Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Erie, PA
Workers’ Comp Attorneys Represent Workplace Accident Victims in Erie County, Crawford County, and Across Western Pennsylvania
If you suffered an injury while working, you have the right to compensation through the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation system. This benefit applies to almost all employees in PA. Moreover, it does not matter who caused your injury. An accident-causing injury in the workplace could even be your fault and you could still receive benefits. Although the law’s intent is clear, employers and their insurance companies do not always implement the law to help injured workers. Rather, they can delay payment or claim that an injury was not job related. When that happens, injured workers need help to obtain the workers’ comp benefits they deserve.
That is where we come in. Our Erie law firm, Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., helps injured employees in PA obtain full and fair workers’ compensation benefits. Our attorneys have many years of experience obtaining compensation for people injured in all types of accidents, and we use our knowledge of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation system to help workers who were injured on the job.
What Injured Erie Workers Can Expect from Workers’ Compensation
Pennsylvania workers’ comp includes the following benefits for injured employees:
- Wage loss benefits that are usually two-thirds of a worker’s weekly wages, although higher-paid workers may receive less than that percentage.
- Medical treatment, pharmacy bills, physical therapy, and hospital charges.
- Payment for disfigurement and amputation, such as scars and loss of limbs.
- Medical supplies and devices.
The families of workers who died because of a work injury in Pennsylvania can also receive death benefits that include payment for funeral and burial expenses, as well as a weekly payment. The amount of this payment varies according to the amount the deceased worker earned and the beneficiary’s relationship to the deceased.
Common Causes of Work-Related Injuries in Pennsylvania
Although there are many injuries and illnesses eligible for workers’ compensation in PA, some are more common than others. This includes injuries caused by:
- Slip and falls
- Bodily reaction
- Struck by object
- Struck against or between an object
- Highway accident
- Machinery accidents
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Workplace assaults
- Car accidents
These incidents cause broken bones, head injuries, allergic reactions, spinal cord injuries, muscle and ligament pain, organ damage, blindness, hearing loss, and many other injuries or illnesses. They may also worsen earlier injuries and conditions.
Our attorneys advocate for workers’ compensation benefits for all classification of employees, including the most frequently injured workers in PA. Frequently injured workers include police and security officers, nursing aides and orderlies, janitors and cleaners, and semi-truck drivers. These jobs have significant physical requirements and expose employees to a variety of risks.
How Our Erie Attorneys Help with Workers’ Compensation Claims
We help injured employees in Pennsylvania file workers’ compensation claims for benefits and appeals when Social Security denies or underpays a claim. We attend hearings where we present the evidence the judge needs to make a determination in your case. We answer your questions about the workers’ compensation process. Pennsylvania law limits attorney’s fees to 20 percent of any settlement you receive, and the money comes from your retroactive benefits. These are benefits due you from the time you became disabled to the time the benefit was awarded. This means you have no out-of-pocket costs. Furthermore, if our law firm is not able to help you obtain workers’ comp benefits, you owe us nothing.
We also handle third-party work injury claims. These are personal injury claims against someone who caused you injury through negligence—someone who is not your employer. An example of such a claim is an employee who drives a vehicle for an employer. If that employee suffers injury in a car or truck accident caused by another person’s negligence, our attorneys can potentially file a personal injury claim against the other driver, in addition to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Law Firm for Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in Erie, PA
For more information, contact the experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. in Erie, PA. Call or use our online contact form. Let us answer your questions about workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania and help you get the workers’ comp benefits you need after an on-the-job injury.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation Claims in Erie, PA
When you get injured at work, recovering the compensation you deserve is complicated by the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. The point of workers’ compensation is to make the process of getting compensation more certain for injured workers. In reality, many workers find the system confusing even at the initial filing stage.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our injury lawyers have been helping injured workers get fair compensation for over two decades. We can help you understand your eligibility for benefits and whether you might be entitled to additional compensation beyond what workers’ compensation provides. Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation in Erie, PA.
Workers’ compensation is available for all types of injuries and illnesses sustained while you are on the job. This includes injuries caused by actions such as falling from a ladder, being crushed by machinery or even being involved in a car accident while on the job. Injuries and illnesses that you sustain over time are also covered—such as repetitive stress injuries or respiratory illnesses caused by conditions at work. Even if you have aggravated an injury that you already had at work, you might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
Yes, certain rare injuries are not covered. If the injury is self-inflicted or if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when injured, workers’ compensation will not provide compensation. In some cases, if you were physically attacked for personal reasons or the injury was the result of an illegal act, workers’ compensation does not apply. If you were not yet at work—meaning if you were injured while commuting to or from work—you will have to go outside of the workers’ compensation system to get compensation.
You can still receive workers’ compensation benefits if the accident was your fault, as long as the injury was not self-inflicted.
Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania may provide:
– Medical benefits
– Lost wages, in the form of either permanent or partial disability benefits,
– Benefits relating to a specific loss of a body part,
– Benefits for scarring,
– Hearing loss benefits,
– Death benefits.
You become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after a doctor has placed you on medical leave for at least 7 days. However, if you are unable to work and receiving treatment for at least 14 days, you will receive payment retroactively for the first 7 days of missed work.
While you should let your employer know that you were injured immediately, you technically have 120 days to notify your employer (otherwise, your claim can be denied). If your claim is denied, you have three years from the date you were injured to file a formal claim petition to challenge the denial.
Benefits are paid periodically, by the week, but you should receive the initial check about 21 days after first notifying your employer about your injury.
Many workers’ compensation forms look alike. Because of this, it is very important that you read any document before signing it to make sure you do not limit your rights. Forms titled “Authorization for Medical Records” and “Employee Verification Form” should be signed. However, forms with language such as “Final Receipt” or “Supplemental Agreement” may contain language that can limit your right to benefits. You should first have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer review these documents and explain them before signing.
There are a variety of reasons why a workers’ compensation claim may be denied—some as simple as failure to properly complete the required paperwork. You should contact our lawyers so that we can investigate to determine why your claim was denied. Employers and the workers’ compensation board might challenge benefit eligibility on the basis that you may not have been injured at work, for example. We can help you determine how to proceed.
Our lawyers can help protect your rights. Once you have learned that your benefits will be terminated, we can schedule a hearing to advocate for your right to continued benefits.
The workers’ compensation carrier is entitled to require that you submit to an independent medical exam (IME) every six months. The carrier can choose the doctor, as well as the date and time, of the IME and must also pay for the exam.
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation does not allow you to sue your employer for on-the-job injuries. However, if someone other than your employer caused your injury, you might be able to file a third-party claim. A third-party claim is a lawsuit against a third party—such as a property owner, manufacturer of a defective product—for compensation above and beyond what workers’ compensation covers.
No. However, if your employer fires you after you are injured on the job, the employer will likely say that you have been fired for another reason. You should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately if you have been fired after a workplace injury.
Nearly all Pennsylvania employers must maintain workers’ compensation coverage for all of their employees (although independent contractors are not covered). Coverage should also be available for part-time workers.
Please check out our Workers’ Compensation FAQ page for more information.
Schedule a Free Initial Case Review with Our Skilled Erie, PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been injured on the job, it is common to have a number of questions about your rights. Our dedicated Erie, PA workers’ compensation lawyers are here to answer those questions and work to protect your rights. To schedule your free initial case evaluation, call or contact us online today.