages you will earn in your new position. Whatever the difference is, you will receive ⅔ of that total amount in PPD benefits. These payments may continue for up to 500 weeks when needed. If your physician feels that you are able to return to your previous position, then the PPD benefits will end. 

    If at any time while you are receiving the PPD benefits your IRE indicates your level of impairment has met or exceeded the 35% threshold, speak to your Lancaster work injury lawyer as you may qualify for TTD.

    Common examples of conditions and injuries that qualify for PPD benefits are:

    • Post-concussion injuries
    • Trama with ongoing injuries 
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Hearing loss

    Medical Expenses

    Workers’ compensation insurance is required to cover the costs related to reasonable and necessary medical expenses. This includes:

    • Doctor’s visits
    • Surgeries
    • Necessary treatments
    • Over-the-counter medications
    • Hospital expenses
    • Medical supplies
    • Medical devices
    • Prescriptions

    You may also be able to receive mileage reimbursement for trips taken to and from your medical care appointments. If your new injury aggravated a pre-existing injury, you may be able to receive medical benefits for that condition as well. Your benefits also extend to any necessary renovations that are made to your home or automobile so that they are able to accommodate your injury. There are no time limits established for when you can receive medical care for your injury. 

    Coverage may not extend to any medical treatments that the insurer feels are unreasonable, unnecessary, or unusual. 

    Specific Loss

    Some work injuries are eligible for specific loss benefits. There is a specific number of weeks allowed for each specific loss. The coverage amount is ⅔ of the amount of wages earned prior to the injury multiplied by the specific number of weeks allotted for that loss. Specific loss injuries include:

    • Amputation of a body part
    • Loss of use of a body part
    • Loss of hearing
    • Loss of vision
    • Permanent or serious disfigurement to head, neck, or face

    When dealing with specific loss injuries, you may still receive benefits even if the injury does not cause you to miss any time at work and you are still able to perform your job the same as before the injury occurred. 

    Travel Expenses

    Some injuries and illnesses require that you travel to receive the care you need. When this happens, the insurance company is responsible for ensuring that you are reimbursed for your travel expenses. If you are unable to find your own transportation, the insurer is also required to provide you with transportation to and from an Independent Medical Examination (IME). A Lancaster work injury lawyer can help you determine when you are eligible for travel expense reimbursement. 

    Death Benefits

    If you die as a result of a work-related injury, workers’ compensation does provide death benefits to your heirs. Payment includes $3000 for funeral expenses. Family members that may qualify for death benefits include:

    • Your spouse (unless & until they remarry)
    • Your children will receive payments until they reach the age of 18 or if they are full-time students in an accredited school, the age of 23
    • Your children that are physically or mentally disabled no matter their age
    • Dependent parents
    • Dependent siblings

    The amount each person receives depends on how many people qualify for the benefits. Also, death benefits are only available if the death results within 300 weeks from when the injury or exposure that caused the death occurred. 

    Bear in mind, for heirs to receive death benefits, the death must not be a result of the employee’s careless or reckless actions. This includes if the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    Speak With a Lancaster Work Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law, LLC

    When you have been injured on the job, getting better is the only thing you should have to worry about. Speak with a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law, LLC, to learn more about how we can handle your workers’ compensation claim for you and bring you the peace of mind you need to heal. We may be reached by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.

    How Do Prior Injuries Affect Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

    What is a prior injury?

    A prior, or pre-existing, injury is one that already existed before the new, current injury occurred. It typically refers to an injury to the same body part or area. 

    What is “aggravation of a pre-existing condition?”

    It is often the case that a prior injury is aggravated at work. This is known as aggravation of a pre-existing condition. For example, if an employee already has a herniated disc, lifting and moving large boxes at work will likely aggravate that pre-existing condition. 

    Is coverage available if there was a prior injury?

    Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws, it is possible for an employee to obtain coverage for aggravation of a pre-existing condition. The aggravation itself is viewed as a new injury. The key to obtaining coverage for the aggravation of a prior injury is the ability to show that the aggravation occurred in relation to the employee’s course of employment. A Lancaster workers comp lawyer can assist injured employees in proving this connection.

    Another critical factor to note is that it is not required that the prior injury has been caused in the course of employment. For example, if an employee suffers a back injury in a car accident while off-duty, and that injury is later aggravated by their employment, they may be eligible for benefits under workers’ compensation insurance.

    How do employers try to avoid paying for aggravated prior injuries?

    One common argument among insurance companies and employers to avoid having to provide coverage to a newly aggravated pre-existing condition is that they were never made aware of the prior injury. However, Pennsylvania law does not require that the employer have been made aware of the pre-existing injury for the employee to receive the workers’ compensation benefits. When an employer or insurance company denies your claim for this or any other reason, you need to consult with a Lancaster workers comp lawyer.

    What are some examples of prior injuries that can be aggravated, causing a new injury?

    Some pre-existing injuries tend to be more easily aggravated than others. This includes injuries sustained to the legs, back, shoulders, and hands. While these injuries can occur in many different occupations, they occur more often in the service industry, production industry, and transportation and material moving industry. 

    Who do I contact about obtaining coverage for an aggravated prior injury?

    When you have been denied coverage for an injury that is an aggravation of a pre-existing injury, it is important to have a Lancaster workers comp lawyer on your side. At Vanasse Law, LLC, we are a firm that advocates for our clients so they can receive the compensation they are owed. We understand the arguments insurance carriers use to deny coverage, and we will help you overcome them. You may contact us by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.

    Answering Your Pandemic-Related Questions: Are Remote Workers Covered by Workers’ Comp?

    The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the world, and Pennsylvania was no exception. Fear of the virus spreading resulted in many workers no longer commuting to the office or other worksite. Instead, working remotely from home became the norm for many. Now, two years later, many workers are still working remotely, and the role workers’ compensation plays for them has become a hot topic. A Lancaster workers compensation attorney explains how coverage in these situations is determined.  

    How Coverage is Determined

    It is possible for workers to have injuries they sustained while working remotely covered under their workers’ compensation policy. However, this depends on several important factors. 

    • Is the injured party an employee, and 
    • Did the accident occur during the course of employment?

    If your answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. 

    The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act

    The Pennsylvania Workmen’s Compensation Act (Act) has been around since 1915, although there have been various amendments since that time. Pennsylvania law requires that most employers provide this coverage to employees, and coverage is for the entire period of employment. 

    Section 301(C)(1) of the Act states that an injury shall be considered “arising in the course of employment”  if “the employee is engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer, whether upon the employer’s premises or elsewhere.” This is how many remote workers are able to have injuries sustained while working remotely from home or elsewhere covered by their workers’ compensation insurance. 

    Challenges to Coverage

    The biggest hurdle an injured party will have to clear in order to have an injury sustained while working remotely covered is proof. They must be able to prove that their injury was actually sustained while they were acting in their role as an employee and while they were furthering the business of their employer. In other words, if an employee falls while walking outside to smoke a cigarette, it is likely their injury will not be covered. A Lanacaster workers’ compensation attorney will help you determine whether or not your injuries are covered.

    Example of a Covered Remote Injury

    In the case of the City of Harrisburg vs. WCAB (Gebhart) 616 A.2d 1369 (Pa. 1992), it was held that an off-duty police officer who accidentally shot himself in the leg while removing his revolver from its holster when he arrived home was eligible for benefits. It was determined that there was no place at his job site to properly store the weapon, and securing it was a necessary part of his employment. 

    A Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Remote Workers

    If you are a remote worker and you’ve been injured, or if you just have questions about your workers’ compensation benefits as a remote worker, contact a premier Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney at Vanasse Law, LLC by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.

    What Constitutes a Work-Related Injury in Pennsylvania?

