What Will Workers’ Compensation Cover?
If the work you do, or the environment you are working in, causes an injury or illness you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
What Are The Benefits Provided?
There are several types of benefits that workers may be entitled to:
If the injuries that you sustain prevent you from returning to work lost-earning benefits may be available to you. However, these benefits are a fraction of the wages you would have received. This applies even if you are able to partially return to work.
Examinations, medications, hospital treatments, surgeries, and even orthopedic appliances are covered under workers’ compensation. There may be some instances, however, where the insurance company requires you to obtain pre-approval before having a procedure performed. In some cases you may also be forced to see a doctor other than your preferred primary physician.
Specific Loss Benefits
These benefits are typically made available to workers who have lost the use of a digit, arm, leg, hearing, or vision – injuries common in several dangerous industries.
Anyone who was dependent on the employee who lost their life due to an accident or illness may be able to obtain compensation intended to help them financially recover from the contributions the deceased would have made during their lifetime.
How Long Do I Have To Report My Injury?
In Pennsylvania, workers must report their injury to a supervisor within 120 days of being hurt. If you fail to do so, it may result in your claim being denied. Be sure to give written notice and keep a copy of that notice for your own records.
What Should I Do If My Claim Was Denied?
Many of our clients come to us after their workers’ compensation claim has been died. They typically shocked – we are not. Nearly 50% of all workers’ compensation claims are denied each year. This can take an emotional, physical, and mental toll on anyone. But you have options.
Contact an workers’ comp lawyer as quickly as possible. Be sure to choose a firm, like Bulldog Lawyers, who is familiar with this type of law and who understands the claims processes as well as the intricacies of the law. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Common Work Hazards We Track
When accidents happen, the Bulldog Lawyers are dedicated to helping get injured workers in Pennsylvania the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. To do so, we keep an eye on the ways people get hurt on the job. We have found that the most frequent and severe injuries fall into categories that include:
- Animal bites, stings, and attacks
- Bone, muscle, and joint injuries
- Burns and electrical injuries
- Carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome
- Fatal accidents
- Head, brain, and spinal cord injuries
- Hearing loss
- Heavy equipment injuries
- Lifting injuries
- Limb and digit loss
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Occupational diseases and illnesses
- Repetitive trauma injuries
Work Hazard Statistics
After more than three decades of labor activism in favor of stronger safety regulations in the workplace, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1970. Nearly half a century later, OSHA’s leadership has been helpful in cementing an alliance between employees and bosses to strengthen job safety.
Although the number of incidents varies from year to year, there has been a steady trend downward in job-related injuries, occupational illness, and fatal workplace accidents.
A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that about three million “nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2011, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.5 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers.” Early data indicates that there were about 4,609 fatal work injuries in the same year. There were 186 fatal occupational injuries in Pennsylvania in 2011, and Pennsylvania’s incidence rate for nonfatal injuries (4.1 for every 100 workers) far exceeds the national average.
The Bulldog Lawyers think America can do better. A renewed dedication to reducing hazards on the job is a moral imperative for business owners and workers alike. We are doing our part by constantly monitoring injury patterns in some of Pennsylvania’s most dangerous occupations.
Resources You Can Use
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry
Below are resources which you will find helpful in learning about the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act.
Bureau of Worker’s Compensation
1171 S. Cameron Street, Room 324
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2501
Bureau Contact Information
Claims Information Helpline
Toll free inside PA: 800-482-2383
Local calls and calls from outside PA: 717-772-4447
State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF):
100 Lackawanna Ave.
Scranton, PA 18503-1938
Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board:
Capitol Associates Building, 3rd Floor South
901 N. 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1412
Insurance Department (for a list of workers’ compensation insurers)
The Nitty Gritty …
The full text of Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act is available online and can be downloaded in PDF format.[raw]
Latest Workers’ Compensation News
By Lawrence “Larry” Levin
Below you will find information about recent workers’ compensation cases and various work hazards that resulted in worker injuries.
March 2, 2017- Burned Worker’s Case Sent Back To Workers’ Compensation Board
A burned worker’s compensation case has been sent back to the workers’ compensation appeal board. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania discovered that the Workers’ Compensation judge did not correctly address the concerns of the claimant. The claimant was an employee of Ametek Inc. who sustained second and third-degree burns when a container of metal powders exploded and caused a flash fire. When the accident occurred the claimant was wearing flame-resistant coveralls made by Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel. The coveralls he was wearing did not protect him from the flames in the explosion. Read more about the disability compensation that followed suit here.
February 17, 2017- Electrician Tragically Dies In Suffocation Accident
A 47-year-old Chicago man recently died while installing a sign on a bell tower at a shopping center. The electrician died of suffocation when he was pinned by a lifting device as he installed the sign. His workplace accident death is under investigation by local authorities and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. For more information about this tragic accident click here.
