Workers who are injured or become ill as a result of their jobs in Pennsylvania may be entitled to compensation through the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. But the procedures to have a claim approved, and various obstacles involved, can be frustrating for claimants.
According to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Annual Report:
- 85,560 claims for lost time injuries or illness were filed in Pennsylvania in 2010.
- There was a 3.8 percent decrease in the number of claims filed in 2010 from 2009.
- There were 111 fatal workplace accidents or illnesses in 2010, up from 100 in 2009.
- More than half (67.5 percent) of all claims came from manufacturing, educational and health services and trade, transportation and utilities.
- 69 percent of the fatalities were from the trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, and construction and public administration industries.
Although there are clear differences among industries, the average age of claimants tends to be around 40. The most frequent claims are for sprains and strains, which account for 45.4 percent of overall claims throughout all industries. Upper extremities are the body parts must likely to be affected. Over-exertion is the most common cause of claims.
If your employer agrees that you were injured in the course of your employment and approves your claim, you may not run into any hurdles at the beginning of your claim. If your employer denies the claim, or tries to suspend your benefits down the road, you must depend on the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to make a determination in your favor.
With close to 100,000 claims filed each year, it should not be surprising that a claimant can run into problems getting a claim approved or maintaining benefits. This is why even the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recommends hiring a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. According to the bureau, “You should be aware that WC litigation is complex, and your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier will be represented by an experienced attorney.” For a claimant, retaining the services of a workers’ compensation attorney helps levels the playing field.
Although the workers’ compensation system is intended to protect injured workers and their families, it can be difficult to navigate. If you have questions or concerns about your legal rights to compensation, contact the Worker’s Compensation at Shor & Levin, the Bulldog Lawyers. Call 866-462-8553 or use our online contact form.