Why Vanasse Law?

See the many reasons Vanasse Law’s dedication, expertise and personal attention makes us THE best choice for injured workers in central Pennsylvania.

Learn More >

How Vanasse Law Can Maximize Your Results

Mike recovers maximum dollars on behalf of his clients.  His track record and personalized comprehensive approach means that he achieves the highest possible benefits for injured workers. He is one of only a few certified specialists in Worker’s Compensation Law, and he uses his knowledge to get the best case values for his clients.

Learn More >

Testimonials

“I am so thankful that I was referred to Vanasse Law for my workmans comp claim. Mike & Loraine put me at ease and the outcome was better than I expected…”

More Testimonials >

    Get a Free Case Evaluation
    Same-Day Response Time

    *Required

    I have read the disclaimer.
    Privacy Policy

    Archive for the ‘Workplace Accidents’ Category

    Hurt on the Job? Get the Answers You Need From a Workplace Injury Lawyer

    Workplace injuries can have significant implications for both employees and employers. Understanding the legal aspects surrounding such injuries is crucial for ensuring fair treatment and appropriate compensation. Our knowledgeable workplace injury lawyer addresses some of the more common questions related to workplace injuries and the law in Lancaster, PA.

    What should I do if I get injured at work in Lancaster?

    If you sustain an injury at your workplace in Lancaster or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, the first step is to seek immediate medical attention. Next, report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Please note that Pennsylvania law requires you to notify your employer within 21 days of the injury to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Failure to report the injury promptly may jeopardize your ability to obtain benefits.

    What is workers’ compensation and am I eligible for it?

    Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. In Lancaster, PA, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are injured on the job, you are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of fault. This includes coverage for medical expenses, wage loss, and rehabilitation services. Speak to a skilled workplace injury lawyer in Lancaster about the specifics of your situation.

    Can I choose my own doctor for a workplace injury?

    In Pennsylvania, your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier typically has the right to choose the initial treating healthcare provider. However, if you are dissatisfied with the care you receive, you may be able to switch to a different healthcare provider within the network. Consult with your employer or the insurance carrier for guidance on the process.

    What steps should I take to file a workers’ compensation claim in Lancaster?

    To file a workers’ compensation claim in Lancaster, PA:

    Report the Injury:

    Notify your employer of the injury within 21 days, providing details of the incident and your injuries.

    Seek Medical Attention:

    Obtain medical treatment promptly from an approved healthcare provider.

    Complete the Claim Form:

    Fill out the necessary workers’ compensation claim forms provided by your employer or their insurance carrier.

    Submit the Claim:

    Submit the completed forms to your employer and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

    Follow Up:

    Keep detailed records of all medical treatments and follow any instructions from your employer, insurance carrier, or legal counsel.

    Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Lancaster, PA?

    Pennsylvania law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims. If you believe you were terminated or faced adverse actions due to filing a claim, you may have legal recourse. Consult with an employment law attorney in Lancaster to explore your rights and potential remedies.

    Are there situations where I can file a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim?

    Generally, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for workplace injuries in Pennsylvania. However, there are exceptions. If your injury resulted from the intentional actions of your employer or a third party, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

    How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim in Lancaster, PA?

    In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is three years from the date of the injury. However, it is advisable to report the injury and file the claim as soon as possible to ensure timely access to benefits and a smoother claims process.

    Can an undocumented immigrant in Lancaster, PA, file a workers’ compensation claim?

    Yes, undocumented immigrants in Lancaster, PA, are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Pennsylvania law does not distinguish between documented and undocumented workers when it comes to accessing workers’ compensation coverage. All employees injured on the job are eligible for benefits.

    How much compensation can I receive for a workplace injury in Lancaster, PA?

    The amount of compensation you receive for a workplace injury in Lancaster, PA, depends on various factors, including the nature and severity of your injury. Workers’ compensation benefits typically cover medical expenses, partial wage loss, and rehabilitation costs. Consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand the specific benefits available in your case.

    Should I hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Lancaster?

    While it’s not required, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Lancaster can be beneficial, especially if your claim is complex or if issues arise. An attorney can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in any legal proceedings.

