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    Archive for the ‘Workers’ Compensation’ Category

    What Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney Wishes You Knew Before Filing For Benefits

    Every day, many people commute to their jobs with no expectation of suffering an injury or accident that may render them unable to continue their assigned duties. When this happens, they are often left struggling with household debt that steadily accumulates as well as doctor’s bills and other types of invoices that need to be paid. 

    If this has happened to you, contact Vanasse Law, LLC, and speak with a Lancaster workers comp lawyer regarding your accident and the rights you have to receive compensation. We are experienced attorneys who focus our practice on helping injured workers.

    Below, we discuss some workers’ compensation aspects and characteristics that we think every person in Pennsylvania facing a workers’ compensation claim should know. 

    You Must Seek Medical Care From An Approved Physician

    When you have an on-the-job injury, it is likely you will want to seek care from your own physician, as you have an established relationship with them and trust them to look out for your best interest. However, for the first 90 days of treatment, Pennsylvania law requires that the worker’s compensation insurance carrier and your employer dictate who treats you. After the first 90 days, you may be able to seek medical care from the doctor of your choice. Even so, your employers may still request that you attend an independent medical examination (IME).  

    Not Every Injury Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

    Not every injury that you suffer will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. There are different reasons why, and some examples of injuries that would not qualify include:

    • Injuries that you inflict upon yourself
    • Injuries that are caused by your illegal conduct, such as the consumption of illegal drugs
    • Injuries that are caused due to your own negligence
    • Injuries that are caused by a third-party

    Whether or not an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits is a matter that should be addressed with a Lancaster workers comp lawyer. At Vanasse Law, LLC, our attorneys can help you with this determination. 

    You May Be Able to Sue Responsible Third-Parties, But Not Your Employer

    Many jobs require employees to interact with third parties and not just their employer. If your job requires you to interact with third parties, and you are injured, you may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may be able to pursue litigation against the responsible party to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. 

    A common example would be if you are driving as a part of your employment and you are in an accident which is caused by the other driver. In this case, you may be able to sue the driver of the other vehicle or their insurance company. A Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer can advise you when you are able to pursue litigation against a third-party.

    Nothing Happens Overnight

    We understand that your injury or illness has likely affected every aspect of your life, including your ability to pay your bills and support your family. You need the benefits you are owed and you need them as soon as possible. At Vanasse Law, LLC, a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure you receive everything to which you are entitled. However, workers’ compensation is a process, and it does not produce results overnight. We will stay in touch with you and let you know what is happening in your case so you never feel like your needs are being ignored. 

    You Must Report Your Work-Related Injury or Illness

    After you suffer your job-related injury, you must report the injury to your employer and you must do so within a certain amount of time. In Pennsylvania, you have 21 days to report your injury. If you fail to report it within 120 days, it is likely that your claim will be denied. 

    In reality, the longer you wait to report your injury the more likely that your employer or carrier will challenge your right to receive workers’ comp benefits. To keep your case strong and best support your ability to recover your benefits, it is best to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. 

    You Can Receive Other Benefits

    Receiving workers’ compensation benefits does not exclude you from being able to receive other types of benefits as well. Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, and disability benefits can be received for the injury as well, although they (or your workers’ comp benefits) may be reduced.

    Whether or not you can receive these other benefits and the effect they may have on your workers’ comp (and vice versa) is an issue that can be addressed with your Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer at Vanasse Law, LLC. 

    You Need a Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer On Your Side

    The workers’ compensation insurance company is not dedicated to ensuring your best interest is served. They will have their own lawyer, and that lawyer is committed to representing their interests. Having your own Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC, will make certain that you have someone on your side who wants what is best for you and knows the law surrounding workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania. This is especially important as workers’ comp is a highly nuanced area of practice and knowing the law and how it is applied can have a significant effect not only on whether or not you receive benefits, but the amount of benefits that you receive. 

    Scheduling a consultation can aid you in your pursuit of justice and allow you to get answers to the questions you have about the process. 

    Speak With A Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer at Vanasse Law, LLC

    A Lancaster workers comp lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC, can help you with every step of the workers’ compensation process. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation and learn more about the services we offer. 

    5 Types of Injuries That You May Not Realize Can Qualify For Workers’ Compensation Benefits

    Most people relate workers’ compensation to injuries caused by accidents on the job, such as when an employee breaks their back when falling off a ladder at work. While these types of accidents do generally qualify for workers’ comp benefits, benefits are also available to workers injured in less typical ways.

    If you have questions about whether or not your illness or injury is covered by workers comp in Pennsylvania, contact Vanasse Law, LLC, and speak with a Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney.    

