Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation
Useful answers from Northeastern Pennsylvania workers' comp law firm O'Malley & Langan
Many people injured at work assume they will automatically receive workers' compensation benefits. Unfortunately, that's not always true. In some cases, injured workers don't receive the money or the support they need during this difficult time. An employer, or the company's insurance carrier, might dispute a claim and deny benefits.
The experienced workers' compensation attorneys at O'Malley & Langan know the difficulties many people face after an accident. That's why we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about workers' compensation.
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We understand you want information. We're here to help. Contact a law firm committed to excellence. Call (866) 326-0100 and schedule a free case evaluation. We're here for you when you need us most - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We represent people throughout Pennsylvania. Our offices are conveniently located in Scranton, Pittston and Towanda.
You can also find more detailed information about specific questions about workers' compensation on the following pages on our website:
- What is workers' compensation?
- What is the deadline to apply for workers' comp benefits in Pennsylvania?
- What workplace injuries are covered by workers' compensation in Pennsylvania?
- Who decides if I'm eligible to receive workers' compensation in Pennsylvania?
- Can I choose my doctor if I'm hurt at work?
- Can I appeal my workers' comp claim if it is denied?
- Who rules on my denied workers' comp claim appeal in Pennsylvania?
- How much can I receive in workers' comp benefits in Pennsylvania?
- How long can I receive workers' comp benefits in Pennsylvania?
- Why should I hire a workers' compensation attorney in Pennsylvania?
By law, employers in Pennsylvania must provide workers' compensation coverage to employees in case they sustain an injury or become sick at work. Workers' compensation benefits provide financial assistance to injured workers for a variety of expenses, including:
- Medical care
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Specific loss benefits
- Death benefits
You have up to 120 days to report your workplace injury or illness, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. If you wait until after that deadline, you will likely not be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. We strongly urge injured workers to report their injury immediately. Your employer must then report your injury to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. After reporting your injury, if the employer/insurance carrier denies your claim, you have three years from the date of your injury to file a claim petition.
Most workplace injuries are covered by workers' compensation. Exceptions include injuries intentionally caused by a worker or injuries that resulted due to someone engaged in illegal activity, including working on the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. Some of the most common workplace injuries our Pennsylvania personal injury law firm handles include:
Initially, your employer will decide whether you will receive workers' compensation benefits, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. However, insurance companies and doctors who examine injured workers can dramatically influence whether or not you receive workers' compensation benefits.
In most cases, after a workplace injury, you must initially choose one of the physicians selected by your employer. However, there are strict requirements that many employers don't meet. Also, 90 days after your workplace accident, you can normally seek medical treatment with any doctor of your choice. This issue can be particularly controversial since many employers want to choose your doctor. Don't let them push you around. Contact O'Malley & Langan. We can help.
Yes. If your application for workers' comp benefits is denied, you can appeal your decision to the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Be aware, though, that appealing a denied workers' compensation claim can be extremely difficult. You will need to file a Claim Petition, which is a legal document filed with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Contact us to learn about your options. We know understand what is required to appeal a claim successfully. We know the system and know the tricks insurance companies like to play to keep money out of your pocket and in theirs.
A workers' compensation judge for the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation will decide whether to approve or deny your appeal for your denied workers' comp claim.
Workers' compensation benefits vary widely. In general, workers' comp benefits are equal to two-thirds or 66 percent of your average weekly pay. It also covers medical expenses for treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to the injury. However, the formula used to determine exactly how much money you receive if you cannot work can be very complicated.
The time limit varies depending on the severity of your injury. In most cases, your benefits cannot be stopped unless you return to work, sign an agreement suspending your benefits, or lose a case before a Workers' Compensation Judge. Every case is unique. That's why it's critical you have a lawyer you can trust on your side to help you navigate your way through the legal process.
Having an experienced Pennsylvania workers' comp lawyer on your side can make all the difference. A lawyer can be with you every step of the way, from filing a Claim Petition to negotiating a settlement. Our aggressive attorneys at O'Malley & Langan have years of experience handling all types of complicated workers' comp cases. We know what evidence to look for and we know how to get results. Put your trust in a law firm that puts your best interests first. Contact O'Malley & Langan. Call (866) 326-0100 and schedule a free case evaluation today.