    Workers’ comp has a long and rich tradition in Pennsylvania, home to some of the country’s hardest workers; the workers who have a history of getting the job done. For these workers, workers’ comp can be a blessing or a curse. In any event, if you’ve suffered a work-related injury, let an experienced Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law help you recover the maximum financial compensation you’re entitled to.

    A Brief Look at the History

    According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Pennsylvania lawmakers enacted the Pennsylvania Workmen’s Compensation Act in 1915 when laborers were thought of as little more than cattle. The statute tapped the Department of Labor and Industry and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation with the task of carrying out the administration and appeal process defined in the act and called for compensation for employees who were injured as a result of employment regardless of who may or may not be at fault. 

    Lawmakers eventually used amendments to merge the compensation for injuries and occupational diseases into the act. The statute defines the benefits available, the conditions required for these benefits, and the procedures for obtaining them.

    Like all workers’ comp schemes, the Pennsylvania workers’ comp plan is a trade-off: Injured employees recover costs for medical treatment and lost wages without the need to show fault, and employers provide such coverage but are protected from lawsuits brought by employees.

    Employers who do not have workers’ comp coverage are subject to lawsuits by employees and even criminal prosecution, although some employers are exempt from workers’ compensation coverage. When the responsibility for an injury clearly lies with a company, exemption from workers’ comp can be an employee bonanza, because they now have access to a number of damages that aren’t available under workers’ comp.

    What Is a Qualifying Workers’ Comp Injury in Pennsylvania?

    This is one of the most important questions you may have if you’ve been injured “on the job.” It has been described in several different ways, including:

    • Singular, specific accidents that cause injuries, repetitive activities that result in an injury, such as carpal tunnel, and pre-existing conditions that have been aggravated by work activities, such as heart disease,
    • Any injury that occurred while you were performing tasks on behalf of your employer or otherwise in the course of employment,
    • And, perhaps most persuasively, according to another section of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry: a specific incident at work causing an injury, i.e.: a “fall at work,” a series of repetitive actions resulting in a disability, a pre-existing condition that has been aggravated by work, such as asthma, an earlier work-related disability which recurs causing a later disability, such as a back injury.

    Further, some diseases related to certain occupations are recognized specifically as occupational diseases, such as tuberculosis and hepatitis for nurses, blood processors, and related professionals who are exposed to these diseases, disease of the heart and lungs for firemen who have four or more years of service, pneumoconiosis and silicosis for any occupation that involves direct contact with or exposure to coal dust, specific types of chemical poisoning, such as lead, arsenic, or mercury for occupations that involve direct contact or exposure, or to the preparation of compounds.

    Other diseases not specifically mentioned may qualify if they meet certain criteria for determining whether a disease is occupationally-related. The determination if a disease qualifies depends on the following:

    • Whether the employee is exposed to the disease by reason of his/her employment.
    • Whether the disease is causally related to the employee’s industry or occupation.
    • Whether the occurrence of the disease is substantially greater in that industry or occupation than it is in the general population.

    The Relationship Between the Injury and the Workplace

    An injury does not need to happen at work to be a qualifying work-related injury. As long as the injury happened while you were in the “course and scope” of employment, the injury qualifies. So, for example, if you are out making deliveries for your company and are involved in an accident, the injuries you suffer typically qualify as work-related. On the other hand, injuries sustained while commuting are likely not qualifying. However, if you are injured on your employer’s premises on your way in or out of work, your injury may indeed qualify. Further, commuting may be covered if you are a traveling employee.

    Further, work-related injuries include injuries sustained at company parties and other social events sponsored by an employer, even if they’re not held on company property. So, for example, a company-sponsored holiday party at a restaurant would be considered a work-related activity, and any injuries incurred at the party could be covered by workers’ comp. However, if you and your manager go out for drinks after work, it wouldn’t be considered “work-related” because it’s not a company-sponsored event.