    #1 Pre-Existing Conditions

    Many employees are not aware that under certain conditions they may be able to recover workers’ comp benefits for a pre-existing condition. Benefits are generally available when your current employment has aggravated a pre-existing injury and you are able to prove that you are experiencing an increase in symptoms. The aggravation itself is viewed as a new injury and workers comp benefits may be available. It is not a requirement that the previous injury was work-related, but the aggravated condition must be related to your employment. 

    A Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law, LLC, can speak with you about your pre-existing condition and whether or not you are able to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits could include lost wages, medical bills, medications, and doctor office visits. Documentation will be key in obtaining benefits, so be sure to maintain all medical records that prove the aggravation of your injury and provide the documentation to your lawyer. 

    #2 Repetitive Injuries

    A repetitive, or stress, injury occurs when you perform the same motion over and over again. Typically, these injuries occur over a length of time and without treatment can cause permanent damage to nerves, muscles, or tendons. These types of injuries occur in places of movement on the body, such as the knees, hands, lower back, and elbows. An example of a repetitive injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. 

    Certain jobs tend to have more repetitive injuries than others, including:

    • Manufacturing jobs
    • Office and clerical jobs
    • Construction jobs

    At Vanasse Law, LLC, our attorneys are well-versed in repetitive injuries and can assist you when you are seeking the compensation you deserve for them. 

    As these injuries occur over time, there are some signs that you should be aware of that can indicate you have developed a repetitive injury. These symptoms include:

    • Loss of sensation
    • Tingling
    • Muscle weakness
    • Pain
    • Throbbing

    If you are suffering from any of these symptoms and you think they are caused by a repetitive injury, seek assistance from your medical doctor. Then, contact a Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney.

    #3 Off-Site Injuries

    While it is true that most work injuries occur at the place of employment, it is not required that it happen on the job site. There are situations where an employee can be injured somewhere other than work but still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. §301(c) of the Penn Workers Comp Act states that the act is meant to apply to an employee that suffers an injury “arising in the course of his employment and related thereto.” It also states that it applies to “all other injuries sustained” “whether upon the employer’s premises or elsewhere.”

    An example of this would be if an employer asked an employee to go to the post office to mail a package, and on the way to the post office, the employee was struck by a distracted driver. The employee in this situation would be acting in the course of their employment and as such, should be entitled to workers’ comp benefits even though they were not located on the employer’s premises when the injury occurred. 

    A Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law LLC can address any concerns you may have regarding your injury and whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. 

    #4 Occupational Diseases

    Occupational diseases are illnesses that are caused by an employee’s exposure to certain toxins and health hazards due to their work environment. §108 of the Penn Workers Comp Act defines what an occupational disease under the act is, and certain diseases and illnesses are presumed to be connected to employment under certain circumstances. For example, for nurses, tuberculosis and hepatitis are assumed to be related to their occupation. For firemen with four or more years of experience, diseases of the heart and lungs are related to their occupation. 

    Even if a certain disease is not listed in the act as being related to a certain occupation, it may still be compensable under certain circumstances. A Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law, LLC, can advise you as to whether or not the disease you are diagnosed with is compensable under Pennsylvania workers’ comp. 

    #5 Loss of Hearing & Vision

    Some Pennsylvania workers may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for loss of hearing and vision. For the loss to be compensable under workman’s comp, it must be for a minimum of 10%. Loss can be from long-term exposure to loud conditions or due to an accident. The cause of the loss will determine how the percentage is calculated. 

    Vision loss is considered a specific loss under the statute and you may be able to recover compensation for that loss. Injuries to the eye are treated just as any other injury under the workers’ comp statute. 

    With a loss of vision or hearing, a Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law, LLC, can help you determine the benefits to which you may be entitled. 

    Consult With An Experienced Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Attorney At Vanasse Law, LLC

    If you have suffered an injury or accident related to your employment, and you have questions regarding your ability to recover under a workers’ comp claim, contact our firm and schedule a consultation with a Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney. We concentrate our practice on assisting injured workers and have the experience necessary to help you obtain the compensation and benefits to which you are entitled.

    I’ve Won My Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Case. What Happens Now?

    If you have been approved for workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, congratulations! It can be a long road! Unfortunately, there are still decisions to be made, and you will need to continue to comply with certain rules to continue receiving your benefits. Our Lancaster work injury lawyer explains more below. 

    You Will Begin To Receive Benefits

    Workers’ compensation is designed to assist an injured worker with their medical costs and other costs of living while they recover from their work-related injury. Winning your case and receiving your benefits is a time of relief and allows you to concentrate on your healing. Having a Lancaster work injury lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC, can help ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefits available to you. 