    Speak to a Lancaster Workplace Injury Attorney Today

    Understanding your rights and obligations regarding workplace injuries is crucial for a smooth and fair resolution. If you have specific legal concerns or need personalized advice, consider consulting with a qualified workplace injury attorney in Lancaster as soon as possible.

    Tips to Prepare for Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Deposition

    When you’ve been injured on the job in Pennsylvania and filed for the workers’ compensation benefits you are owed, it is possible that the insurer will request that you submit to a deposition. A deposition is testimony that is given under oath and can be used as evidence in your workers’ comp case. Counsel for the insurer will ask you questions related to your claim, and your ability to recover the compensation you are seeking can depend greatly on your answers. Because of this, the importance of being prepared cannot be overstressed. Following are some tips from our Lancaster hurt at work lawyers on being prepared for a workers’ compensation deposition. 

    Know Your Timeline

    The attorney for the insurer will ask you questions about events leading up to the accident, the accident itself, and events that have occurred since the accident. It is important that you know the facts of what happened and when they happened. Before the deposition, look at all the documents and evidence available to you and write down important dates and events, then commit these facts to memory. The counsel for the insurer may attempt to trip you up so that you will appear confused or that you are being intentionally false. Having a clear timeline committed to memory will help you stay focused and able to clearly and correctly answer the questions you are asked during the deposition. 

    Stick to the Facts and Do Not Speculate

    Being injured and having to go through a deposition to receive the funds you are owed is extremely frustrating, and it is natural to want to be sure your story is heard in full. However, during a deposition is not the time to elaborate or speculate on what happened to you. When you are asked a question, answer it in a straightforward and clear manner. Do not embellish, speculate, or offer more than what has been asked. Keep your answers simple. When asked a “yes” or “no” question, answer verbally either “yes” or “no.” No further explanation is needed or wanted. 

    You may feel that you are unable to fully express your side of the story when you are forced to give such a direct answer. Keep in mind before the deposition is over, your lawyer will be able to ask you questions. This will be your opportunity to set straight any matter you, or your lawyer, feel has not been properly addressed.  

    Know the People & Process

    Much of the nervousness brought on by a deposition can be mitigated by being familiar with the deposition process and the people that will be present. While all depositions may vary to a certain degree, in most cases your attorney will ask you questions first. Then, the attorney for the insurer will ask you questions. After that, one of your Lancaster hurt at work lawyers may ask you more questions. In truth, the attorneys may go back and forth several times. 

    The people at the deposition are generally:

    • Injured worker (you)
    • Attorney for the injured worker (your lawyer)
    • Attorney for the insurer
    • Court reporter

    Dress Appropriately & Remain Calm

    A deposition does not typically occur in a courtroom, but it is a legal proceeding and the testimony taken there is admissible in a court of law. Therefore, it is best to approach the deposition with a serious and respectful attitude. Your attire should be business casual, and your demeanor should be calm and courteous. 

    Your credibility will have a substantial impact on how your case proceeds. If you appear to be truthful and reasonable, the odds are in your favor. Also, there may be times during the deposition when you feel you are close to losing your composure. When this occurs, you are allowed to ask for a break so that you have a minute or two to calm your nerves before continuing with the deposition.

    Have One of Our Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers Represent You

    Being deposed means being asked questions by the attorney for the insurance company. You can rest assured that their attorney will know the law and will be attempting to settle your claim for as little as possible. The last thing you want to do is go through this process without one of your own Lancaster hurt at work lawyers representing your interests and helping you obtain the benefits you deserve. Your lawyer will help you by:

    • Asking you questions before the deposition so you will be prepared when they are asked at the deposition. 
    • Objecting when an inappropriate or illegal question is asked by opposing counsel. As a layperson, you will likely not know when a question should be objected to. 
    • Helping all parties stay focused and professional. Tensions can escalate during a deposition, and your attorney can help ensure attention stays on the issues that matter and everyone keeps on track. 
    • Asking you questions to be certain a complete and accurate picture of what happened to you is presented. There may be issues that are unclear after opposing counsel questions you, and your attorney can remedy that with their line of questioning. 
    • Making certain you understand the deposition process and what is happening every step of the way. It is likely you will have questions, and your attorney will be able to answer those for you. 
    • Deterring inappropriate conduct. Sometimes, just the actual presence of your lawyer is enough to deter opposing counsel from asking certain questions or using intimidation tactics against you. 

