Injuries in the workplace can be life-threatening that may take workers and their families many years to recover from. In some instances, the injuries never heal. If you or someone that you care for has been injured at work, it's important to hire a legal team that has experience handling workers compensation claims in Pennsylvania. Hiring a lawyer is an important decision as the outcome of a lawsuit can vary greatly depending on what law firm you choose to handle your case.
Your help was beyond value. There is no way I could be where I am today with your efforts. Thank you!
- Client of Schmidt Kramer
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have detailed knowledge of workers’ compensation claims and the benefits injured Pennsylvania workers may be eligible to receive. We have a proven record of success including a $742,000 award for the family of a trash worker that was fatally injured while on the job and a $150,000 settlement for a worker that was hurt while attempting to load a swing set on a low bed truck.
Our award winning legal team are led by our founding partner Charles E. Schmidt, Jr. and partner Gerard C. Kramer, who both hold professional memberships to the American Association for Justice, the Central Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today to determine your legal options. There are no upfront costs or fees unless we help you recover the compensation you deserve.
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How a York, PA Lawyer Can Help You
After a work injury report has been filed, a representative from the employers insurance company will become involved in proceedings. It's important to remember that insurance companies are looking to settle the claim for the lowest financial amount possible. They will use every option available to discredit your claim and attempt to illustrate that you were at-fault.
Injured workers that hire a lawyer recover more financial compensation compared to those that do not have legal representation.
At Schmidt Kramer, we regularly build cases against insurance companies and the legal teams that represent them. We understand the tactics that they use and use that experience to help build a strong argument for each case that we handle. Having the right attorney on your side is very important as injured workers that have legal representation recover more financial compensation compared to workers that do not hire a lawyer.
Being able to fully investigate a case and determine all of the areas where compensation may be available can have a significant effect on the amount that may be recovered in a successful lawsuit. An example of this may be to determine if the workers injuries may become a problem that needs medical treatment later in life. If so, a provision for the costs of that treatment may need to be included in the settlement amount.
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Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available
Injured workers or surviving relatives of a worker who was killed because of a workplace injury may be entitled to receive compensation. Our attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation through a workers’ compensation claim.
If you claim is approved, the type and amount of benefits you may receive will be based on the severity of your injury and the amount of recovery time needed to heal.
There are several different types of workers’ compensation benefits such as:
Employees are entitled to the payment of medical expenses for any reasonable surgical and medical services from a doctor or other health care provider. Expenses covered include hospital treatment and services, doctor visits, medications, medical supplies, lab tests, orthopedic and prosthetic treatments, and any other devices and services related to your injury.
Payment for Lost Wages
Wage-loss compensation is available if it is determined that you are unable to work and totally disabled or partially disabled. Employees are entitled to wage-loss benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage, up to the weekly maximum. The maximum weekly compensation rate in 2018 is $1,025 per week.
Total disability benefits apply to workers who are considered totally disabled and unable to work. After 104 weeks while on total disability status, your employer may require a medical examination to decide if you are at least 50 percent impaired based on your work injury. If you are not at least 50 percent impaired, your status can be changed to partial disability. This determination is in accordance with the American Medical Association (AMA) standards for permanent impairment.
Partial disability benefits on the other hand apply to workers who are able to return to work but are earning less post-injury. You may be able to obtain benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks. You may also be able to file a petition for total disability status if you obtain an impairment rating by a qualified physician that is equal or greater than 50 percent impaired based on your work injury.
Specific Loss Benefits
If you permanently lose the use of limbs or digits, you may qualify for this benefit, which relates to the injury of your hands, fingers, arms, legs, toes and feet. Employees are also entitled to special loss benefits for severe and permanent disfigurement on your head, face or neck.
Death benefits for work-related deaths are paid to your dependent survivors. This includes any surviving spouse, children, parents or siblings. Adult children who are under the age of 23, full-time students or disabled, may also qualify to receive these benefits.
Our York workers’ compensation attorneys can help you determine if you may be entitled to benefits and how much you could receive. We have a detailed understanding of these different types of workers’ compensation benefits and the eligibility requirements for these benefits.
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Why Documentation Helps Build a Valid Case
One of the ways to prove that you have a valid workers’ compensation case is by gathering as much evidence as possible after developing a work-related injury or illness. If you have more documentation, it may be easier to build a strong case.
Evidence you should gather includes:
- Detailed notes about your injury and the accident and any eyewitness statements
- Pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident
- Copies of any accident reports that were filed
- All medical records and receipts of your injuries
A skilled workers’ compensation attorney in York can help you gather the evidence you need to have a chance of obtaining the fair compensation you deserve.