    Medical Bills & Costs

    Your medical bills and associated costs for necessary medical treatment should be covered by your workers’ comp benefits. You should not be required to pay for any reasonable and necessary medical treatment that you receive. 

    Lost Wages

    When your injury prevents you from being able to work or from being able to earn as much as you did prior to the injury, you should receive compensation to make up for that monetary loss. Typically, this amount is ⅔ of your previous average weekly wage. Speak with a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law, LLC, to learn about how you can recover wages for the time you are unable to work as well as any future earnings.

    Specific Loss Benefits

    Specific loss benefits are available when your work-related injury has caused you to lose the use of certain body parts, including your legs and eyes. Amputations and disfigurement can also result in specific loss benefits. 

    Be Aware of Why Benefits Can Be Terminated

    Being awarded workers’ compensation benefits is not something that is unable to be changed (an exception could be when a lump sum settlement is received). There are circumstances under which periodic workers’ comp payments can be terminated, including those listed below:

    • Failure to comply with doctor’s orders for treatment, as well as mandated therapies
    • Being convicted of certain types of crimes, typically those that result in incarceration
    • Death, although the family of the deceased worker may be able to receive survivor benefits

    Another matter to bear in mind is that insurance companies may still take steps to find evidence that you are not injured or you or not as injured as you were found to be. They will check your social media accounts and may even hire a private investigator to follow up and ensure you are not acting in a way that shows you are not disabled.

    Your Lancaster work injury lawyer should be able to address any concerns you may have regarding your workers’ compensation benefits and the circumstances under which they may be terminated. 

    Understand That You May Still Be Able (And Expected) To Work

    Some injured workers mistakenly believe that receiving workers comp benefits means that they will no longer have to work. While this may be true in some cases, it is not in others. If you received an injury that renders you unable to perform your previous duties but does not prevent you from performing a different job, you will likely be expected to perform the new job. If you earn the same, or more, than you did at your previous position, your benefits may be terminated. 

    A Lancaster work injury lawyer can help you understand whether or not you will be expected to work and if you do, how it can impact the benefits you receive.

    You May Still Need To Submit Additional Documentation

    Being awarded workers’ compensation benefits does not end your obligation to follow the instructions of the insurance company to provide them with certain information. For example, after a certain amount of time receiving benefits, you must be re-examined by a physician to perform an impairment rating evaluation. Failure to do so can result in the termination of benefits.

    Clarify The Terms of Your Settlement

    Your Lancaster work injury lawyer is your lifeline to understanding your benefits and any obligations you may be under to receive them. If you have questions, ask for clarification. At Vanasse Law, LLC, our Lancaster work injury lawyer goes the extra mile to ensure our clients understand what they are being awarded and what, if anything, they need to do to comply with their agreement. 

    Lump Sum Settlements

    Not all workers’ compensation awards are paid on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. In some situations, it is beneficial to receive the compensation in a lump sum rather than have it paid over time. Whether or not you should receive a lump sum payment is a matter best addressed with your Lancaster work injury lawyer. They will go over your situation and consider certain matters, such as:

    • Whether or not it is likely you will need additional treatments in the future for your medical condition
    • Whether or not you are receiving any other types of benefits or have private insurance coverage
    • Exactly what is and is not included in the lump sum settlement being offered

    Speak With A Lancaster Work Injury Lawyer At Vanasse Law, LLC

    Fighting for the workers’ compensation benefits you are owed can be time-consuming and stressful. Many injured people require the assistance of a Lancaster work injury lawyer before they are approved for benefits. If you are struggling to receive the approval you need and deserve, contact Vanasse Law, LLC to learn more about how we can help. We can also speak with you regarding what you can expect once benefits have been awarded. Contact our attorney by calling 717-397-1010 or reach out via our contact page.

    How to Know If You Should Settle Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Claim

    At Vanasse Law, LLC, we have represented a number of persons injured on the job in Pennsylvania and have a plethora of experience handling any issues related to on-the-job injuries. Our Lancaster job injury lawyer, Mike Vanasse, has addressed a number of concerns from persons that have questions regarding their injury and the workers’ compensation process. One of the most common queries he receives is how can a claimant know if they should settle their claim. The following are ways to know whether or not you, the claimant, should settle your workers’ comp claim.

    Strength Of Your Case

    Every workers’ compensation case is different and it is the details that typically determine how strong a claim you have. When the case is strong and the evidence is overwhelmingly in your favor, it may not be a good idea to settle. However, if your evidence is weak and you are not sure how a judge would rule, it may be in your best interest to settle your claim. 

