Wilkes Barre Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Generally speaking, all employers in Pennsylvania with even just one staff member must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides protection to workers that are hurt on the job and can provide compensation for medical expenses and lost income. Too many employees think that after they’ve been hurt, it will be easy to obtain workers’ compensation for their injuries. Sadly, that’s not always the case.
Often workers’ compensation claims are denied and in some cases, injured workers have to take another route, such as filing a personal injury claim. For these reasons, if you’ve been hurt it’s always wise to speak to a Wilkes Barre workers’ compensation lawyer that can advise you of your legal options.
How Workers’ Compensation Works in Pennsylvania
Like all other states in the country, workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is a no-fault system. That means that you are eligible for workers’ compensation if you’ve sustained an injury in the workplace, even if you were partly at fault for the accident. As long as you were injured while performing duties within the scope of your employment, you can claim workers’ compensation.
To claim coverage, you must report the injury to your employer within 120 days, although you should report the accident and resulting injury much sooner than that. After you have reported the accident, your employer will then forward your claim to the insurance company. Ideally, the insurance company will approve your claim and you will start receiving benefits right away. Unfortunately, many workers’ compensation claims are denied every year.
What to Do if Your Claim is Denied
Too many injured workers give up on their claim after hearing that it was denied. However, there are many levels of appeal workers can go through to get the benefits they deserve. The first step of appeal is filing with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. You must do this within 20 days of being denied.
If the Board does not decide in your favor, there are other steps you can take. Even when stating your case in front of the Board, the insurance company will be notified and ready to defend their decision. For this reason, if you need to appeal a decision on your workers’ compensation claim, you should speak to a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney that has experience appealing these claims.
Third Party Claims
Although many workers can file a workers’ compensation claim if they are hurt on the job, not all workplace injuries are eligible for these insurance benefits. Sometimes accidents that happen on the job provide valid grounds for a personal injury claim. These cases involve a negligent third party that are not associated with your employer.
For example, if you work on a construction site and a co-worker caused an accident that resulted in your injury, this would give rise to a workers’ compensation claim. On the other hand, if you were working on that same construction site and you were injured by defective equipment, the manufacturer of that equipment is a third party. You would then file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer, not a workers’ compensation claim.
Were You Injured at Work? Our Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorneys can Help
It’s true that workers’ compensation should be available to workers that are hurt on the job. The insurance companies that provide this insurance unfortunately, don’t always like to pay out on these claims, prioritizing their profits over the rights of workers.
If you’ve suffered an injury after a workplace accident, call our Wilkes Barre workers’ compensation attorneys at O’Donnell Law Offices. We’ll advise on your claim, fight for your rights, and hold insurance companies and at-fault parties accountable for paying the compensation you deserve. If you’re hurt, call us today at 570-821-5717 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.