Our team is here for you. Call (717) 888-8888 right now.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in York, PA
If you suffer a work-related injury or illness that is covered by the workers' compensation system, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. The first step to obtaining benefits is to immediately inform your employer of your injuries and seek medical attention.
You are able to choose your own health care provider to evaluate and treat your injuries unless your employer accepts your claim, which means seeing a health care provider from a list approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company. You must visit a provider on the list for initial treatment and continue that treatment for a period of 90 days after the first visit.
If at any point during the 90-day period you visit a different provider not on the approved list, your employer or their insurance company may refuse to pay for your treatment. Once the 90 days have passed, you may be able to choose your own provider to seek treatment with.
If you do not inform your employer of your injuries within 120 days, you lose the right to file a claim. Once you file a claim, it must be approved or denied by your employer within 21 days.
What If My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
The employer may decide to either accept or deny the claim entirely. There are also cases where the insurance company does not offer you all the compensation you feel you deserve.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied or you have a problem with the amount of benefits you are awarded, you have the right to appeal the decision and pursue what you feel you deserve. You must file a claim petition with the Workers' Compensation Office of Adjudication. You can file a petition online or print out and mail in the paper forms.
You have three years from the date of your injury to file a claim petition or you will lose the right to do so. If you were already receiving benefits, you must file a claim for petition within three years of the last payment received from the insurance company.
Once you have filed a claim petition, it is normally assigned to a workers’ compensation judge who then schedules a workers’ compensation hearing for all parties involved. Once one or more hearings are held based on the amount of evidence presented and eyewitness testimony, the workers’ compensation judge will make a decision on the case.
If the rendering is unsatisfactory, any decision from a workers’ compensation judge can be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board and then to Commonwealth Court. An appeal made to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board must be submitted within 20 days after the judge’s decision. An appeal with the Commonwealth Court must be submitted within 30 days after the appeal board’s decision.
If your claim was denied or you were not awarded the benefits you deserve, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Our York workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to pursuing all the compensation you deserve. We can manage every step of the appeals process, fighting for your best interests.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Types of Workplace Accidents
There are a variety of workplace accidents that give rise to workers' compensation claims, such as:
- Car accidents – Auto accidents can occur when driving and traveling for work-related purposes. These may be covered by the workers' compensation system.
- Falling object incidents – These are accidents where objects fall from above or are dropped and hit workers or pin them to the ground or the wall. Head injuries are the most common result from falling object accidents.
- Machinery accidents – These are accidents involving workers getting caught between two machines, struck, pushed against, or compressed. This can result in life-changing injuries.
- Slip and falls – These are accidents caused by falls on wet, slippery floors or tripping on something lying on the floor. Slip and falls can also occur as a result of waxed or polished stairs, lack of handrails, or uneven flooring. Some workers fall off catwalks or scaffolding while working, due to defective or broken equipment.
- Violent attacks – This includes fights or violent attacks by coworkers. These are often caused by workplace arguments.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer in York who understands your rights and legal options to obtain adequate compensation. We offer a free legal consultation to help determine if you have a valid case.
Injuries that Qualify for Workers’ Compensation
According to Section 301(c)(1) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, a work injury is defined as an injury, medical condition or disease related to your employment and that occurred during the course of employment. Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system also covers pre-existing conditions that were aggravated by your job.
The range of accidental work injuries covered can include:
- Strains and sprains
- Head and neck injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Lung infections
- Severed fingers
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Loss of vision
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Brain injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Bruised ribs
Some of these injuries are caused by overexertion, which means repetitive activities over a period of time that cause damage that accumulates until the workers has a severe injury. Overexertion injuries can be caused by excessive heavy lifting or repetitive motions such as pulling, holding, pushing, carrying, or throwing something at work. These injuries are common in physically demanding work.
Injuries not covered under the law include intentional self-inflicted injuries, injuries caused by use of alcohol or illegal drugs, and any injuries unrelated to your workplace or employer. For example, car accidents that occur traveling to and from work while on break or while under the influence are more than likely not covered under workers’ compensation.
On the other hand, if you develop carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive wrist motions while performing your job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact a York Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When you suffer a work-related injury or illness, it is important to consider seeking legal representation. An experienced attorney can help you manage every step of the workers’ compensation process by determining if you have a valid case, helping you file a claim within the time limits, and pursuing the necessary compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a skilled York workers’ compensation lawyer to learn about your legal rights. There are no upfront fees or costs unless we help you receive favorable compensation.