    Evidence that is considered in a workers’ comp claim includes the credibility of the doctor. Will the doctor whose testimony you are relying on be a convincing witness during litigation? Also, are your medical records thorough and do they solidly back your claim? Does the insurance company have surveillance that shows you acting in a way that contradicts the extent of your injuries? These are all matters to consider when a settlement offer is on the table. 

    It can be very difficult to judge the strength of your own case, which is why having a Lancaster job injury lawyer on your side that knows the factors that matter is so essential. 

    Your Ability To Work & Your Prognosis

    Whether or not you are able to work and your future prognosis can have an impact on whether or not your should settle your workers’ compensation claim. If you are facing a poor prognosis and do not want the stress that can accompany a litigated claim, it may be in your best interest to consider a settlement. Doing so can prevent you from having to worry about what the future holds for you and your loved ones financially. In these cases, it is best to consult with your Lancaster job injury lawyer as well as your doctor regarding your medical prospects and what is best for your health.

    In some cases, the insurer will stipulate that as part of the settlement, you must resign from your position permanently. If you are so injured that you cannot perform your previous employment duties, this may not be a point of contention. However, if you enjoy your job and are still able to perform your duties, you may not be willing to resign which would mean that a settlement would not be in your best interest.  

    The Settlement Amount Offered

    This may seem obvious, but whether or not you should accept a settlement offer depends largely on the amount of the settlement offer when compared with many other considerations, including:

    • Future medical treatments that will be required
    • Future therapies that will be required
    • Future medications that will be required
    • Your ability to work in the future
    • Your earning capacity if you are able to work
    • Other compensation that may be available to you, such as funds from a third-party personal injury lawsuit
    • Other benefits that may be available to you, such as Medicare and Social Security Disability Insurance
    • Outstanding medical bills and whether or not they are paid in full
    • Your financial situation excluding the settlement funds; in other words, is the settlement money needed ASAP?
    • The type of job you performed

    Carefully considering all these factors and more is the best way to determine whether or not you should accept a settlement offer from an insurer. A Lancaster job injury lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC, can help you determine what your claim is worth and whether or not the settlement offer you received is high enough to consider settlement. 

    Listen To Your Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer 

    We cannot overemphasize the importance of seeking a professional legal opinion from a Lancaster job injury lawyer. Once you have settled the case, and a judge has signed the settlement, there is no ability to un-do the settlement if you later change your mind. Having a lawyer that understands the workers’ comp process review your case is the best way to be certain that you are not giving up any rights you should retain and that you are not leaving money on the table.   

    Many injured workers avoid consulting with a lawyer because they mistakenly believe they will have to pay the attorney up-front for their services when in reality workers’ comp lawyers generally work on a commission basis. This means that if you do not get paid, your lawyer does not get paid. Also, it means that the more you get paid, the more your Lancaster job injury lawyer receives as well, which can be very motivating. 

    Workers comp is a niche area of the law, which means that there are nuances you will not know about that your attorney will be aware of. The insurer is aware of this as well, and when you have a lawyer, they are more likely to treat your case seriously. Having a lawyer will also place you on equal ground with the lawyers from the insurer and is the best way to receive the highest settlement amount. 

    Meet Mike Vanasse, an Experienced Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer

    If you or a loved one has been injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you need the representation of an experienced Lancaster job injury lawyer. Mike Vanasse of Vanasse Law, LLC, has over 25 years of litigating workers’ comp claims under his belt and he can put that experience to work for you. He can be reached by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.

    9 Common Reasons Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Denied In Pennsylvania

    When you have suffered a work-related illness or injury, you need your workers’ compensation benefits to help support you and your loved ones while you recover. This is why it is so disheartening and overwhelming when your claim for benefits is denied. Fortunately, the attorneys at Vanasse Law, LLC, can help you appeal your denial so that you can receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Reach out today to speak with a Lancaster workplace accident attorney.

    The following are common reasons why workers’ compensation claims are denied. 

    #1 You Have A Pre-Existing Condition

    You may have your claim denied because the insurer maintains that the condition for which you are making the claim existed prior to when the accident or injury related to your employment occurred. However, the fact that you have suffered from the condition before is not an automatic bar to benefits, and if your claim is denied, you should speak with a Lancaster workplace accident attorney.   

    #2 You Missed Deadlines

    There are important deadlines throughout the claims process which must be met or your claim for benefits may be denied. For example, while you should report your injury to your employer within 21 days to receive retroactive benefits, a failure to report it within 120 days from the date of injury may result in your inability to collect any workers’ compensation benefits. Another example would be if you miss the time frame available to file your claim, which typically is three years from the date of injury. 

