You work in construction and suffer a fall that results in a brain injury. Your recovery will take months. Who will pay your bills and take care of your family? What if you are unable to go back to work?
Workplace injuries can devastate a person’s livelihood and cause debilitating stress. Luckily, all workers are entitled to benefits if injured at work, or if an illness develops because of their job. In a perfect world, employers and insurance companies would automatically process claims and provide injured workers with reasonable compensation. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect world and workers often need assistance negotiating their workers’ compensation benefits.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides benefits to workers when they become injured or sick as a result of their job. All Pennsylvania employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance from a private insurer or the State Workers’ Insurance Fund.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act outlines state workers’ compensation laws. Workers are entitled to compensation if a job-related injury or illness occurs. The compensation will cover medical expenses and compensation for wages lost due to an injury or illness that prevents a return to work. The state of Pennsylvania calculates compensation benefits using a worker’s weekly wages. Most will receive about two-thirds of weekly gross wages, up to the maximum amount which changes yearly. In 2022, the maximum weekly compensation rate is $1,205. It is important to note that workers’ compensation benefits do not depend on who is at fault for a work-related injury. If a worker suffers injury due to their own mistake, they are still eligible for benefits. Generally, a worker may not seek legal action outside of the workers’ compensation system for additional benefits because of these no-fault rules. However, it is essential for injured workers to speak with an experienced York workers’ compensation law firm like KBG Injury Law, so they receive fair and reasonable compensation for their losses, and injuries.
It is also important to note that the Act outlines the conditions by which employers and their insurers are responsible for death benefits paid to a worker’s surviving dependents if a work injury proves fatal.
Workers’ comp, as it is often called, is not related to nor does it work in conjunction with disability or unemployment insurance. Those are separate government programs. Your attorney can explain the differences in a consultation.
When should I call a Lancaster, PA workers’ compensation lawyer?
It is always wise to seek the counsel of a workers’ compensation lawyer if you have been injured on the job. In our imperfect world, employers and insurance companies will try to find ways to avoid paying your benefits or limit your compensation. If your employer or the insurance company questions your illness, your injury, or your inability to work, an experienced workers’ comp lawyer can be invaluable.
If your employer treats you differently after your injury or tells you not to report the injury, you must speak with a lawyer to protect your rights. If you are scheduled for an Independent Medical Examination (IME) or an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) or if a Nurse Care Manager (NCM) is assigned to join you at doctors’ appointments, you should seek counsel from a workers’ comp attorney right away. And, of course, if the insurance company denies your claim, you must contact a workers’ compensation lawyer so you can secure the benefits that are rightly yours.
How do I find a good workers’ compensation lawyer in Lancaster, PA?
Most people find their lawyers by “word of mouth.” Friends, co-workers, and relatives may be able to suggest a reputable lawyer they know. If someone close to you won their workers’ compensation suit with a particular lawyer, it might be wise to schedule a consultation with that lawyer. Here in Lancaster, KBG Injury Law clients have been satisfied with their legal results, describing the firm’s attorneys as “kind,” “compassionate,” and “diligent.” Here are some testimonials.
Lawyers also advertise online, on television, on billboards, and even on park benches. Always look for a reputable attorney with specific workers’ comp experience to manage your workers’ compensation claim. There are numerous lawyer referral services you can use as well, but you might be better off looking at the Pennsylvania Bar website to ensure your choice is licensed. You can also use the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s free website to look for disciplinary actions against attorneys, to ensure that your lawyer is in good standing
What should I look for in a Lancaster, PA workers’ compensation lawyer?
The American Bar Association lists some tips for helping people find the perfect lawyer for specific circumstances. When searching for an attorney, you will want one that provides:
- Comfort and confidence
- Feeling a sense of comfort and confidence in the lawyer you work with is essential. Especially when you are recovering from an injury and are out of work, a compassionate, diligent lawyer can help ease the stress and fear you might have about the future. Knowing the lawyer you hired is able to effectively represent your best interests will take some worry away.
- Most law firms offer free consultations allowing you to meet with a potential lawyer or team and discuss your specific workers’ compensation case prior to hiring anyone.
- It may be beneficial to schedule a couple of interviews with lawyers, until you meet the lawyer that makes you feel comfortable and safe.
- Ask lots of questions so you can get to know your potential lawyer and their legal team.
- Expertise and experience
- Do your research and ask questions about previous cases like yours.
- You will want a firm that handles workers’ compensation cases and has had numerous successes with cases like yours.
- A local and convenient office location
If you have been injured in a work-related accident or are trying to resolve an ongoing workers’ compensation claim in Lancaster, the experienced and compassionate attorneys at KBG Injury Law can help. Our attorneys have the expertise and experience to defend your interests while taking some of the stress of your ordeal away from you. Call KBG Injury Law at 717-848-3838, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We have additional local offices in York, Hanover, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.