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.

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Get Answers to Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Frequently Asked Questions

If you have sustained injuries while performing your job duties, you may have many questions about what to do next and your legal rights in general. Our Lancaster job accident lawyer provides answers to some of the most common questions about the workers’ compensation process in Pennsylvania to help you understand your rights and options. These questions and answers are meant to assist with your research and do not replace speaking directly to an attorney about the specifics of your situation.

Workers’ Comp Coverage: Which Illnesses and/or Injuries Are Covered in Pennsylvania?

Regardless of fault, a great majority of illnesses and injuries that are caused by a work-related incident are covered by workers’ compensation. There are, however, a number of situations that may not be covered, such as injuries and/or illnesses caused by:

  • Illegal acts
  • Your own drug and/or alcohol intoxication
  • Co-worker physical attacks for personal reasons
  • Suicide or intentionally self-inflicted harm
  • Individuals outside of the workplace
  • Your commute to/from work

It is best to speak to an attorney to discuss whether your injury or illness will qualify for compensation.

Can I Get Compensation for Repetitive Motion Injuries?

Yes, as long as you can demonstrate that your injury is related to your job. This can include compensation for carpal tunnel, trigger finger, ganglion cysts, bursitis and other repetitive motion disorders.

Am I Entitled to Workers’ Comp if I’m a Part-Time Worker in Pennsylvania?

Both part-time and full-time workers in the Commonwealth are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The only instances where coverage may not be applied is if your employer unlawfully decides not to provide workers’ compensation coverage or if you are self-employed. Even if you are the employer’s only employee, you should be covered.

If a Co-Worker or My Employer Caused My Illness or Injury, Can I Sue Them?

The general answer to this common question is no, you cannot sue anyone for a work-related illness or injury (but there are a few exceptions). You are typically only permitted to file for workers’ comp to cover your lost wages and related medical costs. Unfortunately, pain and suffering will not be compensated.

However, if your illness or injury was caused by a defective product, you may be entitled to sue the manufacturer for your personal injuries. Likewise, if your injuries were caused by the physical assault of a co-worker as part of a personal issue, you may be able to pursue a criminal or civil lawsuit against that individual.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation?

First, it is important to note that you are required to report all injuries related to your job to your supervisor or employer immediately. Pennsylvania allows 120 days for you to inform your employer of the work-related injury or illness, but reporting it right away is always best and preferred. Doing so will give you a stronger case overall. If you fail to advise the employer within 120 days of your injury, you may lose your right to receive compensation. As for how long you have to file the actual claim, you will have three years from the date of your injury to do so.

What if I Live in Pennsylvania But Work in a Different State?

You are encouraged to speak to a Lancaster job accident lawyer first to determine whether you can file for compensation in Pennsylvania because we typically have a higher payment than many other states. All claims are different, but it is certainly worth checking with your attorney, as you may still be permitted to file if you live, work or were hired by a company located in Pennsylvania.

Are There Documents That I Must Sign? How Do I Know Which Ones to Avoid?

We certainly understand that you may be confused about which documents are okay to sign and which ones should be avoided. The key is to always read each document carefully and ensure that you understand them, as Pennsylvania courts will assume that you read and completely understood what you’ve signed.

You may be provided numerous forms, such as an Authorization for Medical Records, an Employee Verification Form, a Supplemental Agreement and a Final Receipt. It is generally fine to sign the authorization and verification forms, as these forms release your medical documentation to the insurer in order to review and process the claim, as well as verifies your employment in order for you to receive benefits, respectively.

The agreement and final receipt documents can be tricky. Be very careful about signing an agreement, as some of them not only say that you can return to work even though your claim is still active, but it may include a clause stating that your benefits are being terminated. If you have not fully recovered from your illness or injury, do not sign that agreement! The same goes for a final receipt — if you are still in recovery, do not sign that document and speak with your attorney immediately if you are being pressured to do so.

What if I’m Being Pressured to Go Back to Work Even Though I’m Not Ready?

Employers should not try to force or pressure an employee to return to work if the company-provided doctor has not cleared your return. However, we encourage everyone to visit their own doctor as well, as using the company-provided one is not your only option. If the medical professional provided by the company says you can return to your job, but your personal doctor disagrees, you can refuse to go back to work. Ultimately, a judge will look at your case and any petitions to modify, suspend or terminate benefits to make an appropriate decision.

What if My Claim is Denied?

Claims can be denied for several reasons. However, if you believe your workers’ compensation claim was wrongfully denied, speak to a Lancaster job accident lawyer right away. Your attorney will be able to review your situation and address it properly.

Let a Lancaster Job Accident Lawyer Help You Pursue Your Rights Under the Law

If you still have questions or concerns about your entitlement to workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, contact a Lancaster job accident lawyer today. We are here to help.