    It is always a good idea to speak with a Lancaster workplace accident attorney as soon as possible after your injury occurs. There are certain deadlines and time frames with which you must comply or you will not be able to collect your workers’ compensation benefits.   

    #3 You Did Not Provide Enough Proof or Information

    The insurer will require certain information regarding you and your injury before approving your claim for workers’ comp benefits. This may include an accident report, statement of wages, and medical records. Failure to provide the documentation needed to verify your claim, including proof of the injury suffered, can result in the denial of your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. 

    #4 You Did Not Receive Treatment From An Approved Medical Provider

    Within the first 90 days after your injury occurs, you must seek medical care from doctors that have been approved by your employer. If you seek care from a physician that has not been approved by your employer, you risk having the cost of that care denied by your workers’ comp insurer. 

    After 90 days you should be able to see a medical provider that you choose even if they are not considered approved by your employer. Just bear in mind that the medical care must be necessary and actually related to the work injury. Questions about coverage can be addressed with your Lancaster workplace accident attorney.

    #5 Your Injury Did Not Happen in the Scope or Course of Your Employment

    Your injury must have actually occurred in the course and scope of your employment. In other words, if you trip and break your ankle while running in your neighborhood, you will not be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits for your injury. However, if you are walking down the hall at your place of business, trip on a power cord, and break your ankle, that injury should be covered by workers’ compensation.

    However, it is important to note that if you are injured while not actually at your place of business but while you are working, you should be eligible for benefits. For example, if your employer sends you to the store to pick up office supplies and you are rear-ended on the way back to the office, you should be eligible for workers’ comp benefits for any injuries you sustain.  

    #6 The Insurer Does Not Believe You

    Sometimes the insurer will deny your claim for benefits because they do not believe you are entitled to them. They may feel that your story of what happened does not make sense or that the medical reports are incongruent with how you say the injury occurred. A lack of witnesses or any corroborating evidence of the injury can also lead to a denial of benefits. Denials, for this reason, are more common when you have delayed reporting your injury to your employer or filing your claim for benefits.  

    #7 Your Employer Disputes Your Claim

    If your employer disputes your injury or that your injury should be covered, the insurer may deny your claim for benefits. Your employer may have video footage or witnesses that do not support your version of events. Also, employers sometimes dispute claims because they do not want an increase in premiums. If your employer wrongfully disputes your claim, contact a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law, LLC.

    #8 You Were Engaged In An Illegal or Irresponsible Activity

    Your work-related injury or illness claim will certainly be denied if it occurred because you were engaging in an illegal activity. For example, if you are intoxicated or high on drugs when you are injured, your injury may not be covered by workers’ comp benefits. The same can be said if you are injured while engaging in an activity that is not related to your employment or if you ignored established safety protocols. 

    #9 You Are Not A Covered Employee

    Not all workers are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania. Independent contractors are one group that is excluded. If you have concerns about your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits, it is best to reach out to a Lancaster workplace accident attorney.

    Be Sure To Have A Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney By Your Side

    If your claim for benefits has been denied, you need a Lancaster workplace accident attorney to help you with your appeal. At Vanasse Law, LLC, we are experienced attorneys that focus our practice on representing injured workers in obtaining their workers’ comp benefits. We may be reached by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.     

    Common Terms Used In Workers’ Compensation Claims

    Being injured on the job and having to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is a process most people hope to avoid over the life of their careers. However, workers are often injured and workers comp is there to help them provide for themselves and their loved ones. 

    The process of filing for benefits can be intimidating if you have never had to file for benefits before, and the assistance of an experienced Lancaster job injury lawyer cannot be over-emphasized. It also helps to be familiar with some of the terms that are used in the workers’ comp arena. Following are some of the words and phrases you are likely to hear when you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. 

    Alternative Work

    You may hear this phrase used when you are no longer able to perform your previous job duties but you are able to perform a different job. This is allowed when the alternative work complies with any medical limitations or restrictions as determined by a medical professional. 

    Appeal Board

    If the workers’ comp judge (WCJ) decides against you, you may have your appeal heard by the appeals board. Your Lancaster job injury lawyer will help you comply with the requirements to ensure your appeal is timely and well-supported.

    Arising Out Of and Occurring In The Course of Employment (AOE/COE)

    If your workers’ comp claim is denied, it may be because your injury does not comply with the AOE/COE requirement which states that a work-related injury, death, or illness must arise out of and occur in the course of employment. For example, if you are a receptionist but decide to show your co-workers how you can do a cartwheel, and you break your arm while doing that cartwheel, your injury would not be covered by workers’ compensation.

    Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

    Generally speaking, injured employees receive ⅔ of their average weekly wage while they are unable to work. This may be different in cases where the injured party died or suffered a permanent injury. 

