Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical office is closed but we are here to help and remain open. Contact Mike at 717-471-2168 or Loraine 717-468-9411.

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

    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.

    MMI: What Does It Mean and When Is it Determined?

    Every state provides for “workers’ compensation,” otherwise known as “worker’s comp” or “workers’ comp insurance” for workers who are injured on the job. Workers’ comp insurance works like this: employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses receive workers’ comp benefits for things like medical expenses and lost wages. 

    The trade-off is that these workers’ comp benefits are the sole remedy for these employees. In most cases, they cannot sue their employer for these injuries, even if the employer was at fault. 

    If you have been injured on the job in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workplace accident attorney help you with this important decision process.

    What Does “MMI” Mean?

    MMI, or Maximum Medical Improvement, is the point at which your doctor believes that your condition has improved as much as it ever will. You may be healed, or it may mean that your medical condition will not change in any meaningful way in the future. Your treating doctor is the one who determines whether you have reached MMI.

    What Happens When I reach MMI?

    The first consequence of reaching your MMI is that your insurance company will likely want you to be examined by one of its physicians for an independent medical examination (IME) to determine whether you have really reached your MMI. You may also be offered a settlement in the form of either:

    • A Lump-Sum Payment. In Pennsylvania, in return for releasing your employer and their insurance company from paying any future workers’ compensation benefits, you can receive a one-time payment as a settlement.
    • A Structured Settlement. You may receive payments on a schedule that you and the insurance company have agreed on.

    Remember that your insurance company does not have your best interests in mind.

    In Pennsylvania, reaching MMI is a prerequisite for the performance of an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE). When workers have been getting workers’ comp benefits for 104 weeks, a medical impairment rating is needed to verify the existence and extent of a worker’s injuries and whether he or she can return to work. If you have not reached MMI at this time, the IRE would be invalid.

    Assessing the loss of physical function determines the impairment rating. If, according to the IRE, it is determined that an employee has an impairment of less than 35%, then wage loss payment benefits will be capped at a maximum of 500 weeks.

    If you have reached MMI, and your IRE determines that you are healthy enough to return to work, your benefits will stop, and you will return to your job.

    If the IRE shows that you are left with an ongoing medical problem that prevents you from going back to work at all or only lets you work part-time on a limited basis, you may then qualify for benefits that may include:

    • Permanent Total Disability. If your injuries are such that you will not be able to ever return to work, you may receive permanent benefits.
    • Permanent Partial Disability. If your injuries cause permanent partial disability, you may receive benefits based on the percentage of permanent partial disability caused by the injury.

    Under Pennsylvania law, there is no limit on how long an injured employee can receive total disability payments.

    If your doctor and the IME doctor disagree on your condition, you do not have to accept the IME doctor’s determination, and a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law LLC can negotiate for further benefits. If both physicians agree that your MMI has been reached, but you still have an ongoing disability, your attorney can help you reach a settlement with your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company.

    Contact a Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney at Vanasse Law LLC If You Are Dealing with Workers’ Comp

    The rules surrounding workers’ comp in Pennsylvania can be complicated. A Lancaster workplace accident attorney at Vanasse Law LLC will help you understand Pennsylvania law regarding workers’ comp, help you identify your options, and file any workers’ comp or legal claims on your behalf. 

    Contact us online for a same-day response.

    Have You Been Hurt at Work and Offered Light-Duty Work? Our Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers Handle Workers’ Comp Claims

    Workers’ compensation is a self-explanatory expression; in other words, workers’ compensation law is designed to compensate employees who have been hurt at work. 

    One particular aspect of workers’ compensation law concerns the situation in which an employee who has been hurt at work, after some time in rehabilitation for his or her injuries, obtains permission from the doctors to return to work with restrictions. In this case, he or she may be offered what is known as “light-duty” work. However, there is the risk that the employer may be asking the injured employee to perform duties that are beyond your doctors’ restrictions.

    If you have been hurt at work, this is just one of many potential issues you’re facing, some of which are complicated. Therefore, you should immediately call the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC to help you navigate this difficult time. 

    Light-Duty Work

    Light-duty work, sometimes known as modified-duty work, can be simply defined as work that is physically, or even mentally, less demanding than your typical job duties. Therefore, your employer will either offer you other types of work or alter your current work duties to fit within the restrictions placed upon you by your doctors.

    If your employer cannot or will not alter your current duties, they may ask you to perform altogether new tasks that require less physical or mental challenges. Some of these new types of duties may include:

    • Performing basic office tasks
    • Performing administrative tasks
    • Taking inventory
    • Reporting on job sites
    • Monitoring surveillance cameras
    • Performing other types of security monitoring or security tasks
    • Performing machinery and/or equipment light maintenance
    • Supervising other employees
    • Training new employees
    • Organizing files
    • Other types of filing
    • Handling office reception for incoming customers or vendors
    • Answering phones
    • Inspecting fire extinguishers
    • Replenishing first aid cabinets
    • Performing simple assembly
    • Operating a forklift
    • Driving a company vehicle and running office errands
    • Sorting and delivering mail
    • Ordering supplies
    • Shipping, labeling, and wrapping

    Light-duty work may also include working your typical job, but at a slower pace, or working your regular job with specific limitations.

    Challenges of Light-Duty Work

    As mentioned above, when it comes to light-duty work, there is a risk that your manager or supervisor will either directly, by requiring you, or indirectly, by passive-aggressive tactics (such as “well, if you don’t want to work….”), expect you to resume your pre-injury duties before your doctor has approved such an increased workload. 

