Workers Comp

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Lancaster, PA

Trusted attorneys fighting for Lancaster County employees injured on the job

The people of Lancaster work in many diverse types of jobs. These include manufacturing, construction, agriculture, healthcare, professional services, trucking, police work, firefighting, trade, education, and other jobs. In the event of an accident, a worker’s ability to perform his/her duties can change in an instant. Workers may suffer falls, be struck by an object, crushed by machinery, suffer electric shocks, or get hurt in a variety of ways.

The workers who serve our communities have the right to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. Employees also have the right to workers’ compensation if they suffer an occupational illness. At KBG Injury Law, we have been fighting for injured workers for almost 40 years. All our workers’ compensation attorneys are certified as specialists by the Pennsylvania Bar Association as authorized by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. We represent workers, not employers. We contest insurance company efforts to deny your claim, to force you back to work before you are ready, and to try to limit your benefits.

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation claims come from a wider range of industries and economic sectors than many may realize. Consider the statistics from Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation 2020 Annual Report (page 38). A total of 147,918 work-related injuries and illnesses were reported in 2020 here in Pennsylvania.

Here in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act defines workers’ compensation laws. Under the Act, you are entitled to compensation if you suffer a work-related injury or illness. This compensation covers your medical expenses related to the illness or injury, as well as wage-loss compensation for as long as your injury or illness prevents you from returning to work. This Act also dictates the terms by which employers and their insurers are responsible for death benefits for those who suffer work-related fatalities.

To ensure all employers are financially capable of paying workers’ compensation benefits, employers are required to carry insurance — either from a private insurer or the State Workers’ Insurance Fund — that will, in turn, be responsible for actually paying workers’ compensation benefits.

A few key benefits of workers’ compensation include:

  • Not having to pay taxes on your benefits.
  • Receiving more benefits financially and overall than other types of disability benefits.
  • A longer window of availability compared to short/long term disability benefits or unemployment benefits.
  • The availability of partial benefits even after returning to work.
  • Coverage of all appropriate medical expenses, regardless of amount and without deductibles.

What are the most common work accidents?

Some of the more common reasons workers are hurt on the job include:

  • Overexertion and fatigue
  • Slip and falls
  • Falls to a lower level from a scaffold or other heights
  • Being struck or pinned by equipment, tools, or machines
  • Vehicle accidents

What are the most common workplace injuries?

Some of the common types of workplace injuries include:

  • Head trauma
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back, shoulder, and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Occupational illnesses, including many types of respiratory illnesses
  • Electrical shock
  • Burn injuries
  • Concussions
  • Contusions
  • Amputation of a limb or other body part
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Exposure to toxins

What is an occupational illness?

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry notes that “some diseases related to certain occupations are recognized specifically as occupational diseases.” Workers may qualify for occupational disease benefits if:

  • The employee is exposed to the disease by reason of employment.
  • The disease is particular to an industry or occupation.
  • The disease is not common in the general population.

These can include things like diseases of the heart and lung for firefighters, tuberculosis and hepatitis for medical professionals, or pneumoconiosis and silicosis for coal workers. Other diseases may be eligible if they meet certain criteria.

What do Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits include?

Employees who are hurt while working or become ill due to their work can claim the following Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits:

Medical care

As part of the Workers’ Compensation Act, not only are employers required to cover medical expenses, but they also need to advise you of your rights at the time of your injury.

Employers must pay for all the healthcare you need to improve your health and to prevent it from getting worse. If you suffer permanent injury, workers’ compensation should be required to provide proper benefits for the rest of your life.

Covered medical expenses include:

  • Emergency room care.
  • Surgeries and hospital stays.
  • Evaluations and visits with a general physician and with specialists such as orthopedists and pain management doctors.
  • Therapy with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and many other therapists.
  • Additional care may also be covered such as chiropractic care.
  • Assistive devices such as prosthetics and computer technology.
  • Prescription medication.

Employees normally start their health care by choosing from a list designated by their employer (known as a panel physician list) of six or more medical providers for your initial visits and any healthcare visits during the next 90 days. If any of those medical providers prescribe invasive surgery, you may seek a second opinion at the employer’s expense. If your employer does not provide such a list, you may visit your own health provider at your employer’s expense.