    Benefit Structure

    The benefits an injured worker receives may include various components, including compensation, rehabilitation, and medical expenses. It is defined by the workers’ compensation insurance policy.

    Delay Letter

    When delays occur in the workers’ comp process, the administrator will send a delay letter with an explanation of what the delay has occurred. This letter may also state any additional documentation or information that is needed to proceed with the claim. 

    Impairment Rating

    Injured workers are assigned an impairment rating which is based on just how injured they are. This rating is expressed as a percentage, and the percentage assigned to you will affect the amount you are able to receive in benefits. 

    Independent Medical Examination (IME)

    In most cases, you will start by being treated by a physician that has been approved by your employer, although you may be able to switch providers over time. An IME may be requested by the insurer to determine the extent of your injuries and your ability to work. The doctor conducting the IME is not there to treat you but to report back to the insurer on your condition. In most cases, the insurer is able to request an IME every six months. Your Lancaster job injury lawyer will advise you on how often you must have these exams and what to expect. 

    Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

    When it has been medically determined that you have recovered from your injury or illness as much as possible, you are said to have reached MMI.

    Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

    If your injury has left you partially disabled, and you are not expected to recover from your disability, you may receive PPD benefits. Typically a worker with a PPD is able to perform some type of work, and the amount they receive in benefits is intended to make up the difference in pay from what they previously earned and what they are now able to earn. There is a time limit on how long PPD benefits can be received, and a Lancaster job injury lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC, can help you determine how much you should receive and for how long. 

    Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits

    If your on-the-job injury has left you unable to with a permanent and total disability, you will typically receive ⅔ of the weekly salary you were receiving prior to the injury, although there is a maximum amount that can be received which is established by the state. However, the amount received may be less than that if you are also receiving Social Security disability benefits. Your Lancaster job injury lawyer can help determine the amount you will receive.

    Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits

    TPD benefits are very similar to PPD benefits, with the exception being that to qualify for TPD benefits it has been determined that you may be able to return to work at some point in the future. 

    Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits

    When your work-related injury or illness has caused you to be unable to work at all, you may be eligible for TTD benefits as soon as one week from the date you were last able to work. While TTD can continue indefinitely, the insurer may request an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) after 104 weeks. The results of the IRE may cause the type and amount of benefits you receive to change. 

    It is best to speak with a Lancaster job injury lawyer to determine the amount of TTD benefits you are able to receive as the state of Pennsylvania has a formula that is used for this purpose. 

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

    If you have been injured while working, don’t hesitate to contact Vanasse Law, LLC, and make an appointment to speak with a Lancaster job injury lawyer. We are a Pennsylvania law firm devoted to helping injured workers recover the workers’ compensation benefits they are due. We may be reached by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.

    Reasons Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits May Be Terminated & What Happens Next

    For injured and ill workers in Pennsylvania, receiving workers’ comp benefits is often essential to their ability to pay their bills and support themselves and their families. This is why it is so detrimental that they retain these benefits as long as they are able. So, what are the reasons why injured workers in Pennsylvania can lose their hard-won workers’ compensation benefits? Our Lancaster workplace accident attorney explains some of the more common reasons below.  

    Reasons for Termination

    Medical Services

    Receiving a favorable decision regarding your workers’ comp claim does not mean that your obligations to comply with medical treatment have ended. On the contrary, workers’ comp mandates that you continue to attend your doctors’ appointments and comply with doctors’ orders. Workers’ compensation is intended to assist you in paying your medical bills and having an income while you recover and heal. Therefore, failure to comply with the instructions of your healthcare professionals can result in the termination of your benefits. 

    Criminal Conviction

    In Pennsylvania, a criminal conviction that results in time spent in incarceration can result in the termination of workers’ comp benefits. 

    You Return to Work 

    As the goal of workers’ compensation is to provide you with a source of income and medical expenses, if you are able to return to work and earn at least as much as you were earning when the illness or injury occurred, your workers’ comp benefits will terminate. Any medical costs that are incurred due to the work-related injury or illness should still be covered, however.   

    You Agree to a Lump Sum Payment

    Insurance companies sometimes offer a one-time lump sum payment to injured workers in lieu of their workers’ comp benefit payments. Whether or not you should accept this lump sum is a matter to be addressed with your Lancaster workplace accident attorney.