    An Example of How Workers’ Comp Laws Work to Help Injured Employees

    In a 1995 Supreme Court of Pennsylvania case, although the primary issue concerned the applicable statute of limitations, the Claimant alleged that while working as a scarfer, he was exposed to fumes and dust that caused chronic obstructive lung disease and that therefore, he was entitled to workers’ comp benefits due to an occupational disease pursuant to the Pennsylvania Workmen’s Compensation Act. 

    The lower court stated that “to be eligible for compensation under Section 108(n), a claimant must establish that (1) the claimant was exposed to lung disease by reason of his employment, (2) the lung disease is causally related to the occupation and (3) the incidence of lung disease is substantially greater in claimant’s occupation than it is elsewhere. The employer argued that the claimant’s disease was caused or aggravated by the claimant’s smoking, but the court upheld the claimant’s arguments nonetheless because he had suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing disease, and furthermore because that aggravation was partly responsible for his total disability.

    Learn More About Work-Related Injuries From a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer

    Workers’ comp claims are legislative in nature and are therefore difficult to translate; additionally, there may be legal claims beyond the purview of workers’ comp. Nonetheless, work-related injuries are all we do. A Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you with any type of work-related injury claims; simply contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    EEOC Pay Data Collection Paused by Management and Budget Office

    eeoc workers compensationThe U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s collection of pay data has been paused by the Office of Management and Budget after recent expansions to the collection were deemed “unnecessarily burdensome.” The largest office in the White House had initiated a review and immediate stay of the EEOC’s collection of information regarding pay data on the reports, which are called EEO-1s. This would have required all businesses that employ more than 100 staffers to submit information on gender, race and ethnicity on their forms.

    The new report originally had a deadline of March 31, which was expected to cover around 60,000 employers and 63 million employees. Republican lawmakers had asked the Trump administration’s office to lift the requirements. Although the lawmakers thought the intentions of the EEOC were good, which was to collect information that could show pay discrimination in the workforce, the process would have created far more work than they felt was necessary for the research.

    The Office of Management and Budget said the EEOC could use its previously approved form. However, the new expansion and revisions that require information on wages and hours worked from specific employers need to be given a second look to ensure there isn’t needless burden placed on the companies. The OMB told the EEOC in a memo that they have concerns over some aspects of the revised collection of information. Specifically, they are concerned the forms lacked practical utility and put too much burden while also not adequately addressing issues of privacy and confidentiality.

    The EEOC acting Chair Vicki Lipnic has stated this decision won’t alter or deter the EEOC from its efforts to enforce equal pay laws and that the regulator will continue to review the order and look into new options. Lipnic stated she will “stand ready to work with Congress, federal agencies, and all stakeholders to achieve that goal.”

    The EEOC had finalized the rule back in September under then-Chair Jenny Yang, who said at the time discrimination is often not detected because there is not enough information regarding how much people are being paid. Yang had said this type of information would be helpful in agency investigations on equal pay. However, there are still concerns over the discrepancy between the EEOC’s estimate of the cost of the collection with a survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which showed the actual cost is much higher than estimated. Further, this extra information, while potentially useful for investigation, has the potential to lead to several serious issues that include data security and privacy concerns while information about worker compensation is collected.

    The information found by the EEOC could greatly impact how Worker’s Compensation and other benefits are calculated, along with other serious implications in the workforce. Contact us at Vanasse Law for help with Worker’s Compensation claims in Lancaster.

    How has Tort Reform Affected Auto Insurance Rates?

    If you own or lease a car, then you probably know all too well how expensive automobile insurance rates have gotten. It seems as if every time your policy renews the price jumps up a bit, and those incremental increases add up over time. If you’ve gone looking for a better rate and complained to an insurance sales rep, you’ve probably been told that the reason that rates are so high is that the insurance companies end up having to pay such large damages on behalf of their clients who are charged with negligence in personal injury lawsuits. This is an easy excuse to give, but it is not necessarily the truth. Let’s take a closer look at whether and how tort reform has affected auto insurance rates.