    Speak with One Of Our Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers

    Receiving the compensation you deserve after being hurt on the job shouldn’t be difficult. Unfortunately, it often is. The good news is that you don’t have to do battle alone. One of our Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law, LLC, can guide you every step of the way to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to learn more.

    What to Do (and Not Do) After a Work Injury

    When you have been injured on the job, there are certain actions you should, and should not, take to make certain your right to recover any compensation you are due is not compromised. 

    Our Lancaster job injury lawyer explains. 

    What To Do After An On-The-Job Injury

    Following are the steps that you should take when you have been injured on the job. 

    Report the Injury

    You are required by law to notify your employer of your injury. While you technically have up to 

    120 days, our Lancaster job injury lawyer advises telling them as soon as possible, as this will help you when you apply for workers’ compensation benefits. It is also important that you notify someone with authority, such as your supervisor or an HR representative. Telling a coworker is not enough. Also, while verbally telling your employer about your injury is acceptable, it may save you problems in the long run if you also submit a letter or report that verifies your injury.

    Seek Medical Attention

    It is important that you seek medical attention for your injury, and that you follow up with any care recommendations made by the physician. Failure to do so may have a negative impact on your ability to collect your workers’ compensation benefits. While you may wish to visit with your own physician, if your employer has complied with certain regulations, and has posted a list of doctors on their website, you are required to visit one of those doctors if it is within the first 90 days after your accident. For guidance on your ability to choose your own doctor, it is best to speak with a Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law, LLC. 

    Follow Up With Your Employer

    Within 21 days of reporting your injury to your employer, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier is required to notify you whether or not your claim for coverage has been accepted or denied. If your claim is accepted, you should receive a Notice of Compensation Payable. If your claim is denied, you should receive a Notice of Compensation Denial. 

    Document Everything

    It is important to document everything that happens in case your claim is denied or you do not receive the full value of your claim. Listed below are some of the items it is important to keep handy:

    • Pictures and videos of your injury as well as the area where the injury occurred 
    • Copies of medical notes and prescriptions
    • Copies of all medical bills
    • Proof of time missed from work due to the injury

    What Not To Do After An On-The-Job Injury

    As important as it is to make certain you do certain things, it is just as important to make sure there are certain actions you refrain from taking, as explained by our Lancaster job injury lawyer below.

    Ignore or Delay Reporting Your Injury

    It is imperative that you do not ignore or delay in reporting your injury to your employer. Doing so seriously jeopardizes your ability to recover under your workers’ compensation claim. If you miss certain deadlines, it can even result in your claim being barred. Do not allow anyone, including the employer, to convince you that you should not report an injury. Even minor injuries can later become serious in nature, and you want to be sure that you can recover the compensation you are owed. 

    Exaggerate or Minimize Your Injuries

    Although it may be tempting to exaggerate your injury, keep in mind that the insurance company will welcome any reason to deny your claim. If they are able to prove that you are being intentionally dishonest, they could very well use that dishonesty to deny you the benefits to which you are entitled. 

    Just as it is not a good idea to exaggerate your injury, it is also inadvisable to minimize the extent of your injury. Sometimes, injured workers minimize their injuries because they are embarrassed to discuss the full extent of the harm they experienced, or because they do not want to appear weak. No matter the reason, it is always best to be honest and disclose all information related to your injury. 

    It is important to be truthful about your injuries at every stage of the claims process, as it is possible that your injuries may spread or become more localized after the initial hurt. It is also possible that the injury has made an old injury worse. In other words, this injury has aggravated a pre-existing injury. Make sure you tell your physician if this is the case and of any other updates or changes.  

