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Archive for the ‘Workers’ Compensation’ Category

Lancaster Workers’ Compensation and Brain Injuries – Steps to Take

Accidents that occur at work can range from minor to traumatic. Some have minimal impact on a worker’s ability to return to the job, but serious accidents resulting in brain injuries can be life changing. These injuries can happen in a number of different ways, including violent acts on the job, machine entanglement, and vehicle crashes. A worker may suffer a brain injury from walking into a stationary object, from an object falling onto their head, from themselves falling from a height, and from slip and fall accidents. The different ways that brain injuries can occur and the wide range of severity of these injuries makes each circumstance difference, but in all cases when a worker suffers a brain injury on the job, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. The Lancaster workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law, LLC are here to help and guide you as to the steps you need to take to protect your rights and get the compensation and benefits that you deserve.

When you have suffered an injury on the job in Pennsylvania, there are are certain steps that you must take in order to ensure that your rights to file for workers’ compensation are protected. It is important that you report your injury properly, immediately reporting the incident to your supervisor, personnel department or union steward as soon as possible. When you do so, you should be sure to provide them with the date of the injury, where the accident occurred, and what part of your body was impacted. This must be done within 120 days of the accident. Reporting the accident within 21 days makes you eligible to receive benefits after missing work for seven days.

Once you have reported the incident, you need to make sure that all of your injuries and medical bills are well documented. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible – this may need to be from a physician approved by your employer. Make sure that you follow all of the doctor’s treatment instructions and keep notes on everything.

Within three weeks of receiving notification of your injury, your employer can either accept or deny your claim. If they accept then benefits will soon be provided, but if they deny then they may either pay benefits without accepting liability or issue a denial. Then you have three years from the incident to file a petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and to have your case heard by a Workers’ Compensation judge. Having an experienced attorney by your side to act as your advocate is essential and will make a big difference in your success. Should the judge decide against you, a Lancaster workers’ comp attorney can then help you with an appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, the Commonwealth Court, and even to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The impact of a brain injury can last a lifetime. If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of an incident at work, then make sure that you have a passionate workers’ compensation attorney working on your side to make sure that you get all appropriate compensation. Contact the law firm of Vanasse Law, LLC today.

Genetic Discrimination and Workers Comp – What to Do If Your Employer Discriminates Based On Genetic History

There are many areas of the law that have been complicated by the advances of science. Examples include the ways that the use of cell phones have impacted driving safety laws, and where embryos that have been frozen in laboratories have become the subject of complex family law litigation. Modern science has also added a layer of complexity to many workers’ compensation cases, as employers have attempted to use an injured or disabled worker’s genetic history against them to dispute a workplace injury claim. The federal government has passed specific laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment, guaranteeing employees that they can not be discriminated against or robbed of any employment benefits based on their genetic information, but this has not stopped employers and their insurance companies from attempting to deny workers’ compensation claims. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits based upon a family history, you need a knowledgeable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney to defend your rights. The attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law can help.

There are a number of conditions that have been linked to specific genes, but there is a very big difference between a genetic characteristic being a risk factor and it being a direct cause of a specific condition or illness. Though there are certain genes that are tied directly to certain diseases, that is not the same as a risk factor, which is simply something that increases a statistical probability. Risk factors do not cause impairment. From the standpoint of being refused workers’ compensation, employers and their insurance companies have attempted to deny claims for such injuries as onsite heart attacks or strokes, claiming that they were caused by a genetic propensity towards high cholesterol, or that an alcohol dependency or addiction might have been caused by an inherited tendency. In some cases, they may ask an injured worker to provide disclosure of family history or genetic information in order to support their denial of a claim.

Of particular concern in the state of Pennsylvania is the fact that when a worker seeks to claim that an illness such as cancer or a lung disease is caused by occupational exposure, they are required to provide proof that the workplace exposure is more likely to have been the cause of their condition than any and all other possible causes, and genes can work against them. Add to that the requirement that a claim has to be filed within a limited amount of time of a hazardous exposure, and these claims can become even more difficult to prove.

When you have suffered a workplace injury and fear that a family history or genetic information may work against your workers’ compensation claim or appeal, you need to make sure that you have a knowledgeable, experienced and passionate attorney representing you. Call the attorneys at Vanasse Law today. We will fight for your rights to compensation.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation HERE.

