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    Archive for the ‘Workers’ Compensation’ Category

    How Does the Attorney-Client Relationship Affect My Claim?

    The attorney-client relationship may refer to all manner of issues involved when a client hires an attorney for legal services. However, one particular aspect, often referred to as the attorney-client privilege, refers to a specific legal privilege that keeps confidential communications between an attorney and a client private. The privilege may be asserted in response to a legal demand for information, most commonly a discovery request, for certain communications meant to be private. The privilege may even be invoked, under certain circumstances, to potential client communications.

    If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer help you with any workers’ comp claims or any other types of legal claims you may have. The attorney-client privilege allows you to speak frankly and openly with your attorney.

    How Does the Privilege Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    As is the case with other types of legal litigation or quasi-litigation, communications between you and your attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege in workers’ comp cases. Your lawyer will almost certainly take time to prepare you for your deposition and will also be at the deposition to raise objections, but be sure that you understand the privilege independently so that you know not to immediately respond to any questions that require answers that are protected by the privilege.

    For example, you do not have to disclose the legal strategy you have developed with your attorney or the content of any other conversation that you and your attorney have had that is related to your workplace injury.

    What is Not Protected by the Privilege?

    The most common situation where the privilege is lost involves sharing information with people other than your lawyer and the law firm’s staff. Other ways the privilege may be lost include:

    • Crime or Fraud. Communications from a client regarding assistance with the furtherance or concealment of fraud or a crime are not privileged. However, if a client has already completed fraud or a crime and seeks the post-act advice of an attorney, these communications are privileged.
    • Death of a Client. The privilege may be lost upon the death of a testator if litigation between parties claiming under the deceased client develops.
    • Corporate Fiduciary Duty. An exception to the privilege has been recognized when a corporation’s shareholders seek to pierce the corporation’s attorney-client privilege.
    • Common Interest. Even though attorneys are ethically bound to avoid conflicts of interest, if two parties are represented by the same lawyer regarding the same legal matter, neither client may assert the privilege against the other in any related litigation.

    It is clear that these circumstances rarely, if ever, arise during a workers’ comp claim process. To achieve the best chances for a favorable outcome, it’s best to speak very openly and honestly with your attorney. Your attorney can best handle any impediments to your claim if he or she knows ahead of time and has a chance to prepare.

    Speak to a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer for More Information

    The attorney-client relationship is sacrosanct and includes the attorney-client privilege. This privilege is an important aspect of any legal strategy you and your attorney may develop regarding your workers’ comp claims. If you have been injured at work, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claims in a private and privileged manner. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    What is the Burden of Proof and How Does it Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    Generally speaking, the “burden of proof” actually encompasses two types of standards: (1) the burden of production, and (2) the burden of persuasion. The burden of production refers to a party’s obligation to provide sufficient evidence to support the party’s claim. Typically, the burden of production lies initially with plaintiffs; i.e., plaintiffs must prove their case with sufficient evidence. If plaintiffs meet this burden, then the burden of production typically shifts to defendants to rebut plaintiffs’ evidence with their own evidence.

    The burden of persuasion refers to how convincingly parties must be in proving their case. In civil cases, parties have the burden of establishing their claim or defense by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means there is a more than 50% likelihood that their claim is true, or, put another way, the claim is more likely than not to be true. In criminal cases, the crime must be proved by the government “beyond any reasonable doubt.”

    If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer help you with any workers’ comp claims or any other types of legal claims you may have. We understand the laws and strategy behind the burden of proof and will use these standards to help you establish your claim.

    How Does the Burden of Proof Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    In Pennsylvania, to successfully bring a workers’ comp claim, the injured worker has the burden of proof to establish their right to wage loss and medical benefits by a preponderance of the evidence. This applies not only to initial workers’ comp claims, but also to any claim made for reinstatement of benefits after wage loss benefits have been terminated, suspended, or modified.

    Briefly, in workers’ comp claims, workers must meet their burden of proof regarding:

    • Timely Notice. You must establish that your employer was notified in a timely manner; i.e., within 21 days of the injury. To be sure that you meet this burden, written notice is best.  
    • Course and Scope. You must establish that your injury occurred within the course and scope of your employment.
    • Causation. You must establish that your injury caused your disability and, in order to continue to receive benefits, continues to cause your disability.
    • You do not have to establish that your employer was negligent or responsible in any way for your injury. 

