Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Pittsburgh
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Represent Workers Injured on the Job in Pittsburgh, PA
Since most of us spend most of our days at work, it is very likely that if we are injured, it is going to occur at work. Fortunately, the law has established a no-fault workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation is considered “no-fault” because it is not necessary to prove who was at fault for a work-related injury; instead, an employer is obligated to accept financial responsibility when an employee is injured on the job or contracts an illness due to their work. Although an employer is normally expected to accept liability to pay workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury or illness, in some cases an employer may deny liability or attempt to terminate an employee’s benefits before they have been exhausted and before the employee has fully recovered from their injury or illness.
If you or a loved one have suffered a work-related illness or injury, contact the dedicated, results-focused Pittsburgh workers’ compensation lawyers at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. to speak with a member of our legal team to discuss your case in greater detail and to learn about your rights and options for seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
What to Do After a Work-Related Accident
If you’ve suffered an accident on the job, there are certain steps you can take to protect your rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The first thing you should do after suffering a work-related accident is to inform your employer about your accident. This allows your employer to inform their workers’ compensation insurer of your accident and will allow your employer to begin immediately paying you medical benefits. If you delay providing your employer with notice, you may be delayed in receiving workers’ compensation benefits — waiting too long to report your injury may render you ineligible for benefits.
If possible, you should try to document your accident scene, in particular taking photos of the area and whatever it was that caused your accident.
You should also immediately seek medical treatment following your accident and continue to follow all the instructions of your treating medical providers thereafter. If you fail to seek treatment or if you ignore the instructions of your medical providers, it may cause your employer to claim that you were not injured or that your injury has resolved itself and to attempt to terminate your workers’ compensation benefits. Bear in mind that your employer may have a list of health care providers, from which you are required to select a provider for your initial treatment — you must continue treatment with that provider or another on the list for at least 90 days after your first visit, although your employer may not require you to visit a specific provider on its list.
Finally, and especially in situations where your employer has denied liability for your work-related accident or seeks to terminate your workers’ compensation benefits, you should speak with an experienced Western Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. If your employer refuses to pay benefits, you will be required to file a claim petition with the state. Although you are not required to be represented by an attorney in a claim petition, workers’ compensation claims are factually and legally complex endeavors, and your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer will be represented by experienced attorneys.
How Goodrich & Geist, P.C. Can Help You with Your Work-Related Injury or Illness
If you’ve suffered an injury or illness due to a work-related accident or incident, it is imperative that you retain the services of knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys, especially when your employer denies liability for your illness or injury or seeks to terminate your workers’ compensation benefits. At Goodrich & Geist, P.C. we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve. We leave no stone unturned to collect every piece of evidence to prove that your injury or illness was work-related so that your employer will be required to accept liability to pay workers’ compensation benefits. We also work with medical and vocational experts to review your medical records to prove the extent of your injuries, the treatment you will need for your injuries, and any temporary or permanent disability from work that you have suffered because of your injuries. We have the experience and resources needed to vigorously pursue your claim for benefits through a claim petition or, if necessary, in court.
Contact Our Firm Today to Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Legal Rights and Options
If you’ve been injured on the job or contracted an illness or other medical condition due to your work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In a perfect world, your employer would accept liability and pay you all the benefits you need and are entitled to under the law. However, some employers try to disclaim liability or terminate an injured worker’s benefits early. If you believe you are being denied workers’ compensation benefits that you need and deserve, contact the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about your rights and options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation Claims in Allegheny County and Elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania
When you’ve been injured in a work accident, you should be able to rely upon the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system to keep your family financially secure. However, it’s not uncommon for workers to encounter problems trying to get their fair benefits. At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers are here to advocate for your right to fair compensation.
Below are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania. If you have been injured on the job in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania, call us today to learn more about how we can help.
Almost all injuries that occur at work give you the right to receive workers’ compensation under Pennsylvania law. In addition, injuries and illnesses that occur because of performing your job over time also qualify. In other words, injuries like repetitive stress injuries and occupational diseases also give you the right to benefits.
Although workers’ compensation covers nearly all work-related injuries, some exclusions include:
– Self-inflicted injuries,
– Injuries sustained in accidents caused by alcohol or drug use,
– Certain injuries stemming from illegal actions,
– Injuries sustained by someone who was not an employee at the time of the accident (independent contractors),
– Injuries sustained while commuting to or from work.
On your first day of work. There is no waiting period before workers’ compensation coverage becomes effective.
Yes. Even employers who employ only a single worker are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance under Pennsylvania law.
You become eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if your doctor has said you cannot work for at least 7 days. Once you have missed work for 14 days, you will begin to receive benefits (including benefits for the first 7-day period).
Your benefits should include compensation for your medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages (about 2/3 of your average weekly wages, subject to a maximum benefit cap).
You should begin to receive payments after about 21 days have passed (from the date you notified your employer of the injury).
Yes and no. If your pre-existing injury or condition was aggravated by your job, you can still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. On the other hand, if your injury was simply sustained outside of work and not made worse because of your work, benefits will not be available.
No. As long as the accident happened while you were at work, you are eligible for benefits—regardless of who caused the accident.
Yes. While you technically have 120 days to report your accident and injuries to your employer or supervisor, you should do so immediately. Beginning from the date you sustained your injury, you have three years to file your formal claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Yes. In this situation, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Your lawyer can help you file your claim. While you will likely be required to appear before a judge to secure your right to benefits, we can help you through the entire process.
While you cannot sue your employer (or a co-worker) for additional compensation, you may be able to sue a third party. If a non-employer caused your accident, we can file a third-party claim to recover additional compensation, which may include:
– Any lost wages not covered by workers’ compensation,
– Pain and suffering,
– Emotional distress,
– Medical expenses,
– And more.
If you are able to return to work but are earning less, you can continue to receive partial disability benefits. However, those benefits will be reduced (they will equal about 2/3 of the difference between what you made before and what you are earning in the new position). If you are paid the same amount (or more) as before the injury, your workers’ compensation benefit payments will be terminated.
Your healthcare provider will submit all bills to the workers’ compensation insurance company. Importantly, you aren’t required to pay any type of co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses or deductibles to get medical treatment for your work injury.
A utilization review is basically a challenge to some of the medical care you are receiving. If you receive notice of a utilization review, it is important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you advocate for your right to continue receiving the care recommended by your doctor.
An IME is short for “independent medical examination”. An IME is conducted by a physician who your employer pays to evaluate your medical condition. Your employer is generally entitled to require your cooperation in attending the IME, but you should still speak with a lawyer before doing so.
Schedule a Free Case Review with our Pittsburgh, PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system can be complex. You may be asked to provide information at any point or might even receive a notice that your benefits are being denied. Speaking with an experienced Pittsburgh-area workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve.
At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our lawyers are here to help. To tell us what happened in your work accident, call our office or contact us online to schedule a no-cost consultation today.