The Workers' Compensation laws provide benefits to workers injured on the job or having an occupational disease; or to surviving dependents of workers killed on the job, or as a result of the job. The benefits are provided regardless of who was at fault in causing the injury, disease or death, and regardless of the previous physical condition of the employee. Under certain circumstances benefits may be available for injuries which occur traveling to or from work sites and for other work-related injuries, diseases and death, even away from the workplace.
Available benefits include:
- Weekly wage replacement compensation (paid pursuant to a schedule set by law) to the disabled worker or surviving family
- Reasonable, necessary and related hospital, surgical and medical expenses
- "Specific loss" benefits if there is a loss or a loss of use of a certain body part or if unsightly scarring is caused by a work injury; and
- Death benefits and burial expenses to a deceased worker's dependents.
The law applies to all work-related injuries or occupational diseases occurring in Pennsylvania regardless of where the worker was hired and may cover injuries or occupational diseases occurring outside the employer's premises and even outside of Pennsylvania under certain circumstances. The law also provides for benefits to be paid when a work related injury aggravates a pre-existing condition.
The law has many traps for the unwary, and if you have questions regarding entitlement to workers compensation, you should consult an attorney right away. Also, if your employer or the insurance company wants to have you examined by a doctor or interviewed by a vocational consultant or adjuster, it is a good idea to contact an attorney first so that the case may be monitored and to prevent you from making statements or taking actions that can have serious consequences later.
The attorneys at The Freedland Firm provide free, no obligation initial consultations. Most of our workers' compensation cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, which means that there is no attorney fee due unless we make a financial recovery for you or successfully stop the insurance carrier from cutting your benefits. To protect injured workers and their families, the law requires that all fees must be approved by a judge before the attorney can be paid.