Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Any injury can be scary, but one that occurs on the job—and interferes with your ability to do your job—can be truly frightening. Even a minor accident can cause serious injuries that wreak physical, emotional, and financial stress.
Workplace accidents are not rare, and in Pennsylvania all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for regular, non-contract employees. If you have a workers’ compensation issue, it is imperative to consult a workers’ compensation attorney in Pennsylvania as soon as possible.
Common workplace accidents and injuries include:
- Construction accidents
- Forklift injuries
- Commercial trucking accidents
- Lifting injuries
- Injuries from conveyors and manufacturing product defects
- Safety or OSHA violations
- Chemical burns
- Repetitive injuries (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome)
What You Need to Know
Pennsylvania law mandates companies to provide workers’ compensation coverage for employees injured on the job. If you are involved in a workplace accident that leaves you injured or ill, you have 120 days to notify your manager or supervisor. Your employer may have a list of physicians posted; you may be required to see one of these doctors for the first 90 days following your injury or illness. If you choose to see your own doctor instead of a healthcare provider on the approved list, your employer may not be responsible for any medical expenses incurred during the first 90 days of your injury or illness. You can see your own physician immediately.
In Pennsylvania, if a doctor places you on medical leave from work for more than seven days, you can file a “loss of wages” claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You have three years from the date of your injury to file a PA workers’ compensation claim. An experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure your claim is processed appropriately and that you are receiving the benefits you deserve.
For more information see our Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions page
Workers’ Compensation FAQs
What Is a Work Injury?
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, a work injury is an injury that arises out of and is related to a person’s job. It includes occupational diseases, illnesses, and pre-existing conditions to the extent that they were aggravated by a person’s job. A range of injuries and illnesses may qualify as a work injury under the Act, including carpal tunnel syndrome, a broken bone from a slip and fall, or even a herniated disc that was made worse by an employee’s work duties. The key factor is that the injury or illness occurred during the course and scope of a person’s job. For this reason, an injury suffered in a car accident during an employee’s regular commute would not be considered a work injury. However, if an employee was in a crash while making deliveries for their employer, that would be a work injury.
How and When Should I Provide Notice to My Employer about a Work Injury?
Under Pennsylvania law, workplace injuries and illnesses must be reported to your employer as soon as possible after an accident or a diagnosis. In order to qualify for retroactive benefits (going back to the date of the injury), you must inform your supervisor or employer of the accident or diagnosis within 21 days after it occurs, or by no later than 120 days. If you give notice more than 120 days after a work injury, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits, unless your employer already knew about the injury. Either you or a loved one can make this report verbally, giving as many details as you can about the circumstances of the injury or illness.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury?
In almost all cases, you cannot sue your employer for a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation is considered an exclusive remedy. In exchange for receiving benefits without having to prove that your employer did something wrong, you give up your right to sue your employer. Exceptions to this rule include situations where an employer intentionally hurts an employee, if the employer fails to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, and when an employer is acting in a dual capacity (such as by offering medical treatment for employees, and a worker is injured by this treatment). Even if you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer, you may still be able to file a lawsuit against a third party that caused your work injury, such as the manufacturer of a machine part that malfunctioned and injured you.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Pennsylvania?
Most employees in Pennsylvania are at-will, which means that they can be fired for any reason — as long as that reason isn’t illegal. If your employer fires you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination. Because the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is the exclusive remedy for employees who suffer an on-the-job injury, firing someone for exercising their right to obtain benefits is a violation of public policy. While it is possible that your employer may retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, if they do so, you can sue a lawsuit against them.
Put a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Lawyer on Your Side
Time is of the essence in all legal matters. Hiring a skilled car accident or workers’ compensation lawyer in Pennsylvania as early as possible increases their ability to protect your rights and maximize the value of your case. The experienced team at Solnick & Associates, LLC can help. Contact us today for a free initial consultation. We look forward to discussing your case.