5 Reasons to Call A Workers Comp Lawyer. You Deserve Compensation for Your Injuries

Workers’ compensation is a benefits program that is there for workers in the state of Pennsylvania. It provides medical expenses and wage-loss compensation for those who are unable to work until they are able to go back. It also provides death benefits to the dependent survivors of those who suffer work-related deaths. Though almost every worker in the state is covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, that does not mean that getting the benefits that you deserve is a straightforward process. Employers and the insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation coverage have 21 days after receiving notice of an injury to either agree that it is work related and issue a Notice of Compensation or Notice of Temporary Compensation, or to deny your claim. Once a claim is denied you have the right to file an appeal, but this process can be complicated and intimidating. If you have been injured or sickened on the job and are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, you greatly improve your chances of success by calling a workers’ compensation lawyer. When you deserve compensation for your injuries, the attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law will fight for your rights.

Though many people attempt to handle their workers’ comp claim and appeal on their own, doing so can be a mistake. The process can be confusing and requires adherence to highly specific deadlines and the gathering and submission of evidence. There are a number of reasons to call a workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you in your claim:

  • A workers’ compensation attorney will make sure that you are aware of all of the deadlines that you are required to meet, including when you need to provide notice of an injury, and how long you are required to receive care from the company-approved physician before being able to choose your own.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to advise you of whether you are able to hold other parties responsible for your injury. Though you can not generally file a lawsuit against your employer, there are many instances in which third parties may be found liable for your injuries. A workers’ comp lawyer will investigate this possibility and advise you of your rights.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to provide you with valuable information about other benefits you may be eligible to receive, including Social Security, unemployment or disability, and to help you to coordinate these benefits so that you are within the law.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will represent you if your employer attempts to terminate, modify or suspend your benefits.
  • A workers’ compensation attorney will stand up to the insurance company’s lawyers during the appeals process.

At Vanasse Law, we are passionate advocates for the rights of injured workers. If you have been hurt on the job, call us today to ensure that you get the compensation and benefits that you deserve.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation HERE.

What to Expect When You Sue Your Employer for Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a special type of benefit that provides compensation for medical expenses as well as lost wages suffered due to an illness or injury that occurs at work. This is considered a “no fault” benefit, which means that because it is offered, injured workers are not permitted to file a lawsuit against their employer – or even their coworkers – for negligence. However, the inability to sue an employer for workers’ compensation does not mean that no personal injury lawsuit can be filed, or that an employer can simply deny a worker’s claim and avoid having to provide compensation. When a workers’ compensation claim is denied, a workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in filing a claim petition in which you can appeal the initial decision. Additionally, there are many instances where a third party such as an equipment manufacturer may be in some way liable for your injury, and workers’ compensation does not preclude filing lawsuits against them. If you would like to know what to expect when you pursue your employer for workers’ compensation benefits after they have rejected your initial claim, the attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law can help.

There is a very clearly prescribed process to filing a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim. An employer or their insurer have just 21 days to issue a denial of a claim that has been submitted to them, and after that the employee has three years from the time that the injury occurred or illness was diagnosed to file a claim petition. Once a petition has been filed the case is assigned to a workers’ compensation judge and a hearing is scheduled. At this hearing, the judge will listen to all of the evidence that you provide in support of your claim, as well as the evidence for why your employer has denied you benefits. At this point the judge may refer the case for mediation or settlement. They may also simply hand down a written decision. Once the judge has made their decision, both the employee and the employer or their insurer have the right to file an appeal within twenty days to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board asking for reconsideration, and following this there are other appeals possibilities. Appeals can be made to the Commonwealth Court, or even to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Workers’ Compensation process is designed to be accessible to anybody, but the way that the system works, an employee is at a big disadvantage if they do not have an experienced, competent workers’ compensation attorney representing them – especially because there is a certainty that the employer or their insurance company will have legal representation. In order to give yourself the best possible chance of successfully winning your workers’ compensation claim, call the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law today.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation HERE.

