Work-related injuries can often be a life-changing experience. In some instances, the injury may disable a worker and leave them unable to work for an extended period of time. As injured workers can be the primary income source for other family members and dependents, they may also be effected by financial impact of a work injury.
Dennis made this “workman's comp case” as stress-free as possible.
- Client of Schmidt Kramer
At Schmidt Kramer, our workers' compensation lawyers have experience successfully handling injured worker lawsuits including a $742,000 award for the family of a trash worker that was fatally injured in a car accident and a $150,000 settlement for a worker that was injured at work while attempting to load a swingset onto a low bed truck.
Attorney Dennis Kergick is a Frackville, PA native that has helped numerous Pennsylvania workers recover compensation and many of the attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have been recipients of The Best Lawyers in America© and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers awards for the past several years.
It's free to talk to a lawyer at our firm to find out if you have a workers compensation case and there are no upfront fees if you decide to hire us.
Schmidt Kramer. Free Consultation. Ph: (717) 888-8888.
Why Should I Hire a Lancaster Attorney?
Injured workers that have a lawyer on their side recover more compensation compared to those that do not have legal representation.
Injured workers that hire a lawyer recover more compensation compared to those that do not have legal representation.
After a workplace injury, hiring a lawyer can be an important decision. Some work injuries last a lifetime and having a legal team on your side that understands how such an injury can effect the victim long term, can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation that may be available.
At Schmidt Kramer, our workers comp lawyers have a comprehensive knowledge of Pennsylvania's workers compensation laws and we have many years of experience building strong cases against employers, insurance agencies and the defense law firms that represent them during litigation.
Our lawyers have your best interests at heart. We carefully review all of the details involved in each case we handle, research and obtain information that may be useful for each specific incident and fight for the rights of our clients.
Have Questions? We Have Answers. Ph: (717) 888-8888.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits help to provide injured employees with the economic stability they need to recover from a workplace injury.
The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act lists several benefits available to injured workers, including:
Employees are entitled to receive compensation for any reasonable or necessary medical treatment once their workers’ compensation claim is approved. Benefits include doctor visits, surgery, medications, medical equipment, lab tests, or any other related health care expense. Injured workers are not required to pay a fee or co-pay for medical care related to a workplace injury.
Portion of Lost Wages
Employees can be compensated for a portion of their lost wages. However, you must be disabled for more than seven days to receive lost wages. These will cover lost wages from the eighth day forward. If you are disabled for 14 or more days in a row, you can receive compensation for the first seven days you were disabled.
However before receiving any compensation, you must provide medical proof from a doctor confirming any injuries, whether he or she can return to work, or any restrictions preventing him or her from doing your type of work.
You should begin receiving lost wage payments within 21 days from when you started missing work because of your injuries.
There are two main types of disability benefits: total disability and partial disability.
Total disability benefits are paid to workers who are completely disabled and unable to work. For example, if you are suffering from a permanent work-related injury making you unable to return to work at all, there is no time limit on the duration of compensation. You may be able to obtain compensation equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
On the other hand, partial disability benefits are paid to workers who are able to return to work but are now earning less after their injury. For example, if you are suffering from a partial disability and unable to work at full capacity, you may be able to obtain benefits for up to 500 weeks. You may be able to obtain compensation equal to two-thirds of the difference between your earnings pre-injury and earnings post-injury.
What to Do If You Get Injured at Work
Most full-time and part-time employers in the state of Pennsylvania are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for workplace injuries. The insurance covers employees from the first day on the job until their last day of employment. Coverage typically includes medical expenses, a portion of your lost wages and compensation for any permanent impairment.
According to this guide to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, a work injury is any type of injury, medical condition or occupational disease caused by an employee's job (Section 301(c)(1)). Other qualifying injuries include pre-existing health conditions that are aggravated by a person’s occupation.
If you are injured at work, you should immediately inform your supervisor or boss, even if you think it is minor enough that you do not require medical care. Pennsylvania law requires that you tell your employer about a job-related injury within 21 days of it happening. However, failing to report an injury within 120 days means you will lose your right to collect on any benefits.
