You’ve probably heard already that you’re not allowed to sue your employer after you have been hurt at work in Pennsylvania. Having a workplace injury or occupational illness means that your medical bills will be covered automatically under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation rules. In exchange for the assured payment of your healthcare costs and a portion of your lost wages, state law forbids you to take your employer or coworker to court for a personal injury claim.
So you may be wondering at this point, “if I can’t sue my employer, why do I see all this advertising from Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers?”
Good question. As workers’ compensation lawyers in Harrisburg, we can tell you the ads are not about personal injury claims. Our lawyers are mobilized to go to court to force employers (and their insurance companies) to pay the comp benefits that are due when someone denies a legitimate claim by an injured worker, or tries to cut off benefits too early.
If you’re getting Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits now, listen up. You could be the next person to have your claim ended by a penny-pinching insurance company accountant.
Off to court we go!
Having to go to court to get deserved workers’ comp benefits hits many of our clients very hard. Many people rely on their jobs as the backbone of their personal identity, and when one’s employer fails to hold out a helping hand to an injured worker, it can be emotionally devastating. Your Dauphin County workplace injury attorney can file suit to get the compensation owed to you, but it can be a bruising process.
You can help your trial attorney by being mindful of these five hints:
- You need to be patient. The courts move at their own pace, and that pace is often slower than you would like. Try not to worry about how long it’s taking for your case to make it to the top of the docket. Every month that passes is another month of back benefits that you will receive eventually.
- Keep track of your medical condition. Continue to keep your doctor’s appointments, and take your prescription medicines regularly. Keep a diary of your symptoms, and note any changes. If your condition changes, if you need to visit a different doctor or specialist, or if you are scheduled for surgery or another procedure, let your lawyer know.
- Monitor all your medical bills, too. Put all the bills you receive for healthcare costs relating to your workplace injury in a folder. This will include hospital bills, doctor’s bills, charges from physical therapists and chiropractors, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, medical devices such as crutches or slings, and all other charges. Keep track of the bills that are still outstanding and those that you’ve had to pay out of pocket. Your attorney will want copies of these bills on a regular basis.
- Keep your lawyer advised of your employment status. If your employer has called you back to work—in your old job, or in a less-demanding position—your attorney needs to know the date when you return to work and your new pay rate. If you have been fired by your employer, or if you have found a new job elsewhere, you should immediately contact your legal adviser.
- Remain in touch. Don’t let the combination of concern about your mounting bills and the lingering pain of your injury make you withdraw from the world. Keep engaged with family and friends. Keep your attorney informed if you move to a new address or get a new telephone number.
Trust the legal process (and your lawyers) to work on your behalf
The insurance company responsible for paying your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits hopes that a long delay will discourage you. Don’t surrender without a fight for your legal rights. The trial attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are eager to go to court on behalf of workers’ compensation clients.
We can represent injured workers from anywhere in Pennsylvania. Call us today at 717-888-8888 or 888-476-0807 toll-free to schedule a free review of your case and to order a FREE copy of our helpful guide to workers’ compensation, Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured At Work?