January 4, 2017- Men More Likely To Experience Hearing Loss Due To Their Work
Studies from the Better Hearing Institute have shown that men are more than twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss than women. The main contributing factor to this hearing loss is the type of work men are exposed to. Men tend to work in jobs that are noisier such as construction and factory jobs, in addition to using heavy machinery and other noisy equipment. By law, employers are required to provide hearing protection for employees in work environments where the decibel levels are over 85 and employees should always take precautions when working around excessive noise.
December 7, 2016- BLS Releases Data Of Drop In Lost Work Time And Injury Severity
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data that showed a decreased number of the overall rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses that require days away from work. Included were the number of median days needed to recover. According to the report the number of days away from work that are considered a key measure of the severity of injuries and illnesses by the BLS dropped to eight in 2015 from nine in 2014.
November 25, 2016- Construction Worker Dies From Injuries In Gruesome Accident
A construction worker recently died from injuries he sustained in a horrific accident in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Fire officials stated that the accident took place when crews were installing a water line for a new home. The 28-year-old victim was injured while using a power saw to cut the pipe he was working on when the saw he was using kicked back and hit him in the throat. He was taken to a hospital in Plymouth where he later died from his injuries.
October 20, 2016- Paving Worker Severely Injured On Jobsite
A Lakeside Industries worker was seriously injured after the driver of a passenger car hit the back of a piece of paving equipment and left him pinned in the middle. The paver was reported to be in stable condition at Oregon Health Sciences University, where he was taken by LifeFlight helicopter. It was not known what caused the driver to strike the paver, he himself was injured and transported by ambulance to St. John Medical Center. This accident was reported to be Lakeside Industries’ first lost-time injury in almost a decade. The incident is under investigation.
September 8, 2016- Hearing Loss Is America’s Most Common Workplace Injury
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently confirmed that hearing loss is the most common work-related injury. There are nearly 22 million workers who are exposed to dangerous levels of occupational noise every year. Those most likely to suffer from hearing loss are workers in the mining sector, followed by those in the construction and manufacturing industries. According to the Department of Labor, there is an estimated $242 million that is spent on worker’s compensation annually for hearing loss disability.
August 17, 2016- Worker Injured In Crude Oil Explosion
In Southeast Texas, a worker was injured following an explosion at a crude oil terminal. The man is a welder for L-Con Inc. and is still in the hospital with injuries he sustained when the explosion took place. The crude oil terminal he was working at is owned by Sunoco and he is filing a lawsuit against Sunoco and Carber, stating that the two companies caused the explosion. Sunoco is also being blamed for stating that the line the welder worked on was clean, clear and ready for work. The crude oil in the line ignited and caused a flash fire.
July 26, 2016- Cinderblock Fall Injures Construction Worker
A construction worker was recently critically injured after a cinderblock fell on his head at a work site. According to police, the 44-year-old Brooklyn construction worker was taken to Brookdale University Hospital with serious trauma. The cinderblock reportedly fell nearly 5 feet before it struck him.
June 17, 2016- Black Boxes Proposed For Use On Cranes In New York City
Following the construction crane collapse on a Manhattan Street four months ago due to high winds, a city panel has proposed that cranes be fitted with black boxlike devices that electronically capture crane activity. The crane collapse that led to this proposal left a pedestrian killed and injured three other people. Devices like this would most likely lower the chance of injuries occurring on construction worksites.
May 25, 2016- Ohio Workers’ Compensation Advocates For Reduced Opioid Use In Injured Workers
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is making strides in its proposal to reduce opioid usage in injured workers. The Bureau is proposing guidelines that address the manner in which doctors treat patients who are in pain, including those who end up being reliant on the drugs. This new prescribing rule would set a standard for opioid usage when treating workplace injuries and illnesses within the state administrative code.
April 12, 2016- Government Workers Reportedly Face Serious Workplace Hazards
A recent OSHA report in mid-March has stated that government workers are facing some of the most serious workplace hazards. Of those workers, highway and utility construction and the postal service workers experienced severe injuries while on the job. The report further stated that just over 10,000 severe injuries were reported in the first year, with nearly three-quarters of those injuries resulting in hospitalizations.
March 4, 2016- PA Workers’ Compensation Rates To Drop
Governor Wolf’s office has announced that Pennsylvania businesses are going to see a further decrease in workers’ compensation insurance rates. The benefit levels for injured workers will be maintained. The announced rate of workers’ compensation insurance is going to be a drop of 0.90 percent. This drop will take effect as of April 1st.
February 24, 2016- Supreme Judicial Court Rules To Protect Damages For Injured Workers
Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled to protect damages for injured workers. What this means is that employees injured on the job have the right to keep the money they have been awarded for pain and suffering. This is regardless of any workers’ compensation they get. This high court decision also prevents insurers from taking damages that have been awarded for physical and emotional distress.