There are very few areas that still have manufacturing plants and factories. Hanover is one of those locations. Factory workers and manual laborers face exponential dangers that many other workers in Pennsylvania do not. An injury in the workplace can be a career-ending situation. Injured workers trust that their employer will cover all medical costs and lost wages.
While Pennsylvania law does require employers to purchase and maintain workers’ compensation insurance for all eligible employees, it does not always happen. Manual laborers are an essential part of moving the state economy forward.
Workers’ compensation benefits look great on paper, but many injured factory workers have found it challenging to tap into these benefits when they need them. This happens for various reasons, but the most common is employee misclassification. If your employer classifies you as a casual worker, you may not be covered under their workers’ compensation insurance policy. If this is your situation, you need to immediately contact a Hanover workers’ compensation attorney.
How do Hanover factory injuries happen?
As a factory worker, you are at risk of injury throughout your entire workday. Factory and manual labor workers face higher risks in the workplace, which results in severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, burns, spine and spinal cord injuries, and even loss of limb.
There are various reasons these accidents occur, but the most common are:
- Machinery and product defects
- Inadequate training
- Failing to warn employees of potential risks or dangers
- Improperly maintained machinery
Employers do not want to admit they played a role in your injury or accident; however, since workers’ compensation is a no fault law, it does not matter whether your employer was in any way at fault. Chances are that the accident was preventable. Some employers will attempt to convince injured workers that they are not injured and should resume their job duties. You cannot allow your employer to pressure you into continuing to harm yourself or discourage you from tapping into the benefits to which you are entitled.
What does Hanover workers’ compensation cover?
The most apparent benefit workers’ compensation insurance provides is paying medical expenses. Other benefits you have include:
- Lost wage benefits
- Death benefits
- Out of pocket medical expense reimbursement
To get the highest settlement and recover your damages, you will need a Hanover workers’ compensation attorney.
Workers’ compensation myths debunked
Injured workers are frightened to report their injury to their employer for many reasons. There are many myths about workers’ compensation benefits that result in unclaimed benefits, and injured victims can suffer further damages. Let’s debunk some of those myths.
- I will be fired for reporting my injury: False; you are protected from retaliation when you file a workers’ compensation claim. If you are fired for reporting your injury, you are entitled to file a separate claim for wrongful termination. You cannot legally be terminated for filing or pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.
- My employer cannot use my social media posts against me: False; anything you post online can and will be used against you during a claim. The best idea is to avoid posting on social media while your claim is open.
- There is no deadline for reporting an injury: False; a factory worker must report an injury within 21 days to receive benefits dating back to the date of injury. If you report your injury within 120 days your benefits will start as of the date you reported your injury. If you do not report your injury within 120 days, you will likely be barred from receiving any workers’ compensation benefits.
Even if you file within the allotted time and follow all proper procedures, you can still receive a claim denial from the insurance company.
Why did my benefit payments stop?
If you receive benefit payments for your workplace injury, they will end eventually. The concern is that the benefits have ended too soon or for an illegal reason. Some reasons your benefits ended include:
- You have recovered fully and/or have returned to work
- You did not follow the doctor’s treatment plan
- You did not attend an independent medical exam when ordered by a Judge to do so
- Failed to return Employee Reporting forms to the insurance carrier
- Signed a receipt of final payment
- The insurance company claims you were ineligible for benefits
To protect your rights and benefits, you need a Hanover workers’ compensation attorney on your side. We will make sure we file documents on time and that your medical needs are met.
When should I return to work after an injury at my factory job?
Factory workers and manual laborers have unique job descriptions. Your roles require the use of your entire body. You cannot and should not return to work until your doctor says you can do so. Due to the extraneous effort that manual laborers participate in daily, injuries can be more severe than in other careers. The required heavy machinery often contributes to the severity of injuries.
There are many instances where a factory worker is not physically ready to return to work, but an Independent Medical Examination has reported otherwise. Their personal doctor, on the other hand, has not cleared them. Injured workers are often torn on what to do in this situation. The best thing you can do is consult with your Hanover workers’ compensation attorney. The worst mistake you can make is to return to work prematurely, and your condition becomes aggravated or permanent.
Another scenario is returning to work on light duty. This situation requires you to participate in work that is not as physically demanding as your previous role. A caveat is that workers’ compensation insurance companies can use your return to work to reduce or stop benefits. You are entitled to partial benefits if you are on light duty and receiving less in pay than before you were injured. Do not let these benefits be taken from you. Before returning to work, whether for light-duty or otherwise, confer with your Hanover workers’ compensation attorney.
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury such as an amputation or other permanent injury, you must call a Hanover workers compensation attorney. You will need to be evaluated, fitted for a prosthetic, and have ongoing medical treatment. The losses that result from this injury are significant, and many non-workers’ compensation insurance policies will be tapped out before all damages are paid. There is legal recourse available. Contact KBG Injury Law at 717-848-3838, or submit our contact form to schedule a consultation today. We maintain additional offices in York, Lancaster, 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.