    You Die

    If you die, and your death is not related to the injury or illness for which you have been receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the benefits will end. If you die for reasons related to your on-the-job illness or injury, your family may still be able to receive survivor benefits. Whether or not your family will be able to receive these benefits is a question for your Lancaster workplace accident attorney

    What To Do If Your Benefits May Be Terminated

    Your employer should file a Petition to Terminate, Modify, or Suspend if they decide to terminate your workers’ comp benefits. As soon as you receive this petition, you should contact your Lancaster workplace accident attorney as there are typically deadlines for your response, and these deadlines may be very soon. Your lawyer will know how to proceed to help you retain the benefits you need. 

    You should also receive a Notice of Assignment that informs you who the judge (WCJ) will be in your case, as well as instructions regarding the filing of your answer. It is important that you ensure your Lancaster workplace accident attorney receives this notice as well. 

    Importance of Hiring a Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney

    It is possible you will need to go through litigation to fight for your workers’ comp benefits, and when this happens, the abilities of your attorney can make a huge impact on the outcome of your case. Speaking with a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law, LLC can help put your mind at ease and support your ability to maintain your benefits.

    If you are worried that you will not be able to afford a lawyer to help you retain your benefits, rest assured that we work on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay us anything upfront. Contact our firm to learn more about how we are paid and how we can help support your case. 

    Consult With Medical Professionals

    When the pending termination of your benefits is based on the opinion of the employer’s doctor that you are able to return to work, it is important that you seek the opinion of your own physician. It is best to fight the opinion of the employer’s doctor with the opinion of another physician. If your doctor agrees with you that you are not yet ready to return to work, a judge can hear the case and make a decision regarding your benefits.   

    Next Steps

    You will typically have the opportunity to submit to mediation to settle the petition. Mediation will likely be between you, your employer, and your employer’s insurance carrier. All parties are encouraged to reach a settlement, however, if a settlement is not able to be reached, the parties will attend one or more hearings. The exact number of hearings will vary based on the WCJ assigned, the evidence that needs to be collected, and the basis for the petition. It is likely that you will need to testify at some point in the process.   

    Your lawyer will be instrumental in advising you during this time and ensuring your case is progressing as it should. They will notify you when you will need to testify and help you to be prepared to give your testimony. Your attorney will also attend the depositions of any physicians that are testifying in your case. There should be at least two doctors giving testimony, your physician and the doctor for the employer. 


    Even if the WCJ decides against you, you still have the right to appeal. However, you will not receive any benefits from workers’ comp unless and until the WCJ’s decision is reversed. 

    Consult With A Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney From Vanasse Law, LLC 

    If you are in jeopardy of losing your workers’ comp benefits, or you have already had your workers’ comp benefits terminated, consult with a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law, LLC. We have the experience and skills needed to help you retain the benefits you need to support yourself and those you love. We may be reached via our contact page.

    What Qualifies as a Permanent Partial Disability for Workers’ Comp

    When you are injured on the job, you could be eligible for benefits through workers’ compensation, a form of insurance that employers carry for coverage when their workers are injured on the job. Following your injury, workers’ compensation benefits present a form of wage replacement in addition to coverage for medical costs during the time required to recover from your injury. 

    Workers’ compensation benefits are generally meant to provide a short-term solution for an employee who is injured at work but will eventually be capable of returning to work in some form. When complete recovery happens, ongoing workers’ compensation is not possible, however, if your injuries impact your ability to work at a job that pays as well as before the injury, partial disability may be available to you. 

    For help identifying what benefits you could be entitled to and to make the most of your claim with the help of an experienced PA workers’ compensation attorney who helps you every step of the way, connect with Vanasse Law, LLC below, and read on to learn more. 

    How Does PA Define Disability and Partial Disability? 

    Permanent partial disability is an injury that results in impairment that falls under the threshold to be found disabled. Under law published through the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for an adult to be found disabled and qualify for related benefits, you must be “unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition(s),” with the state adding the emphasis there. If an injured person is able to perform some level of substantial work, then permanent partial disability may be available. 

    The PA DOLI clarifies that partial disability benefits are paid: 

    • When an employee returns to work
    • Or the employee is deemed to be capable to perform currently available work as determined by an agreement or the decision of a Judge 
    • The wages paid are lower than the employee’s earnings prior to the injury 

    How Does Permanent Partial Disability Help? 

    When your injuries do not qualify you for long-term disability benefits as you have recovered enough to return to work in a different and lower-earning capacity, Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) may be available to make up the difference. The PA DOLI notes that the maximum period of payment is 500 weeks, however, they are not required to be consecutive or back-to-back. 

    The compensation rate from the date of the injury is two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage and the average weekly wage of the employee after their return to work. In total, permanent parietal disability in addition to the different earnings when you have returned to work cannot be higher than what you were earning prior to the injury. 