    Rely On The Insurance Company & Its Representatives

    Many of the clients that our Lancaster job injury lawyer represents are hard-working, loyal employees, and they trust their employer to take care of them when they become injured. Unfortunately, this is not the way that it works. Even if you do have a great relationship with your employer, it is not them that you will be dealing with. Instead, you will be contacted by a representative, typically an adjuster, from the insurance company. This person is not your friend, even if they appear to be legitimately concerned with your well-being. The same is true for anyone else that works for the insurance company, including a nurse or medical case manager. You should expect that anything you say, no matter how unimportant in your eyes, will be used against you if possible. Because of this, it is best to refer any questions, inquiries, forms, or requests from the insurance company to your Lancaster job injury lawyer

    Speak With A Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer At Vanesse Law, LLC

    If you have suffered a work-related injury, you are likely left feeling overwhelmed and unsure as to what you should do next. At Vanesse Law, LLC, we help people just like you recover the workers’ compensation benefits they are owed. Contact our firm today to schedule an appointment to discuss your potential claim with a knowledgeable Lancaster job injury lawyer.

    How to Prevent Deadly Scaffolding Accidents

    A large number of Pennsylvania residents work with scaffolding every day, most commonly in construction jobs or other building sites. If you are one of these workers, you know that scaffolding presents serious risks to workers. Many serious injuries and fatal accidents are caused by scaffold falls.

    If you have suffered an injury at work in Pennsylvania due to faulty scaffolding, let a Lancaster workplace injury lawyer help with your workers’ comp claim so that your employer or their workers’ comp insurance company doesn’t talk you into an undervalued settlement of your claim.

    OSHA Guidelines

    Due to the inherent dangers involved in scaffolding work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (PDF) has developed strict guidelines for the setup and use of scaffolds on job sites. Employers must follow the guidelines set out by OSHA as part of the requirement to provide all employees a safe work environment. Some of the topics covered by the OSHA guidelines include:

    • Fall protection or fall arrest systems
    • Guardrail height
    • Crossbracing
    • Midrails
    • Footings
    • Guying ties and braces
    • Capacity
    • Training
    • Inspections
    • Erecting and Dismantling

    Safety Tips for Working with Scaffolding

    The OSHA guidelines are comprehensive and detailed, but, as is the case with many government agency documents, they are formal and complex. Most construction veterans focus on common-sense safety tips, such as:

    DOs:

    • Make sure a competent person; i.e., an experienced scaffolding veteran has thoroughly inspected the scaffold before anyone climbs it
    • If you’re not sure that a scaffold is safe, ask a supervisor 
    • Use a personal fall arrest system whenever required
    • Wear sturdy shoes with nonslip soles
    • Always wear a hard hat upon or around any scaffold
    • Be aware of any co-workers sharing the scaffold as well as other workers below
    • Move around the scaffolding slowly and carefully
    • Use common sense! If it doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t

    DON’Ts

    • Don’t overload a scaffold
    • Don’t leave debris, tools, and other materials lying around the scaffold where someone could accidentally knock them off the platform or trip over them. Keep tools where they’re supposed to be
    • Be careful driving anything heavy, such as a forklift or refuse truck, too close to a scaffold.
    • Avoid using a scaffold entirely during windy or stormy weather, or if the scaffold is covered with ice or snow
    • Don’t take chances! It’s not worth it!

    Let a Lancaster Workplace Injury Lawyer Help You Understand Scaffolding Safety 

    Scaffolds on the worksite are among the most dangerous tools at any construction site. Many construction workers simply won’t use them. If you’re a construction worker who has been injured by a scaffolding accident, a Lancaster workplace injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you with your workers’ comp claim. After all, workers’ comp is all we do. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    Are Total Knee Replacements Used Too Often?

    According to the Center’s Orthopedic & Neurological Care & Research:

    • By 2030, total knee replacement surgeries are projected to grow 673% to 3.5 million procedures per year
    • About 60% of all knee replacement operations are performed on women
    • Approximately 85% of knee replacements will last for 20 years
    • Nearly half of American adults will develop knee osteoarthritis in at least one knee in their lifetime
    • 80% of osteoarthritis patients have some degree of movement limitation
    • More than 90% of people who have knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction in knee pain

    If you have suffered from an injury at work in Pennsylvania that requires total knee replacement, a Lancaster job injury lawyer can help you with your workers’ comp claim so that you can recover all the financial losses related to such extensive and extended medical care. We understand the laws in Pennsylvania and have experience dealing with severe, long-lasting injuries of all types.