    Speak to a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer for More Information

    Ultimately, workers’ comp claims are similar to other types of civil law claims in that injured workers, or plaintiffs, carry the initial burden of proof to sufficiently establish their claims. This process sounds complicated and, unfortunately, is indeed quite complex. Due to the cost of medical treatment and lost wages, a workers’ comp claim should not be handled on your own, and should not be delayed. If you have been injured at work, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claim. You can contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    PA Workers’ Comp: Who is Considered an Employee for Purposes of Benefits?

    Due to the potential financial ramifications, ordinary working people in Pennsylvania often ask whether they are considered “employees” under Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp laws. This is a good and important question that our Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer will answer below. However, the answer is best given in context, and a brief overview of Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp laws can help with that.

    In any event, if you have suffered a work-related injury in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer help you be sure you’re receiving maximum compensation for your work-related injuries.

    Workers’ Comp in Pennsylvania

    Workers’ comp in Pennsylvania can be described as a compromise, or trade-off, between employers and employees, designed to keep personal injury cases involving work-related injuries out of the court system.

    Under Pennsylvania law, workers’ comp pays out certain financial benefits for employees who are injured at work and their dependents, even if there is no fault by the employer. However, here comes the trade-off: workers’ comp laws also protect employers from being sued for job-related injuries or deaths, even if the employer was at fault or maintained a dangerous workplace environment. This limits the types of damages a plaintiff could recover in a personal injury claim.

    Put another way, workers’ comp benefits are the only remedy an injured worker has and the only financial compensation they can receive, even if the employer was negligent in causing the injury. This is often known as the “Sole Remedy” rule.

    Although workers’ comp was designed as a compromise, there are plenty of critics. It has been argued that the system allows employers to ignore unsafe working conditions since they know their workers’ comp insurance will pay out any damages to injured employees. Thus, there certainly is very little incentive to spend money on fixing any unsafe conditions.

    It has also been argued that the benefits paid out by workers’ comp insurance are far too little to truly compensate injured employees. Under this argument, either workers’ comp benefits should mirror personal injury benefits or allow an employee to choose whether to accept workers’ comp benefits or file a personal injury lawsuit. The difference in recoverable damages is substantial. Workers’ comp will pay:

    • Medical benefits, such as hospital costs, prescriptions, and orthopedic appliances
    • Two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage in wage loss benefits
    • If the employee earns lower wages after the injury, partial disability benefits, 
    • Vocational rehab costs
    • Death benefits if there is a work-related death

    Comparatively, personal Injury damages include:

    • Medical bills, both past and future
    • All lost wages
    • All lost future earning capacity
    • Permanent impairment benefits
    • Loss of consortium
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of quality of life
    • Maybe most importantly, punitive damages

    The only downside is that you have to prove fault. Nonetheless, it seems clear that workers’ comp benefits employers over employees. The best solution for employees would be a choice of either. If fault is clear, they could choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, but if fault is questionable, they could select workers’ comp benefits. All employers would have to do is purchase insurance for personal injury claims.

    Who Qualifies as an “Employee” in Pennsylvania?

    In Pennsylvania, it’s important to know if you’re considered an “employee” because if you’re not one, you can bring a personal injury claim. Under the law, an employee is “synonymous with servant, and includes–All natural persons who perform services for another for a valuable consideration, exclusive of … persons whose employment is casual in character and not in the regular course of the business of the employer, and exclusive of persons to whom articles or materials are given out to be made up, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished or repaired, or adapted for sale in the worker’s own home, or on other premises, not under the control or management of the employer.”

    Put more simply, an employee in Pennsylvania is anyone who performs services for another in exchange for something of value. However, there are exceptions, such as domestic and casual workers, and some people may elect not to be covered, such as certain types of executive officers. 

    When LLCs have no employees, in other words, when its only workers are members, which is common, it has no workers’ compensation liability. However, if a member becomes an employee, or if the LLC adds an employee, either part-time or full-time, it would be required to insure them.