Farm Worker Injury Compensation: Understanding Workers Compensation for Lancaster, PA Farm Workers

Pennsylvania is one of America’s most prominent farming states. The state boasts over 63,000 farms and ranks fourth in the country for dairy production, apple production and grape production, and first for mushrooms. Though farming may evoke an image of a bucolic and peaceful setting, the truth is that it is a very dangerous profession, and agricultural employees are at high risk for work-related injuries. Despite the dangers inherent in the industry, workers’ compensation laws throughout the country do not necessarily apply to those who work on farms, and for those who suffer farm work injuries in Pennsylvania those protections might be in place, but only under limited circumstances. Understanding workers compensation for Lancaster, PA farm workers is complex, but the attorneys at Vanasse Law are dedicated to ensuring that those who are injured on the job get the justice they deserve. If you’ve suffered a farm work injury, call us today and let us tell you how we can help.

Though Pennsylvania does allow farm workers to collect workers’ compensation when they have suffered a farm work injury, that is only provided on a limited basis. According to the law, Pennsylvania farm employers are only required to provide workers’ compensation if they pay one agricultural worker wages of $1,200 or more, or furnish employment to one employee in agricultural labor for thirty or more days in a calendar year. Additionally, the state courts have ruled against the rights of undocumented workers to receive replacement wages when they have suffered a farm work injury, though they do provide for medical benefits.  Trying to understand whether your employer is required to provide these benefits can be a complex process, and that is why you need the help of an experienced Lancaster, PA workers’ compensation law firm.

Farm workers are at risk for a number of injuries. Accidents can occur when working with heavy machinery or you may be injured while working with power tools. Farm animals can be unpredictable and can expose you to airborne illnesses, chemicals and pesticides can lead to a variety of conditions and toxicities, and you can develop repetitive stress injuries or suffer injuries such as broken bones or back strains. In all of these cases, the medical bills will quickly become overwhelming and you may be required to miss work, or be completely disabled.

Though the exclusions and limitations established by the state with regards to providing workers’ compensation to farm workers may seem to work against your ability to get the compensation you need following your work injury, the lack of workers’ compensation does not preclude your ability to file a third-party personal injury claim that can provide you with similar benefits or compensation.  The attorneys at the workers’ compensation law firm of Vanasse Law have extensive experience in determining the best way to approach each farm work injury situation in order to maximize your ability to get the compensation that you need. Call us today to see how we can help.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation and Vanasse Law HERE.

Industrial Worker Injuries: How Workers Compensation Helps Protect Lancaster, PA Industrial Workers

Lancaster, Pennsylvania has a vibrant economy supported by diverse industries, including agriculture, manufacturing tourism and healthcare. The community boasts hundreds of manufacturers and distributors and produces goods as diverse as farm machinery and linoleum, ball bearings and a wide range of food products. Though the jobs that these businesses represent make valuable contributions to the financial health of the area, they also put local residents at risk of a variety of industrial worker injuries that can be devastating to physical health. If you are a Lancaster, PA industrial worker who has been injured on the job, the workers’ compensation law firm of Vanasse Law is here to help.

It is mandatory for employers in the state of Pennsylvania to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, and this insurance can come from a state fund, a private carrier, or employers can opt to provide insurance on their own.  There are highly specific rules regarding both compensation and the process of applying for workers’ comp benefits, and it is essential that anybody who has suffered industrial worker injuries or who is sickened on the job follows these rules in order to maximize their ability to collect the benefits that they deserve.  Injured workers have only 21 days to report their injury to their employer, and following receipt of the report the employer has only ten days to submit a First Report of Injury to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Though employees who are determined to be eligible for benefits are able to receive full medical benefits without limits, in order to be deemed eligible they must first see a physician that comes from their employer’s list of approved doctors, if such a list exists. Once the employers’ insurance company reviews a report of injury, they make a decision as to whether or not to pay the claim. If a claim is not denied within 21 days then the worker is supposed to receive a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable Form or an Agreement of Compensation Form. Whichever you receive will need to be filled out and filed with the bureau along with a Statement of Wages Form. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork and investigation that often follows a workers’ compensation claim, even when the compensation is agreed to, and it is essential that all of this documentation is properly completed and filed in a timely way in order to ensure that compensation is received as quickly as possible.

Even when everything is done correctly, the workers’ compensation process in the state of Pennsylvania can be extremely complex. Having an experienced attorney working on your behalf and representing you will give you the confidence and knowledge that your claim is being handled properly from start to finish. Call the Lancaster Pa law firm of Vanasse Law for help filing your initial claim, collecting all of the documentation you need to support your claim, filing an appeal and representing you during hearings. We are here to help.

Learn more about how Vanasse Law can Help Industrial Workers HERE.