    About Total Knee Replacements

    Total knee replacements have become a regular culprit in Pennsylvania workers’ comp claims. They may occur when a worker has a preexisting condition, such as arthritis, which is then aggravated by a work injury, or when the work injury itself causes damage to a previously healthy knee.

    Part of the problem is unrealistic expectations. Candidates for the procedure are often told that total knee replacement is the “cure” for their chronic knee pain or that the procedure will “reduce knee pain by X%.” However, research has suggested that a significant number of total knee replacement recipients are unhappy with the results and that a substantial number of recipients weren’t even ideal candidates in the first place.

    Still, it cannot be discounted that most people do well with their total knee replacement. Nonetheless, as is the case with any type of surgery, the procedure does carry certain risks, which may include:

    • Injury to related nerves
    • Unexpected bleeding
    • Infection
    • Clots
    • Limited motion of the knee

    As discussed, all of this comes with the risk that the procedure simply won’t relieve your pain in any meaningful way.

    Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement

    There is a procedure called “minimally invasive total knee replacement,” during which a smaller incision is used and is often performed under general or spinal anesthesia. This procedure causes less damage and is easier to tolerate and recover from. It may not, however, provide adequate repair or relief from pain. A Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you discuss your options with your doctor and select the best procedure for your particular circumstances.

    Learn More About Knee Replacement Surgery From a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer

    Whether you’re considering total knee replacement or minimally invasive total knee replacement, you need to look at all of your options and how each impacts your workers’ comp claim. A Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you with your claim; simply contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    How Can I Help Prevent Scaffolding and Ladder Accidents at Work?

    Scaffolding, also known as staging, is a temporary metal structure used to provide a platform for a work crew to perform its work at heights that are too high to work on from the floor. It can be a supporting structure made of poles, frames, or platforms that are suspended from above. Because scaffolds are high up by their very nature, they are also inherently dangerous.

    According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 2.3 million construction workers, or 65% of the U.S. construction workforce, work on scaffolds. With numbers this high, scaffold and ladder-related accidents are, for the most part, inevitable. 

    In Pennsylvania, OSHA safety regulations regarding scaffolding apply to those who work in the construction industry, but there are also additional legal options for such workers. For example, construction workers may also be protected by Pennsylvania’s product liability laws. A defective product can cause serious injury, and unfortunately, if scaffolding is defective, the end results can be deadly.

    If you have suffered from an injury at work In Pennsylvania, a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at our law firm can help. Whether it is a workers’ comp claim or a legal claim, we understand the Pennsylvania workers’ comp laws and strategy behind the burden of proof and will use these standards to help you establish your claim.

    How Can We Avoid Scaffolding and Ladder Accidents?

    Scaffold and ladder workers can maximize their safety with a few simple steps, including:

    • Always use a spotter for balancing heaving loading
    • Always use protective gear, including life jackets, and check your ladders and scaffolds
    • Organize power tools, toolboxes, and various types of clutter to keep a clean, safe workspace 
    • Clean up spills immediately to avoid slip-and-fall accidents
    • Use designated access areas to climb scaffolding and ladders, and never stand on storage trunks, old ladders, or boxes
    • Know the load capacities of the ladders and scaffolding and do not exceed them
    • Report safety violations or concerns to a supervisor
    • Use single-rail ladders
    • So not exceed the maximum intended load beyond any manufacturer’s rated capacity,
    • Secure ladder feet are on slippery surfaces
    • Use ladders with worn steps
    • Use ladders without nonconductive side rails, which increase the chances of exposure to electrical equipment

    Learn More About Workers’ Comp Claims From a Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney

    Scaffolding and ladders have been extremely dangerous in the workplace for far too long and can be even more dangerous when they’re used together in unsafe conditions. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure you know how to use all equipment properly and in a safe manner. However, it is always best to lookout for our own protection and safety needs. That said, you are encouraged to use your own common sense based on the specific situation at your workplace and always follow any instructions or guidance provided to the letter. It’s a good idea for you to practice a bit with an experienced scaffold or ladder worker before you go up on your own.