    Furthermore, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against your employer under certain circumstances, including:

    • If employers do not carry adequate workers’ comp insurance, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer to recover damages for your work-related injury or illness, even based on mere negligence.
    • If an employer’s intentional act injures you, you may be able to bring a claim against your employer for harm caused by the deliberate act if it was specifically intended to harm you. 
    • Under certain circumstances, you may be able to sue a third-party independent contractor who is responsible for your injury (i.e., if you are injured by an independent truck driver). 

    Let a Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help You with Your Workers’ Comp or Personal Injury Claim

    Employers have an obligation to keep their workplaces safe and free of dangerous hazards. Unfortunately, many employers do not prioritize safety, especially knowing that workers’ comp insurance will pay for any injuries to employees on the job. Employees have the right to collect workers’ comp benefits, or, in some circumstances, personal injury damages.

    If you have been injured at work, let a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you with any claims you may have. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    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.

    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.

    About Work-Related Illnesses

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “an ‘occupational disease’ is any disease contracted primarily as a result of…exposure to risk factors arising from work activity. ‘Work-related diseases’ have multiple causes, where factors in the work environment may play a role, together with other risk factors, in the development of such diseases.”

    Discussion of workers’ comp issues revolves around work-related injuries, but work-related illnesses can be just as dangerous and arguably more damaging in the long run. Furthermore, work-related illnesses can be harder to prove than a bodily injury claim. This is why it is a good idea to contact a Lancaster workers’ comp attorney for a free case evaluation. If you have what you suspect may be a work-related illness, Vanasse Law LLC can help.

    What Are Some Common Work-Related Illnesses?

    Some common work-related illnesses include:

    • Respiratory illness
    • Black lung disease
    • Rotator cuff syndrome
    • Carpal tunnel
    • Bursitis
    • Tendinitis
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Rotator cuff injuries
    • Stress-related mental health disorders
    • Various types of cancer, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis.

    How Do I Prove a Work-Related Illness?

    The main obstacle facing work-related illnesses is that for any particular illness or condition, you have to show it is indeed “work-related.” In other words, you have to show a link between the illness or your job. For example, black lung disease is caused by inhaling coal dust over a long period of time. 

    If you are a miner working for decades in a coal mine, there is little doubt that your work caused black lung disease. However, if you work in an office building a block or so down the road, showing the link can start to become more difficult.

    Furthermore, unlike an injury, there is typically not a single “triggering event” that leads to a work-related illness. The illness may not develop into noticeable symptoms for months, years, or even decades after exposure to an illness-causing toxin.  This makes it even more difficult to show a clear link between the job and the illness.

    This difficult situation becomes even more difficult if exposure to some toxin at work merely exacerbated a pre-existing illness, as it is not only difficult to establish the link between work and the illness, but you also have to be able to show how much of the illness was pre-existing, and how much was compounded by your exposure at work.

    Contact a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for Help With Your Job-Related Illness

    Despite these challenges, there is good news. The Lancaster job injury attorneys Vanasse Law LLC are experienced in this area. If you have suffered a work-related illness, let us help. Handling workers’ comp claims is all we do. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will help you examine your legal options, which may include third-party claims, and guide you through the claims process.

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

    What Happens to My Workers’ Comp Claim if I Lose My Job?

    If you are a worker in Pennsylvania with a serious job-related injury or illness, you’ve likely considered this question: “What happens to my workers’ comp benefits if I lose my job?” The good news is, employers cannot retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ comp claim. In other words, you cannot be fired for simply filing a workers’ comp claim.

    However, there may be other circumstances under which you may lose your workers’ comp benefits, and the rules are complicated. If you are receiving workers’ comp benefits and lose your job for any reason, contact a Lancaster job injury attorney at Vanasse Law LLC. We’ll discuss your claim with you for free.

    Why Would I Want to Quit My Job Just Because I Was Injured?