White Collar Workers Injuries: Common In-Office Injuries That Can Result in Workers’ Compensation

When people think about workers’ compensation and the injuries that require applying for these benefits, they generally imagine work setting such as factory floors and construction sites. The truth is that serious work-related injuries can happen in every environment, including offices where white collar workers are employed. Whether an employee is a professional in a supervisory role or a clerical staff member, it is quite common for white collar worker injuries to occur, and as a result they may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you are an employee who has suffered a white collar worker injury and you need legal advice or representation, contact the Lancaster, PA law firm of Vanasse Law to learn more about your rights and how we can help.

There are a number of ways that an employee can be injured in an office setting. From something as simple as a slip and fall at the office to the development of a repetitive stress injury such as thoracic outlet syndrome or carpal tunnel syndrome, any accidental injury, sickness or death that is a result of something that happens in the scope of your employment may qualify you for workers’ compensation. In the state of Pennsylvania, having your claim approved means that you can receive medical benefits without limitation, as well as replacement of lost wages where appropriate.

The most common office injuries that result in workers’ compensation claims are a result of slip and fall accidents. The may be the result of unsafe conditions, unattended spills, exposed cord, loose rugs, or cluttered areas. The presence of inclement weather often contributes to the hazards that are present: slippery stairways, icy parking lots and water accumulation of floors are frequently the cause of injury. Additionally, many injuries are a result of poor workstation ergonomics that can lead to repetitive stress injuries, poor posture, and strains. Other problems that befall white collar workers include indoor air-quality problems, the negative impact of too much noise, electrical hazards, insufficient lighting or lighting that is too harsh, and acts of violence in the workplace.

If you work in an office environment and have suffered a workplace injury, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the proper procedures for reporting and responding to those injuries so that you can avail yourself of the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. Though many employees are hesitant about filing a claim, it is important to remember that workers’ compensation is a no fault system – by seeking benefits you are not blaming your employer for your injury, and you are not holding them liable.

The Lancaster, PA workers’ compensation law firm of Vanasse Law is familiar with all of the processes and procedures of filing a workers’ compensation claim, and will guide you through them in order to make sure that you are able to avail yourself of the benefits you need. Call us today to set up a convenient time for a consultation.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation HERE.

Workers Compensation 101 from a Lancaster “Injured at Work” Lawyer

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides needed payments to an injured worker to cover hospitalization, medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other expenses needed to help them recover from their injury, regardless of who is at fault. Workers’ compensation is supposed to provide benefits to both employer and employees: The employees receive the compensation that they need and the employer does not have to defend themselves against claims of negligence. Unfortunately, though the system was intended to allow workers to easily file claims and receive the compensation and lost wages that they need, it does not always work that way. Employers and their insurance companies often make the process needlessly difficult, challenging workers’ compensation claims and delaying or rejecting payments. This leaves workers who are already suffering from their injury facing an uphill battle to get the compensation that they deserve. The Lancaster injured at work lawyers at Vanasse Law are here to help.

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law states that those who are injured or become sick as a result of their job are entitled to workers’ compensation, but in order to get the benefits that they need, they have to follow a certain process.  This includes properly and promptly reporting your injury to your supervisor and to personnel. The state allows benefits after being out of work for seven days as long as you’ve reported the injury within 21 days from the time that the injury occurs. One way or another, you need to provide your employer with the date of the injury, where the accident occurred, and how you were affected within 120 days of the accident or you might lose your right to receive compensation.

Once you’ve reported your injury appropriately, you are responsible for providing comprehensive documentation. You need to seek medical attention from an approved physician, keeping records of all medical bills and related expenses and following all treatment that is prescribed to you. At Vanasse Law, we have found it extremely helpful if injured workers maintain a diary or journal of all treatment you receive, as well as of the specific ways that the injury that you have sustained has impacted your daily life.

The injured at work lawyers at Vanasse Law can provide you with legal representation that will help you with every step of the complex Pennsylvania workers compensation process. We will help you file your initial claim if you haven’t already done so, assisting you in collecting and preparing all of the essential documentation needed to prove your case. If you have already filed a claim and it has been rejected, we can assist you in filing an appeal and representing you during administrative hearings. We will also review your case to help determine whether you are eligible to file a personal injury claim against any third parties that may have contributed to your injury. At Vanasse Law, we are here to help. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

Learn more from our “Injured at Work” Lawyer HERE.