    If you have been injured at work because of a scaffolding or ladder accident, let a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claim. You can contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    Trench Collapses, Excavation Accidents and How to Prevent Them

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHAs) regulations regarding trenching and excavations have made getting rid of potential and actual trench and excavation hazards on construction sites a top priority. Trench collapses and subsequent cave-ins pose a great risk to trench workers’ lives. That said, it is important for workers to know and understand their rights under the law.

    Some typical ways to prevent cave-ins include:

    • Sloping or benching trench walls
    • Shoring trench walls with supports
    • Shielding trench walls with trench boxes

    Employers should also provide safe ways to enter and exit. Additionally, all workers should be on constant lookout for hazardous materials or leaks. And if there’s ever any question or concern, NEVER enter a trench unless and until it has been properly inspected.

    There are other hazards related to trenching and excavations that workers need to know about before beginning any construction project. For instance, the atmosphere itself may be a health hazard for workers. OSHA requires testing for all excavations that are more than four feet deep, as well as in situations where oxygen levels may be low or other hazardous atmospheric conditions may exist. If this safety step is skipped, workers could be exposed to toxic chemicals or even worse — they could suffocate.

    Further, heavy machines, trucks, backhoes, etc. are typically used on excavation and trenching sites. Employers have an obligation to ensure all workers on the project know how to properly use such equipment, as improper use could result in serious and severe injuries.

    If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, a Lancaster workplace accident attorney can help you with your workers’ comp claims and review the circumstances surrounding the trench collapse and/or excavation accident. as well as advise on other potential legal claims you may have. We understand the laws and strategies needed for such cases and will use that to help you establish your claim.

    Is There a Way to Prevent Trench and Excavation Accidents?

    Construction site managers and workers can maximize their safety by ensuring the following has occurred:

    • Ensure proper protection is in place. To prevent workers from being injured in trenching and excavation incidents, it is imperative to have appropriate protective systems in place. As noted above, when such systems do not exist, workers are at a greater risk for injuries such as being crushed, toxic exposure and suffocation.
    • Make sure the site is prepared appropriately. Excavations areas should be inspected prior to any work being done, as well as ongoing during the project. Someone with adequate competence and training in soil analysis should be used when preparing the worksite.
    • Put equipment and work materials in their proper place. Excavation materials and work-related equipment can cause severe injuries to workers if they are put too close to the trench. That said, employers should be sure that all work materials and equipment are placed at least two feet away.
    • All access and exit areas should be made as safe as possible. Site workers typically use ramps and other equipment to access and exit trenches. When such equipment is not placed in an appropriate area or is left unmaintained, workers may fall and be subjected to all types of serious injuries.

    Learn More About Workers’ Comp Claims From a Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney

    If you have been injured at work because of a trench or excavation accident, let a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claim. You can contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    Third-Party Claims After a Work Accident

    Workers’ comp in Pennsylvania, like most states, is a double-edged sword. The good news is that if you’re hurt on the job, you don’t have to show negligence or any type of fault by the employer. If you are hurt at work, you receive the benefits. The bad news is that your compensation is strictly limited to your workers’ comp benefits; in other words, the workers’ comp benefits are your exclusive remedy. This is known as the “Exclusive Remedy Rule.”

    This is problematic for injured workers because workers’ comp only pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability. Yet, a typical negligence lawsuit also pays non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. So, the key to recovering the most financial compensation is to find a way around workers’ comp and file a negligence or intentional tort claim. If you have suffered a work-related injury in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster work injury lawyer help you be sure you’re recovering the maximum financial compensation you are legally entitled to.

    Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Rule

    Exceptions are rare in Pennsylvania. You are only allowed to bring a lawsuit for your work-related injuries if:

    • Your employer doesn’t carry adequate workers’ comp insurance,
    • Your injury was caused by your employer’s intentional acts, or 
    • There is some third party that is at least partially responsible for your injury.