    There are a variety of reasons why people quit their jobs after an injury, some of which include:

    • You Feel Like Your Injury was Your Own Fault. Workers’ comp in Pennsylvania is a no-fault system. This means it does not matter if you or your employer are responsible for your work-related injury.
    • You Feel Like Your Job is Too Dangerous. It’s hard to argue against this reason when you’ve recently been injured on the job. However, remember that, from a common-sense standpoint, your job is no more dangerous than it was before you were injured. Furthermore, your employer may consider you for another position with less risk.
    • I Feel Like I’m Not Completely Capable of Returning. As a general rule, when you can return to work is generally determined by your doctors. You may be able to return to a different, less-demanding role or be assigned to light-duty work.
    • I Had a Pre-Existing Condition. Typically, workers’ comp benefits are only for injuries and illnesses related to job activities. However, if you were already suffering from a pre-existing condition that is worsened because of job activities, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.

    Remember: accidents are just accidents; nothing more, nothing less. The workers’ comp laws don’t consider who was at fault. Generally, if you suffer a job-related injury or illness, you are entitled to your benefits. For help with your workers’ comp claim, contact the Lancaster job injury attorneys at Vanasse Law LLC. 

    What Happens to My Workers’ Comp Benefits If I Lose My Job?

    Your workers’ compensation benefits should not cease simply because you have been laid off or terminated from your employment. Put another way, a workers’ comp insurer should continue paying wage loss and medical benefits even though the employee no longer works for the employer.

    If you have suffered a work-related injury, when you return to work is generally determined by your doctors.  Most likely, a doctor will release an injured worker to return to work with some restrictions regarding what they can do or cannot do.  Providing your doctors with specific information about your job duties will allow them to maintain a good idea of your job’s physical requirements.

    Contact a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for More Information

    Generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to lose your workers’ comp benefits just because you lose your job. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact a Lancaster job injury attorney Vanasse Law LLC. Workers’ comp claim is what we do. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will help you explore your legal options, which may include third-party claims, and help you with your claims.

    Let us help. Contact us online for a same-day response and a free case evaluation.

    Avoiding Workers’ Comp Claim Denials

    Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (the “ACT”), most workers are eligible for workers’ comp benefits to help pay for their work-related injury or illness, including compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. However, employers may deny workers’ comp claims for many reasons. The trick is to avoid giving your employer any reason to deny your claim. Let a Lancaster workers comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help.

    The Most Common Reasons for Denial

    To avoid the pitfalls of fighting through a denied claim, you should be aware of the most common reasons for denials. Such reasons include:

    • The Injury is Not Compensable. To be considered “compensable” under the Act, an injury must have been sustained while the employee was within the course and scope of their employment. If the injury occurred outside of work, an employer may deny the worker benefits. 
    • Worker Behavior. While the workers’ comp system is “no-fault” (which means you have no obligation to show the employer was negligent), there are some types of employee behavior that may cause a claim denial, such as horseplay, ignored safety procedures, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
    • Insufficient Information. Your claims paperwork should include all relevant details, such as when and where the accident occurred, whether there were any witnesses, and what injuries were sustained. It is better to be over-thorough rather than merely supplying the bare minimum.
    • Not an Eligible Employee. Some employees are not eligible for state workers’ compensation benefits, including federal workers, railroad workers, longshoremen, independent contractors, and sole proprietors. However, they may be able to receive alternative forms of benefits.
    • Outside the Reporting Deadline. Injured workers should report their injuries to their employers as soon as possible. The Act states that injuries must be reported within 120 days of the incident, but you should file well before that limit — preferably immediately. Those who fail to report their injuries within the 120-day limit may be denied.
    • Pre-existing Condition. Employers have been known to deny claims involving pre-existing conditions, but this is not a valid cause for denial. Pre-existing conditions are covered under the Act if the condition was worsened by the employee’s work activities or environment. Common pre-existing injuries include back injuries, knee injuries, arthritis, broken bones, asthma, and even chronic anxiety.
    • Suspected Fraud. If the employer’s investigation reveals information that contradicts the employee’s information, the claim may be denied. Employers may even seek to back up their information with video surveillance, written statements from co-workers, or witness accounts.

    If Your Claim is Denied, Call a Lancaster Workers Comp Lawyer for Assistance

    In Pennsylvania, employees have several rights to appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim. Employees may also have alternative options, such as a personal injury lawsuit or a third-party claim. Still, the appeals process is complicated, and personal injury lawsuits can be quite tricky. That said, we encourage you to speak with our Lancaster workers comp lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options under the law.