    First we need to understand what tort reform is. Tort reform is a legislative adjustment to the way that the legal system in some states address personal injury lawsuits. Though there are a number of ways that tort reform can be enacted, it generally limits the financial award that a jury is able to provide in compensation for damages. This would bring an end to what insurance companies say happen when a case reaches a jury: they claim that juries feel great sympathy for victims and give them financial awards that are neither fair nor practical. Sometimes these awards can reach into the millions, and this is why the companies so frequently choose to settle out of court.

    The best way to determine whether tort reform works to lower auto insurance rates is to look at states where it has been put into place. What you’ll find is that the arguments in favor of tort reform may make sense when they are first heard, in reality they have had little impact. According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, states where no-fault repeal has been introduced have only seen auto insurance expenditures fall by 12 percent, and in states where the repeal has simply been to relax collateral source restrictions the expenditures have only fallen by 6 percent. In states where the reforms have been focused on bad faith reform, noneconomic damage caps or modifications to joint and several liability, there has been no measurable impact. Perhaps more importantly, the reforms have done nothing to diminish the number of people who are driving without auto insurance, thus giving lie to the idea that tort reform would create change that would decrease the number of uninsured drivers.

    Though the auto insurance industry likes to paint a picture of personal injury attorneys as the “bad guys” who are responsible for high auto insurance rates, the evidence behind this claim does not exist. In trying to enact auto insurance tort reform, the companies are trying to limit the payments that they need to make to victims, but they do little to pass those savings on to their customers.

    For information about legal representation involving any kind of personal injury, whether a result of an auto accident, a slip and fall accident, a case of medical malpractice or any other type of injury, contact the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law.

    Is your Insurance Company Negotiating in Bad Faith?

    Insurance Company Bad Faith

    When a person is injured in an accident, in most cases their injuries are covered by their insurance company. In instances where the accident is determined to have been the legal responsibility of another person, then that other person’s insurance company generally pays the expenses. In all cases, as consumers, we rely upon the insurance companies from whom we buy our policies to honor their contracts and to act in good faith, and when they fail to do so they can be accused of acting in bad faith, and a tort action can be pursued against them.

    When it comes to being able to tell whether your insurance company is negotiating in bad faith in reference to third-party claims, it is important to understand what the insurance company’s responsibility is. They are expected to argue against their policy holder’s liability and cover the legal costs of doing so, and they are expected to pay whatever judgment is decided against the policyholder up to the limits of their policy’s coverage as long as the act is covered under the policy.  An insurance company can be accused of negotiating in bad faith if it fails in either of its duties – by wrongly refusing to defend the policyholder in a lawsuit against them or by wrongly refusing to pay the judgment against the policyholder in a lawsuit for actions covered by the policy.

    Every situation is different, but there are some common examples of insurance companies acting in bad faith in third-party claims. One is by creating an undue delay in the handling of a claim or by conducting a subpar investigation of the details of the claim. Another example of bad faith is refusing to defend a lawsuit or to make a reasonable settlement offer, unreasonably interpreting the coverage in a policy, or making threats against a policyholder. An insurance company that is found guilty of acting in bad faith can be assessed punitive damages as well as real damages.

    When it comes to issues of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, an insurer can be accused of bad faith if they refuse to pay a claim filed by an injured worker without any arguably reasonable basis, and this is true whether it is denied by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier or the insurance company for a third party that has been named in a personal injury lawsuit related to the claim. As a Pennsylvania worker who has been injured on the job, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that you’ve incurred. If your claim has been denied by an insurance company and you believe that they are acting in bad faith, you need an experienced law firm to act as your legal advocate and stand up for your rights. Contact the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law today to learn more about how we can help.

