Committed To Helping Employees Recover The Maximum Workers’ Compensation Benefits They Deserve.
A serious workplace injury can result in more than just physical harm. It can leave you feeling uncertain about the future and wondering who will provide for your loved ones. How are you going to pay your bills? Are you eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits? Fortunately, many employees are protected by workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits, however, may not be as straightforward as they seem.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you in obtaining the financial relief and assistance you need when you are out of work due to a workplace accident or injury so that you can focus on your family and your wellbeing. Freeburn Hamilton’s certified workers’ compensation law specialists* will take on the insurance provider on your behalf and work to get you the full workers’ compensation settlement you need.
Should I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When a worker is injured at work or during working hours, they have the right to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, many hardworking, honest, and dedicated employees who have been injured on the job worry that filing a workers’ compensation claim will result in negative repercussions from their employer. Retaliation in the workplace is more common than you would expect, and it may take several forms, including firing an employee without cause, making threats, providing a negative employee evaluation, refusing a promotion, or growing surveillance on a specific employee.
Don’t let fear prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve for a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ compensation is intended to protect employees and ensure that they return to work as soon as possible. You should never feel ashamed or scared to report a workplace injury and seek the compensation you are legally entitled to. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Freeburn Hamilton will walk you through the process, explain your rights, and assist you in overcoming any obstacles that might arise.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation
When an injury occurs, workers’ compensation benefits are available to help employees receive proper medical care and take time off of work so they can recover. Workers’ compensation covers a wide variety of injuries that result from workplace accidents. Here are some of the most common types of injuries:
- Broken bones
- Cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds
- Electric shock
- Head injuries
- Knee injuries
- Neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
- Strains and sprains from overexertion
Workers’ compensation also covers medical conditions that develop over time due to workplace hazards or conditions, including the following:
- Asbestos exposure
- Computer vision problems
- Lead exposure
- Mental stress
- Radiation exposure
- Toxic exposure
- Work-related heart attack or stroke
Workers’ Comp Terms You Need To Know
After suffering a serious work-related injury, navigating the workers’ comp system can be difficult. In order to make the process easier, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Freeburn Hamilton developed a glossary of terms that you may come across to ensure you fully understand your rights and responsibilities.
- Denial – If you have received a denial of your workers’ compensation claim, this means that your employer will not pay for your work-related medical bills or lost wages. Despite receiving a denial from your employer, you still may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You should contact an attorney to help you fight for the benefits that you are entitled to receive.
- Impairment Evaluation – An impairment evaluation is a test that an employer has you undergo to see whether you are partially or totally disabled. The employer may use the impairment evaluation to change the duration of your benefits. If you are scheduled to undergo an IRE, you should consult with an attorney.
- Independent Medical Exam (IME) – An IME is a physical examination by a doctor hired by an employer. The employer may use the opinion of the IME doctor to terminate or change your workers’ compensation benefits. If you do not have a reasonable cause or excuse, you must attend the IME examination or you may lose your right to compensation. If you have received a request to attend an IME, you should consult with an attorney.
- Notification of Suspension – Your employer files a notification of suspension when they intend to stop your workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, your employer will file the notification of suspension after you have returned to work in some capacity. Your employer will argue that your injury no longer affects your loss of earning potential. If you fail to challenge the notification of suspension within 20 days, your benefits will automatically stop. Therefore, it is extremely important to contact a lawyer when you receive a notification of suspension in order to protect your rights.
- Petition to Modify – Your employer will file a petition to modify when they intend to change your workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, your employer will file this petition to lower your workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer may argue that your disability has decreased, you have returned to work, or that they have work availability. However, your employer may not be entitled to modify or lower your workers’ compensation benefits. After receiving a petition to modify, you should consult with an attorney to assess your options.
- Petition to Suspend – Your employer will file a Petition to Suspend when they intend to stop paying your workers’ compensation benefits. Among other reasons, your employer may file this petition after you have returned to work. However, even if you have returned to work, your employer may not be entitled to stop or suspend your workers’ compensation benefits. Therefore, it is essential that you contact an attorney to assess your options and rights.
- Petition to Terminate – Your employer will file a petition to terminate when they intend to terminate or end your workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer filed this petition, it means that they believe that you are fully recovered from your work injury. Typically, your employer will file a petition to terminate your benefits after you undergo an independent medical examination. That is why it is extremely important to contact an attorney after receiving a request for an independent medical examination and a petition to terminate your benefits.
- Specific Loss – Specific loss benefits refer to benefits that your employer must pay you after you have suffered permanent scarring on certain parts of your body, an amputation of a body part, or a permanent loss of the use of a body part. After any work injury, you should contact an attorney to determine if you are entitled to specific loss benefits.
- Vocational Expert – Your employer may hire a vocational expert to conduct an evaluation of your earning capacity. Typically, your employer will hire a vocational expert while you are unable to return to work for your employer because of your work injury. The employer may use the vocational expert’s opinion to determine if you can return to the labor market and possibly as a means to reduce or stop your workers’ compensation benefits. You should contact a lawyer if your employer requests that you attend a vocational evaluation.
Choosing the Right Workers’ Comp Attorney For Your Case
Following a workplace accident, you may wonder if hiring an attorney is needed. However, handling a workers’ compensation claim alone could cost you money. Workers who are injured often think they can go up against the insurers by themselves. But, you can be sure that the insurance company will have a team of attorneys by its side who know every facet of workers’ compensation law to fight against you.
If any of the following applies to you, you should consider contacting our workers’ compensation attorneys:
- You’ve been injured on the job
- You don’t know what your case is worth
- Your workers compensation claim has been denied
- You’re losing wages as a result of your injury
- You’re receiving medical benefits for your injury
- Your medical or prescription benefits have been denied or challenged
- You’re considering or interested in a lump sum settlement for your case
You’ll need a lawyer with experience and knowledge fighting in your corner. At Freeburn Hamilton, we have lawyers on staff who are accredited specialists* in workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association who will fight to get you the most money possible for your claim.
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Freeburn Hamilton Puts the Rights of Pennsylvania Workers First
The attorneys at Freeburn Hamilton understand how a work injury can change your life and the lives of your loved ones. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced workers’ comp lawyers, call us at 717-777-7777 or by submitting a free consultation form online.
*Certified by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Workers’ Compensation Law Section as specialists in the Practice of workers’ compensation law. A 12 member Certification Committee of the PBA Workers’ Compensation Section is responsible for the workers’ compensation law attorney certification process. In order to be certified as a workers’ compensation law specialist, an attorney must be admitted to the practice of law in Pennsylvania; have been actively engaged in the practice of law for at least 5 years, devote at least 50% of their practice to the specialty field of workers’ compensation, submit a variety of documents showing that they actively practice workers’ compensation law, participate in mandatory continuing legal education in workers’ compensation law, and submit to a written test on which they must score an 80 percent or better.