    Contact a Lancaster Workers Comp Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for Help With Your Claim

    If you are dealing with a claim denial, you do not need to handle it on your own. Contact a Lancaster workers comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC. Workers’ comp is what we do. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will help you examine your options and file any claims that are required.

    If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact us online for a same-day response.

    Are Your Injuries Covered By Workers’ Compensation?

    In most cases, when an employee is injured on the job or develops an occupational illness, it is considered a workers’ comp injury that is eligible for a workers’ comp claim. For help regarding work-related injuries and illnesses, contact a Lancaster job accident lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC.

    If the claim is approved, the employee can receive medical coverage, wage replacement, and other benefits as compensation for the injury. However, to access these benefits, both the employee and employer must follow certain steps to ensure the benefits are distributed.

    Workers’ comp protects employees in that they do not have to establish fault by the employer. If you are hurt at work, benefits are likely available to you even if your employer did nothing wrong. Workers’ compensation also protects employers in that the benefits are generally the employee’s sole remedy — meaning you typically can’t sue the employer even if they were at fault. This is why workers’ comp is sometimes referred to as “workers’ comp insurance.”

    Of course, our Lancaster job accident lawyer knows there are various exceptions to these rules. The process of filing a workers’ comp claim for a workplace injury or illness can be quite complicated because of the multiple parties involved. These parties may include the employee, the employer, the insurance company, the healthcare provider, and the state’s workers’ compensation board.

    Common Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp Insurance

    Workers’ comp covers injuries and illnesses that are within the “course and scope of your employment.” Most courts have interpreted this phrase broadly, in favor of the employee, and have been lenient regarding covered injuries. In general, if you were engaged in an activity that benefits your employer, your injury will be covered.

    Some of the most common workplace injuries/illnesses include:

    • Slips, Trips, and Falls. Slip, trip, and fall injuries are quite common, as nearly every surface in the typical workplace will become slippery or cluttered at some point. Another major risk in many work environments is falling while working at heights, such as from a ladder, scaffolding, and other high platforms.
    • Falling Objects. Being struck by falling objects is also quite common. This isn’t just a problem in warehouse-type environments. Objects may fall from shelves or out of cupboards and can cause serious injuries, particularly if the individual doesn’t see it coming.
    • Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). RSIs are another problem that’s become increasingly common in workplaces. It’s not just about developing carpal tunnel from computer keyboard use, but RSI can result from any joints’ repetitive motion. The long-term, cumulative impact of RSIs can be severe in some cases. Taking regular breaks and using ergonomic equipment can help prevent these types of injuries.
    • Crashes and Collisions. Crashes and collisions can result in serious injuries, often involve company cars/vans or forklifts, and are also quite frequent at work. Employers need to enforce seat belt laws and take other safety precautions, such as adequate training, especially for forklifts.
    • Cuts and Lacerations. All sorts of office apparatus can cause painful cuts. From paper cutters to scissors, it’s easy to cut yourself at work. Employers need to stress safety and encourage employees to take their time when using sharp instruments. 
    • Strained Muscles. Strained muscles are more common than you might think, especially for those who regularly lift heavy items at work. Neck and back strains, in particular, frequently occur in the workplace. These injuries can be avoided with some basic training on proper lifting techniques.
    • Occupational Illnesses. Workers’ comp typically covers illnesses or diseases that employees develop due to on-the-job exposure. Work-related illnesses can range from traditional occupational illnesses like black lung disease, exposure to coal dust, and asbestosis caused by asbestos exposure.
    • Stress-Related Injuries. The medical profession has increasingly recognized the link between long-term stress exposure and a wide range of physical and psychological illnesses. Still, it may be challenging to get workers’ comp benefits for illnesses caused by on-the-job stress, as it may depend on where you live, the nature of your illness, and the reason for the stress.

    Contact a Lancaster Job Accident Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for More Information

    It can be difficult to determine if workers’ comp covers some types of work-related injuries or illnesses. If you have suffered what you suspect is a compensable injury, contact a Lancaster job accident lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC. Workers’ comp is what we do. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will help you explore your legal options, which may include third-party claims, and help you with your claims.

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