    Many employees will comply out of fear of losing bonuses, other types of discretionary benefits, or even their job in such situations. However, the risk is that prematurely resuming heavier duties will result in an injury setback or additional injuries, and, as discussed below, employers are not allowed to take any adverse action against you for claiming your workers’ compensation benefits.

    Employees who find themselves in this position should consult with their doctors first, and contact the Lancaster hurt at work attorneys at Vanasse Law LLC if your doctors cannot help you resolve the issue. Your long-term health is your most important consideration, and the team at Vanasse Law LLC can help you protect your rights.

    In a related situation, some employees, especially type-A personality employees, may decide on their own to return to normal work duties too early. After all, some of the light-duty work, as listed above, can become tedious and boring rather quickly. However, you must follow your doctors’ recommendations precisely. Again, the risk of additional injury is simply too significant.

    Other Light-Duty Work Issues

    Employees who have been injured on the job and offered light-duty work face issues other than the critical issue of resuming regular work duties.

    Light-Duty Work Pay

    Although the law varies from state to state, salaried employees are generally entitled to receive their usual salary while working under light-duty work restrictions. Hourly-wage employees are typically paid based upon the number of hours worked while on light duty.

    Light-Duty Work Hourly Wages

    However, when an hourly wage employee accepts light-duty work, the employee will generally be paid less than what they earned from their former duties. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is designed to pay the difference. Unfortunately, unscrupulous employers may deny having any light-duty work available, which means they do not have to pay either wages or workers’ compensation benefits. If you suspect this is the case regarding your employer, you should contact the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC to help you protect your rights.

    Original Job Reinstatement

    Generally, an employer cannot take adverse action to penalize an employee for taking advantage of any workers’ compensation benefits. This includes denying employees the right to return to their original jobs once they have sufficiently recovered from their injuries and received the green light from their doctors to return to their pre-injury jobs.

    Refusal of Light-Duty Work

    Generally, an employee has the right to refuse an offer of light-duty work if the employee’s health care provider has not authorized it. If the doctors have cleared an employee to return with light-duty work restrictions, a refusal to do so by the employee could result in the loss of workers’ compensation benefits.

    Employer’s Duty to Offer Light-Duty Work

    Generally, employers are not obligated to offer light-duty work to employees seeking to return after a work-related injury. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, which vary from state to state.

    Contact the Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC for a Same-Day Response

    Workers’ compensation law can be complicated and difficult to navigate on your own, but the laws are designed to protect your rights as an employee. Furthermore, workers’ compensation claims may not be the only option if you have been injured at work. The Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC will help you explore all of your options, protect your rights, and file any necessary claims on your behalf during this difficult time. If you need our help, please contact us online for a same-day response.

    Mistakes to Avoid When Pursuing a Workers’ Comp Case: Part IV

    As we conclude our four-part series on mistakes to avoid when pursuing a workers’ compensation case, our Lancaster workplace accident attorney will discuss failing to hire an attorney for your case (or choosing the wrong type of attorney), lying to your attorney and providing the insurance company with a recorded statement and/or signing medical authorizations.

    Error 8: Choosing the Wrong Attorney or Not Hiring a Skilled Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney For Your Case

    Insurance adjusters, regardless of how pleasant they are when speaking to you or how nice they seem to be, do not have your best interest in mind. Their goal is to save the employer’s insurer as much money as possible by paying out the least amount possible for the claim. That said, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel from a competent Lancaster workplace accident attorney who will look out for your best interests.

    To ensure you are treated properly after your workplace injury, you should speak to a lawyer and discuss the facts of your case, including the extent of your injuries. Experienced attorneys know how to take this information and dissect it in order to ensure that you have taken every possible consideration into account. Additionally, an attorney will review any proposed settlements made by the employer and make the proper recommendations before you agree and/or sign any documents.

    For cases such involving workers’ compensation claims, your attorney selection is crucial. In the same way you choose doctors based on their specialties, you should be looking for a workplace accident lawyer who has extensive experience in handling such cases, along with a proven record of success. While it may be true that your cousin Joe may be an excellent estate planning attorney, he may not be the best choice when it comes to dealing with workplace injury cases if he doesn’t have a sufficient amount of experience in handling them.

    Error 9: Lying to Your Attorney is a Huge No-No

    Failing to disclose all of the facts of your case to your attorney could be the difference between victory and defeat. Just as we mentioned above about speaking with your doctor, it is important that you tell your Lancaster workplace accident attorney everything that may be relevant to the case, including current medical issues, prior injuries, any doctor’s care currently in place, previous legal and/or financial issues, employment history, prior and/or current drug or alcohol use, or anything else that my be used by the employer to discredit your claim. Remember this: your attorney is on YOUR side and is prepared to fight to the end for you; however, he can’t defend you properly if he is unaware of certain things.

    Error 10: Providing the Insurance Company With a Signed Medical Authorization and/or Recorded Statements

    First and foremost, it is important to note that you are not required to provide the insurance company with any recorded statements or signed medical authorizations. Why is this important to know? Think of it like a criminal case where “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Many people do not realize that such statements are not required. The adjuster may say it’s part of standard procedure or they may go as far as to say they can’t proceed with the claim until you’ve signed certain documents. But understand — there is no rule or law that says you must make a recorded statement or sign anything. They may have this rule, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re bound by their rules. If you’ve already provided a recorded statement, no need in panicking. Just call a Lancaster workplace accident attorney at our office so we can discuss your situation and come up with an appropriate resolution.

    Work with a Lancaster Workplace Accident Attorney at Vanasse Law LLC Today

    If you are an injured worker who is currently seeking workers’ compensation for your injuries, we hope that our series on mistakes to avoid during this process has proven to be helpful. If you have more questions and would like to discuss the specifics of your case, contact our Lancaster workplace accident attorney as soon as possible.