Workplace Injury Lawyer Philadelphia
Injuries happen all the time in the workplace, from minor accidents to major incidents. In Pennsylvania alone, over 37,000 injuries were reported in 2016. (See http://www.dli.pa.gov/Individuals/Workers-Compensation/publications/Documents/2016%20WC%20Annual%20Report.pdf) Regardless of the nature of the injury, the most important thing to do is the one thing many people, especially men, fail to do – report it to your employer.
Workplace Injuries are generally covered under a series of laws existing in every state called Workers’ Compensation. This law was designed to protect workers when they are hurt on the job, and to provide payment of medical expenses and even lost wages. However, without fail, every law requires the prompt notification of the employer that the accident/injury occurred. This may involve filling out some forms generated by the employer. This notice is vital, and ensures that 1) the employer knows that an injury occurred, and 2) prevents the unscrupulous person from getting injured elsewhere, then coming to work and claiming it happened at work.
If you miss a full-day of work, the employer then notifies the State, which generally administers benefits through the state Workers’ Compensation Commission, though those benefits are commonly administered by a third-party company hired by the state.
Why is this important to know?
Because injuries that occur at work can have life-long repercussions. For example, a person who loses their finger in a machine of some kind is now disabled, and permanently disfigured. It is possible that this person may need medical treatment for the remainder of their life! However, properly filing a Workers’ Comp. claim can ensure that such medical treatment is covered, no matter how long after the accident the treatment is.
Does an injury mean I am drastically hurt or bleeding?
No – the definition of injury relating to Workers’ Comp is far broader than most people realize. Many of us know someone who, was a receptionist, secretary, or other office-worker is always at a computer, typing. And that person complains of pain in their wrists and/or fingers. Such a problem could be work related, if the performance of one’s duties in the regular course of employment caused it. This person with the pain in the wrist may be able to make a claim. Just because the injury is not a gushing wound or immediately recognizable does not mean it doesn’t count.
Other conditions covered under Worker’s Comp may be back problems, trouble breathing, asthma, carpal tunnel, and such.
Philadelphia Workplace Injury Lawyer
It is very important to remember that in order for you to consider a Workers’ Comp claim, the injury must have reasonably arisen during the normal course of employment. A receptionist whose job it is to type, answer phones, and check the mail may have a legitimate claim for carpel tunnel for their wrists, but may not if they’re hit by a car while directing traffic in the parking lot. Employers will fight a claim if they believe the person was injured when working outside of their normal job duties.
Workplace injuries are common, but the process to filing for and receiving any sort of compensation are far from easy. To ensure that you file what needs to be filed, when and where it needs to be filed, contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney. You always have the option of filing on your own, but the employer is going to have an experienced attorney – why shouldn’t you?
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.