PA Workers Compensation 101 – Understanding Your Rights in Pennsylvania

No matter what industry you work in or what type of work you do, when you’ve been hurt on the job you have a lot of challenges in store. We know that your primary goal is to get better, but that’s going to take medical attention and time. Getting the compensation that you need to cover your injuries and your time away from work shouldn’t be a chore, but it often is. In the state of Pennsylvania, the process can be extremely complex and time consuming, especially if you attempt to go it alone. Having an experienced Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law firm by your side to represent you can greatly increase your chances of having your claim approved. At Vanasse Law we have extensive knowledge of the Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation process. We know what needs to be done and will help you at every step along the way.

It can be hard to know what to do after you’ve been hurt at work. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation system can be overwhelming and it’s easy to miss an important step or deadline. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.  The first thing that you need to do is to report your accident and any resulting injury to your employer. You must do this within 120 days of knowing that your condition is work related – if you miss this deadline, your employer is not required to provide you with these essential benefits. After this you are required to see one of your employer’s approved workers’ compensation doctors for the first 90 days of your injury. If your employer has a list of these physicians posted and you fail to use one of them, your employer is able to deny paying medical bills incurred during those first ninety days.

Once you have reported your injury, your employer needs to file a “First Report of Occupational Injury” with their insurance company as well as the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Upon receipt of this form, the insurance company has 21 days in which to review the claim and accept it or deny it. Your employer also needs to accept or deny responsibility for your injury. Denial will result in you receiving a Notice of Compensation Denial, while acceptance results in a Notice of Compensation Payable. If you are denied you will need to file a claim petition within three years of the day of your injury. This will lead to hearing in front of a judge to determine whether you are entitled to benefits or not.

As you can see, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation process is highly specific and complicated, but the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law have been working with the system for many years and can anticipate and address all of the potential outcomes. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation and see how we can help.

Learn more about PA Workers Compensation HERE.

What Is the Purpose of OSHA? Protecting Workers in Lancaster, PA

As an employee, you have likely seen OSHA posters around your workplace, or perhaps you’ve heard coworkers or employee handbooks talk about OSHA regulations, but do you really know what OSHA is, what it does, or what its purpose is?  OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which has been federal law since it was passed into law on 1970 under the administration of President Richard M. Nixon. The law’s purpose is to make sure that employers provide their employees with a work environment that is safe. It does this by providing specific guidelines and regulations for what compliance means.

In the state of Pennsylvania, job sites are required to follow federal OSHA regulations because the state does not have its own workplace safety and health standards. The OSHA regulations protect employees at every level, from owners and officers to hourly workers. It also protects the family members of owners. If you are an employee, OSHA’s protections mean that your employer is required to keep your jobsite free of hazards, as well as to keep you safe in locations where you are required to go for your job as well.  Despite the intentions of the law, violations of OSHA laws occur frequently. If you have suffered a workplace injury involving an OSHA regulation, the attorneys at Vanasse Law can help. Contact us today to see how the existing of an OSHA violation can provide you with leverage as you seek compensation for your injuries.

Despite the fact that OSHA standards are well publicized and have been in place for years, violations and failures to maintain appropriate levels of protection occur frequently. Certain violations are more commonly seen than others, and failure to adhere to these standards can lead to serious injuries of employees in the workplace. The ten OSHA standards that employers most frequently fail to meet are:

  • Fall protection
  • Hazard communication
  • Scaffolding
  • Respiratory protection
  • Powered industrial trucks
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Ladders
  • Electrical wiring
  • Machine guarding
  • Electrical systems design

Failure to make sure that these standards are maintained invite preventable injuries and illnesses. Though Workers’ Compensation benefits are not dependent upon negligence, exceptions are sometimes made when an OSHA violation was present, allowing an injured worker to file for additional damages under a third party claim. When it can be proven that an employer was aware of an OSHA violation and willfully chose not to address it, then those injured as a result of the violation may be able to sue for pain and suffering, and even for punitive damages.

Employers are able to mount aggressive defenses of their lack of action to address OSHA compliance issues, so it is important that if you are filing a claim in conjunction with an OSHA violation, you have an attorney that has extensive familiarity with OSHA and Workers’ Compensation laws in Lancaster. The law firm of Vanasse Law is dedicated exclusive to helping those who are injured or made ill in workplace accidents. Call us today for more information on how we can help.

Learn more about OSHA HERE.