I Was Hurt at Work, Now What?

Jeffrey S. Gross

It is important to know that any injury you experience at work could be compensated under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act. The injuries may range from overexertion to amputation to psychological or emotional injuries. In worst scenarios, work-related accidents can even result in death, leading families to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased loved one.

A workers’ comp claim can be an uphill battle. In order to receive benefits, employees are not only dealing with their employer, but also insurance companies, and occasionally designated doctors. It is important to understand your rights, and often, the simplest way to understand the process and get results is to consult with a Pennsylvania workers compensation attorney.

Injuries covered in a workers’ comp claim?

According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry, you are entitled to workers’ compensation if, by no fault of your own, your work causes an injury, illness, disease, or death. These injuries are too numerous to mention, but here are a few common examples:

  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Cuts, lacerations, disfigurement, and amputations
  • Strains, sprains, fractures, and broken bones
  • Burn injuries and scars
  • Headaches and head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis paraplegia, and quadriplegia
  • Occupational diseases caused by exposure to toxic substances
  • Nerve, muscle, joint, and tendon injuries
  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Overexertion and heat stress injuries
  • Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
  • Shoulder and rotator cuff injuries
  • Degloving injuries
  • Mental stress, emotional distress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Fatal injuries

Injuries not covered in workers’ comp cases?

The goal of workers’ compensation benefits is to take care of an employee financially as they go through the difficult process of healing from an injury suffered at work. There are several factors to keep in mind when reporting a claim because these factors may lead to your case being denied. You may not be eligible if:

  • The injury happened under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • The injury was self-inflicted or if an employee started an altercation and was injured during the fight
  • The injury occurred on work grounds, but the employee was not “on the clock”
  • The injury followed a worker violating a company policy or procedure

When should I contact a lawyer?

Worker’s compensation claims and litigation can be very complex. Someone not acquainted with the law can find it hard to find compensation for lost wages, medical care, specific loss benefits, and even death benefits. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can walk you through the process of:

  • Reporting your injury
  • Denial of workers’ compensation coverage
  • Filing an appeal
  • Attending an appeal hearing
  • Having not received proper medical care

In most cases, employers and insurance carriers will be represented by an experienced attorney. You should also be represented by someone who specializes in work injuries. Philadelphia’s Gross & Kenny LLP has more than 20 years of experience in workers’ comp claims. If you are struggling through a workers’ comp case and need a hand, contact us at 215-512-1500 or visit our website.

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