    Third-party injuries are more common than you may think. For example, some third parties that may be responsible for work-related injuries include:

    • Equipment Manufacturers. Equipment manufacturers are responsible for making sure their products are safe for their intended use. If a defective product injures you, you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer, as well as any entity within the product’s chain of distribution.
    • Toxic Substance Manufacturers. If you become ill from exposure to a toxic substance at work, such as acid or heavy metals, you may be able to bring a claim against the toxic substance manufacturer.
    • Drivers. If you drive for work and are injured in a car accident that is another driver’s fault, you may be able to recover from both your employer’s workers’ comp and the other driver.
    • Government Entity. If a government utility provider fails to maintain or warn about gas or electrical lines properly, you may be able to bring a claim against such an entity.
    • Construction Site Manager. If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be able to bring a claim against the contractors, subcontractors, vendors, or suppliers.
    • Property Owner. If you are working on someone else’s property and some dangerous condition causes you injury, you may be able to bring a premises liability claim against the property owner.

    Contact a Lancaster Work Injury Lawyer for More Information on Third-Party Claims

    Third parties are commonly responsible for work-related injuries and are not exempt from liability by workers’ comp laws. However, it can be difficult to identify who these third parties may be. That’s where a Lancaster work injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    PTSD After a Work Accident

    According to the National Library of Medicine’sNational Center for Biotechnology Information, there is a “substantial overlap between chronic pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in individuals who sustain accidental injury.” In subsequent studies, “[m]ost participants reported chronic pain and all were receiving workers compensation. Results indicated that 34.7% and 18.2% of the sample reported symptoms consistent with PTSD and partial PTSD.”

    More simply speaking, evidence shows that work-related injuries can cause chronic pain, which leads to PTSD. An increasing number of states are passing new laws, rules, and regulations that allow the general workforce to receive workers’ comp benefits for mental health conditions caused by a person’s job, including PTSD. 

    While there has been substantial progress in recent years, much more needs to be done. Workers often face disheartening roadblocks when filing for their PTSD workers’ comp benefits, and many simply give up. If you have suffered a work-related injury in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workplace accident lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you recover the financial compensation to which you’re entitled.

    Work-Related PTSD in Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania is one of the few progressive states that recognize “mental-mental” injuries as workers’ comp injuries. A mental-mental workers’ comp injury is an injury that is the result of psychological trauma that was experienced in the workplace. For example, say your workplace was the scene of a shooting or an explosion or was robbed at gunpoint. These types of incidents can cause severe depression, abnormally high stress levels, and anxiety, particularly if your life was endangered.

    What are the Mental Symptoms of PTSD?

    PTSD can manifest itself through a wide variety of symptoms, including:

    • Nightmares
    • Depression
    • Unexplained outbursts of crying and tears
    • Anxiety
    • Flashbacks
    • Jumpy or easily startled mental conditions
    • Misplaced anger
    • Self-destructive behavior
    • Violent behavior
    • Obsessive-compulsive behavior
    • Memory and concentration problems
    • Emotional detachment
    • Irritability

    What are the Physical Symptoms of PTSD?

    PTSD can also result in physical symptoms, such as:

    • Trouble sleeping
    • Stomach problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea
    • Ulcers
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart attacks
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue
    • Angina pectoris (upper body pain caused by an inadequate blood supply to the heart)
    • Tachycardia (coronary artery disease)
    • Other heart diseases
    • Gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach)
    • Arthritis

    A Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney Can Help With Your PTSD Workers’ Comp Claim in Pennsylvania

    PTSD has only been recognized in recent years, and for people other than military survivors and first responders, it is still only starting to gain traction as a very real and serious problem. PTSD can cause not only serious mental issues but genuine physical injuries as well. 

    As a result, PTSD workers’ comp claims can be problematic if these injuries are challenged. If you’ve had PTSD as a result of a work-related incident, contact a Lancaster workplace accident lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for a same-day response. We offer a free consultation.

    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.