    Farm Injuries and Workers’ Compensation

    farm injuriesWhen people suffer an injury on the job, they are generally entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to get reimbursed for their medical expenses and a portion of the wages that they lose if they need to miss work for treatment, recovery, or rehabilitation. Injuries can occur in nearly any kind of work environment, whether an office, a construction site, a retail setting, or elsewhere, but one of the job settings that puts workers most at risk is the farm. No matter what the job title or responsibilities, the potential for injury exists. Farm workers often work with animals or crops, and that can expose them to chemicals or disease. They also work with heavy machinery and tools. Despite the hazards they face, farm workers in some states do not have the same rights as other workers to file a worker’s compensation claim, and in the state of Pennsylvania only some workers have those rights. If you are injured on a farm in Pennsylvania, you need to know whether you are eligible to file for workers’ compensation. The Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law can advise you on how the law applies to you, and can represent you when you file a claim.

    What determines whether a farm worker in Pennsylvania can file a workers’ compensation claim when they are injured is the number of employees that the farmer employs and how much those workers are paid. The rule specifically states that a farmer has to have at least one agricultural worker to whom they pay at least $1,200, or else employ at least one worker for a minimum of 30 days or more per calendar year. If you are a farm worker whose owner is large enough to meet this threshold, then you can proceed with a workers’ compensation claim.

    In some cases, a farm owner may tell you that they are not required to carry workers’ compensation because of these rules, but hey may be incorrect, even if they believe that they are. A farmer who brings in day workers as independent consultants who has not checked to see whether their employer has provided appropriate insurance may end up responsible for the workers’ injuries.  Even if not, there are still options available to you. A farm owner who does not provide workers’ compensation to a worker can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit, and so can any third party whose negligence contributed to your injury.

    An experienced workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law will be able to help you answer these questions, and to determine what your options are. We will help you get compensation the compensation that you deserve for the damage that you’ve suffered. Contact us for a no obligation appointment to discuss your situation.

    Repetitive Stress Injuries and Workers Compensation in Lancaster County

    Whether you work in an office environment or on a factory assembly line, repetitive stress injury is a real risk. A repetitive stress injury (or repetitive strain injury as it is sometimes called) is a very real physical condition that occurs when too much stress is placed on a part of the body. It often leads to pain and swelling, and if left untreated can result in long-term tissue damage. The injuries are generally caused by repeating the same movements over and over again, and this is a frequent occurrence in occupational settings. If you are experiencing this type of pain and your job includes maintain the same posture or repeating the same motion for a long period of time, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. The attorneys at Vanasse Law, LLC can help those who have suffered repetitive stress injuries get the workers compensation they deserve in Lancaster County.

    Repeating the same movements over and over again causes injuries to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. It can occur as a result of something as strenuous as continually lifting heavy boxes or as fine-tuned as high-speed typing. The body is not made to withstand the same motion for hours, days, and weeks, and eventually it succumbs to cumulative trauma.  There are a number of different types of repetitive stress injuries that are commonly seen in work environments. These include:

    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Tendinitis
    • Bursitis
    • Tenosynovitis/DeQuervain’s Syndrome
    • Tendinosis
    • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    • Trigger Finger or Thumb
    • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
    • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
    • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

    Though each of these conditions is different, the symptoms of repetitive stress injuries are similar and include pain, tightness, stiffness, and soreness. Many people experience either a coldness or numbness or a sensation of burning, and the pain is often bad enough to disrupt sleep.

    Repetitive stress injuries are more easily prevented than treated. Maintaining the right posture, using the right equipment, and being properly trained on both can be a big help. Treatment is most effective when the problem is diagnosed early and is often provided through rest, rehabilitation, and physical therapy, but it can take an extended period of time to fully recover. Unfortunately, those who have suffered repetitive stress injuries are often vulnerable to reinjury, and may not be able to return to the same work that caused the problem in the first place.

    If you have been diagnosed with a repetitive stress injury as a result of repeated actions required on the job, then you may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Depending upon the nature of the injury, your benefits could provide you with reimbursement for your medical expenses, as well as compensation for any time that you may need to be away from work.

    Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be intimidating. Many employers do not understand repetitive stress injuries and may deny your claim. In Lancaster County, the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys of Vanasse Law, LLC will guide you through the process, making sure that you understand your rights and acting as powerful advocates. Contact our office today to see how we can help.