The attorneys at KBG Injury Law can contest claims by your employer that the medical treatments you are receiving are not improving your health. Know that if you seek medical care outside of Pennsylvania, some expenses may not be covered. Collaborating with an experienced attorney will ensure you do not accidentally seek treatment that is not covered.

Wage loss benefits

Generally, injured employees are entitled to two-thirds of the average weekly wage for as long as they are unable to return to work as a result of their work injury. These are called temporary total disability benefits. Those who can only work part-time or in a limited capacity after suffering an injury are also entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These are known as temporary partial disability benefits, are in the amount of two-thirds of the difference between the employees average weekly wage and their reduced earnings, and are payable for up to 500 weeks. Our Lancaster workers’ compensation lawyers work to ensure employees are receiving their correct average weekly wage. For workers who have an hourly wage or a weekly wage, temporary benefits help them pay their bills while they recover.

Permanent wage loss benefits (partial and specific loss benefits)

Specific loss benefits are paid when a work-related injury results in the loss of, or the complete loss of use of a body part. For example, an accident may result in the traumatic or surgical amputation of a finger or appendage, or damage so severe to that finger or appendage that its use is lost for all practical intents and purposes. In these cases, there are specific loss benefits designed to compensate the permanent loss of that function. Specific loss benefits also cover the loss of hearing and vision and disfigurement of the head face or neck resulting from a work injury.

Death benefits

Death benefits can be provided to a surviving spouse, as long as they lived with and were financially dependent on the deceased at the time the death occurred. Dependents under the age of eighteen can also receive benefits, and full-time students may continue receiving benefits until age twenty-three. The payments received are between 51 and 66 2/3 percent of the employee’s average wage, depending on the number of dependent children. Death benefits also include a one-time lump-sum funeral benefit.

Who is entitled to workers’ compensation in Lancaster, PA?

Nearly all employees in Pennsylvania are covered by workers’ compensation. By law, employers must provide workers’ compensation to their employees, including seasonal and part-time workers. Unincorporated businesses, non-profits, and even employers with only one additional employee are required to provide benefits.

There are some special exemptions, typically because workers have some other form of coverage. These include longshoremen, railroad workers, harbor and shipyard workers, federal civilian employees, certain agricultural workers, casual employees, certain domestic workers, and employees with a specific religious exemption. Additionally, independent contractors are, by definition, not employees so they are not covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act, and some executives within corporations opt out of workers’ compensation.

Note that if you are hurt while working, there is no need to prove fault. You can file a claim even if you caused the accident, provided you are an eligible employee. It is best to speak with an experienced Lancaster workers’ compensation lawyer to determine if you are covered.

What if I am injured when I am away from my workplace?

Some jobs require doing work offsite. If you suffer an injury while performing a job function offsite, workers’ compensation is still active. For example, if you are processing payroll and visiting the bank to make a deposit and get injured on the way, that injury is considered job-related and is therefore covered. Those who travel for business are also covered, as long as the injury occurs within the scope of doing your job.

Do I need to report my injury to my Lancaster, PA employer?

You should always inform your employer of an injury as soon as possible. Delays in reporting your injury will result in delays in coverage. Your employer will also try to use the delay to deny you coverage. By law, employers are required to report injuries and missed work to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation using what is called a first report of injury.

Here at KBG Injury Law, we take your injury as personally as you do. We understand a work-related injury is more than just a financial burden. Depending on the severity of the injury, your life may never be the same. You deserve to have someone on your side to listen to you and your needs — not just someone who will look at you as another financial transaction.

Do you have a Lancaster, PA workers’ compensation attorney near me?

KBG Injury Law is located 1776 Harrisburg Pike, right by Good Drive. We also maintain offices in four other cities and will make home visits for clients who cannot travel to us because of their injuries.

Speak with a respected Lancaster, PA workers’ compensation lawyer today

It is financially unsustainable being out of work. Employees would rather be healthy and do their job. When workplace accidents happen, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. At KBG Injury Law, our seasoned Lancaster workers’ compensation attorneys explain your rights and guide you through the claims process. To schedule a free consultation, please call 717.397.9700 or toll free at 800.509.1011, or fill out our contact form. We represent workers in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg, and throughout South Central Pennsylvania.