Under workers’ compensation law, an employer and its insurance company have 21 days after receiving notice of the injury to accept that an injury was caused by a work-related incident and offer compensation or deny the claim entirely and not issue compensation. The insurance company can also extend the deadline up to 90 days. However, it must pay you temporary disability benefits in the meantime.
Filing a Claim Petition
If your claim is denied by the insurance company, you can appeal the decision by filing a claim petition with the Workers' Compensation Office of Adjudication. You can file the petition online using the workers' compensation automation integration system.
For the majority of work-related injuries, including occupational diseases, you must file a petition within three years of your accident or injury, otherwise you lose the right to do so. If you were receiving benefits, you must file a claim petition within three years of the last payment you received from the insurance company.
After filing a claim petition, it is generally assigned to a workers’ compensation judge based on the county you live in. A Notice of Assignment is then issued, informing all parties of the judge assigned on the case. A workers’ compensation hearing is scheduled next, notifying all parties as to the exact date, time and location of the hearing.
Once at the hearing, a workers’ compensation judge listens and obtains evidence from all parties involved in the case. The number of hearings held can be extended depending on the amount of medical evidence and eyewitnesses involved.
After all the evidence has been submitted, a decision is rendered by the workers’ compensation judge. This decision is written out and given to all parties after the case is closed. No further action can be taken unless either party decides to file an appeal. The deadline to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board is 20 days from the date the judge’s decision is issued out to all parties involved.
If the decision made by the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board is also unsatisfactory, either party may file an appeal with the Commonwealth Court. The deadline to file is 30 days from the date of publication of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board’s decision.
The last attempt to appeal a case is directly with the Supreme Court. The deadline to file for either party is 30 days from the date of publication of the Commonwealth Court’s decision.
It is in your best interest to consult with a Lancaster workers’ compensation lawyer who understands the claims process and can help evaluate your case. The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have detailed knowledge of these laws and how to apply them to the specifics of your case. We can manage every step of the appeals process as we fight for the compensation you deserve.
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Types of Workplace Accidents
Some of the most common types of workplace accidents that result in workers' compensation claims include:
- Slip and falls – These accidents are caused by wet, slippery floors or losing your balance on a ladder, roof, floor, or flight of stairs. Some falls are also caused by being hit by machinery or falling debris.
- Machinery accidents – This includes being struck, caught, pushed against, or compressed by machinery.
- Assault or workplace violence – For example, sometimes workers are hit or attacked by a fellow co-worker.
- Vehicle crashes – This includes accidents when someone was driving a vehicle at work. Some involve car accidents using a company vehicle to and from work if you are paid to travel. There are also accidents involving workers getting hit by vehicles, such as dump trucks or construction vehicles.
Contact a workers' compensation lawyer in Lancaster today by calling (717) 888-8888.
Common Work-Related Injuries
An injury can be caused by a specific workplace accident such as a fall, overexertion, or the repeated stresses of the job itself.
These are injuries that happen unexpectedly or unintentionally while at work. These can include:
- Broken bones or torn ligaments
- Head and neck injuries
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Burn injuries
These are injuries caused by certain factors in the workplace that directly lead to a chronic illness or disease over a period of time. This can include:
- Toxic or chemical exposure
- Contact with asbestos
- Radiation poisoning
- Respiratory problems
- Bacterial or fungal exposure
There are also injuries caused by overexertion, which refers to repetitive activities that put a strain on the body. These repetitive activities could include lifting, pulling, pushing, holding, turning, carrying or throwing things.
If you or someone you know has been injured at work, you need someone on your side who understands your rights and legal options to obtain adequate compensation.
Our Lancaster workers’ compensation attorneys will conduct a detailed investigation to determine all the damages you suffered as a result of a workplace injury. We understand how valuable compensation can be as you attempt to move forward with your life.
Contact a Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have suffered a workplace injury, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation. Most employers and their insurance companies only have their best interest in mind, leaving you struggling financially and emotionally after a workplace injury. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Lancaster can manage every step of the process, allowing you to worry less and focus more on your recovery.
At the law offices of Schmidt Kramer, our team of Lancaster workers' compensation attorneys has detailed knowledge of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws to help you with your claim and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today and learn about your legal options. We do not charge any fees or costs unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.