    Connect with a PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC 

    To learn how an experienced local workers’ comp attorney from Vanasse Law can help you navigate the complex process of proving your permanent partial disability and collecting the full compensation you deserve, visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation.

    Permanent Impairment Benefits v. Disfigurement Benefits for Workers’ Compensation Injuries

    Experiencing a life-altering, long-term injury while working to support yourself and your family can not only result in a permanent change in your ability to earn but also in long-term medical costs and changes in your quality of life. The purpose of filing a claim or case for your work-related injuries is to cover the costs and damages linked to your injuries, and when they result in impairment or disfigurement, the amount can be substantial. 

    Exploring options on your case with an experienced PA workers’ compensation lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC through a free initial consultation is a useful way to frame expectations on your case, and read on to learn more about the differences between benefits for permanent impairment or disfigurement, as you’ll see they are complementary and collected separately and in addition to one another. 

    Permanent Impairment Benefits are Paid Through Partial or Complete Disability 

    The primary aspect of your injury settlement claim will generally be for the medical and occupational costs linked to your injuries. The PA Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) is the state agency that works with the Social Security Administration to determine whether PA citizens who are disabled are entitled to federal disability benefits. 

    Under PA law, for an adult to be found to be disabled: 

    • They must be unable to do any substantial work due to a medical condition, and
    • The medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least one year or expected to result in the death of the injured 

    Your case and claim are supported by collected evidence that would be admissible in court to measure your damages, something your workers’ compensation attorney helps you take care of. 

    Disfigurement Benefits are Paid In Addition to Disability Benefits 

    One of the most important facts to note about disfigurement benefits in Pennsylvania is that they are paid in addition to and separately from any disability benefits you might be entitled to and/or already collecting. Generally, it will be the for-profit insurance company of your employer responding to your request through their attorneys. 

    The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry clarifies the following in reference to disfigurement benefits: 

    • They are paid for a serious, permanent, and unsightly disfigurement
    • To the heat, face, or neck area 
    • Are available for a term of 1 to 275 weeks 
    • There is no PA-law-determined amount to be paid 
    • An “Agreement Form” between the injured employee and the employer and/or their insurance provider is filed to collect the benefits 

    Connect with a PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC 

    If you have been injured on the job and are working on measuring the damages you are entitled to for disability and/or disfigurement or are already collecting disability and would like to collect the disfigurement benefits you are entitled to, we can help. To learn how an experienced local workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law can advocate for the fullest coverage for your work-related injuries possible, visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation.

    Can I Get Workers’ Comp Benefits After Being Terminated in Pennsylvania

    If you have been terminated from your job but believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law, LLC have helped employees successfully complete the difficult and often stressful process of getting the workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. Our team is here to answer any questions you might have.

    Can An Employer Fire an Employee Because of an Injury? 

    The state of Pennsylvania is one that has an “at-will” employment system in place. This means that an employee is free to leave employment at will or at any given time without reason. At the same time, employers are also able to do the same — they can release an employee at any given time. While generally, no reason is necessary, in some situations, an improper reason can be used as grounds to recover compensation. 

    Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Stop If I Am Terminated? 

    Whether or not your termination was proper or improper, an employer is not able to escape their obligations to an injured employee by terminating them after the injury. According to Pennsylvania law, workers’ compensation benefits are not meant to stop as a result of the injured employee being terminated or laid off from employment.  

    What this means is that the insurance provider of your now former employer is obligated to continue paying you any benefits that were awarded, including wage loss and medical benefits. Ceasing your relationship with an employer after experiencing an injury that qualifies you for workers’ compensation coverage does not entitle an insurer to stop paying your benefits. 

    Who Determines When or If I Can Return to Work? 

    If you feel pressure to return to work, or your compensation was based on a refusal to do so, note that only doctors can determine your suitability for work. Contact a workers ‘compensation attorney if you are being pushed to return to work or to accept partial disability for injuries that might qualify you for complete injuries. 

    How Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help? 

    It is important to understand that insurance companies do not work for injured persons; they work for profit, which is made by maximizing revenues and minimizing costs. Insurance companies deny or reduce claims to increase profits, and oftentimes, their teams of attorneys and claim analysts can be too much to handle on your own when you are trying to recover from your injuries. If your benefits have been wrongfully denied, stopped, or reduced, a PA workers’ compensation attorney can help. 

    Get Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Today 

    To learn how one of the PA workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law can help you navigate the complexities of your case, visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation

    When preparing for your consultation, it is helpful to gather as much information as you can about your injury, the related costs, and why your benefits are being targeted or have been declined. We’ll review the key data about your case, and if it is something we can help you with, we will discuss how our attorney-client relationship will work.