Doylestown Workplace Injury Attorney
Doylestown Attorneys Fight to Protect Injured Workers
Work is necessary and even rewarding. Some work can also be dangerous. Workers’ compensation insurance protects Doylestown employees who are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses, supplements lost wages, and may even pay death benefits if a workplace injury claims a life.
If you’ve been injured on the job, talk to an experienced Doylestown workplace injury lawyer today. Your attorney can help you protect your legal rights and secure the benefits you deserve. At MyPhillyLawyer, our attorneys aggressively pursue fair compensation for your injuries. We gather and preserve evidence immediately to build the most robust case possible on your behalf.
On-the-Job Injuries and Doylestown Workers
Pennsylvania has seen a decrease in fatal work injuries over the past few years. 2020 set a record for the fewest on-the-job deaths since 2013.
Despite this downward trend, severe injuries and even deaths occur at worksites in Doylestown and throughout Pennsylvania. In 2020, 4,764 Pennsylvania workers lost their lives due to on-the-job accidents.
The top four types of deadly workplace accidents in Pennsylvania in 2020 were:
- Transportation incidents. Vehicle crashes and other transportation events made up one-third of all workplace deaths in Pennsylvania in 2020.
- Slips, trips, and falls. These accidents caused 28 deaths in 2020.
- Contact with objects and equipment. Being hit by objects, coming into contact with dangerous machinery, and other events fall in this category. In 2020, they claimed 27 lives.
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments, such as chemical exposure or excessive heat or cold. In 2020, 25 Pennsylvania workers lost their lives in these environments.
Not every worker who is injured on the job pays the ultimate price. Injuries and illnesses can also afflict Pennsylvania workers.
In 2020, a total of 137,300 occupational injuries and illnesses were reported in Pennsylvania. In 83,400 of these instances, workers needed to take time away from work, change jobs, or accept job restrictions related to their injury or illness.
Industries that saw the highest rates of injury and illness included:
- Transportation. Transportation and warehousing accounted for 11,900 workplace injuries and illnesses in Pennsylvania in 2020.
- Manufacturing. Pennsylvania recorded 17,900 occupational injuries and illnesses in the manufacturing industry in 2020.
- Construction. Construction sites accounted for 6,400 workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020.
Doylestown is the site of many businesses and worksites in these three industries. Recent growth in suburban housing employs many contractors, while several manufacturing and fabrication companies keep workers occupied.
Although these three industries have high injury and illness rates, they are not the only jobs that pose risks. Workers in any industry or employment may suffer a workplace injury or an illness related to their work. Workers’ compensation provides the support they need to recover and return to their daily lives.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s first workers’ compensation law appeared in 1915. Since then, the law has undergone several revisions. Each revision seeks to protect injured employees and their employers by managing costs and creating a path toward care and recovery.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation covers several different types of losses and events. These include:
- Lost wages. Workers’ compensation pays part of a worker’s salary if they cannot work because of an on-the-job injury or illness. These payments are not taxed.
- Medical expenses. Medical costs related to the injury or illness are covered as long as they are “reasonable and necessary.” Workers’ comp covers medical costs for as long as needed. These benefits are available even if the injury or illness did not cost you time away from work.
- Subsequent injuries. The Subsequent Injury Fund provides support for employees who suffer a specific loss, then later lose the use of a hand, arm, foot, leg, or eye, resulting in total disability.
- Specific loss benefits. Workers who suffer specific losses, like loss of vision, hearing, or using limbs, fingers, or toes, are also eligible for clear loss benefits.
- Disfigurement benefits. These benefits apply if a workplace injury causes severe and permanent head, face, or neck disfigurement.
- Death benefits. Death benefits are available for an employee’s dependents if their injury or illness results in death. Workers’ compensation also provides some coverage for burial expenses.
Only some workers need all of these benefits. Medical benefits are the most common, followed by replacement wages. An experienced Doylestown workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine which benefits apply to your injury or illness.
What Happens During a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The triggering event for a workers’ compensation claim is an injury or illness that can be traced to your work. Yet your workers’ comp claim doesn’t start automatically, even if your co-workers or supervisor are present when you are injured or sick.
A workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania follows these basic steps:
- Notice. Your workers’ compensation claim starts when you notify your employer. Report your injury or illness as soon as possible – within 21 days. You can only receive workers’ compensation coverage if you report it within 120 days.
- First report of injury. Once you notify your employer, your employer can tell their workers’ compensation insurer and the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation about the injury. This step opens your claim.
- Next steps. At this point, your employer or their insurer has several options. They may agree to compensate you, which means you will receive coverage for your losses. They may decide to pay temporary compensation while they investigate further. They may provide notice of the amounts they think you are owed and ask for a statement of wages so they can calculate these amounts correctly. Or they may deny your claim.
After the First Report of Injury, your employer and insurer have 21 days to take their next step. If they plan to deny your claim, they must send you a Notice of Denial within these 21 days.
A notice of denial closes your claim. You will not receive workers’ compensation benefits after a denial unless you fight for them. Talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately if you receive notice of denial. Your lawyer can fight to have the claim reopened.
When Can You Be Denied Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation may be denied if your employer or insurer believes your injury or illness isn’t related to your employment.
Some injuries and illnesses are not related to work. If you take a day off to go hiking and twist your ankle, workers’ compensation will not cover this injury because it didn’t happen on the job.
Other injuries and illnesses raise questions. If you develop mesothelioma, for example, is it connected to your work, or did other causes drive it?
In some cases, workers’ compensation won’t cover even an on-the-job injury. If you work as a delivery driver and cause a crash because you were drunk driving, your employer may deny you workers’ compensation benefits.
Not all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage under Pennsylvania law. An employer may be exempt from providing workers’ compensation coverage if its employees are:
- Covered by other workers’ compensation sources. Railroad workers, longshoremen, and federal employees fall into this category.
- Domestic servants. Employers of domestic staff may provide workers’ comp coverage if they choose, but they are not required to do so.
- Agricultural workers who work fewer than 30 days or earn less than $1,200 in one calendar year from that employer.
- Certain corporate executives.
- Individuals who request and are given an exemption from workers’ compensation coverage due to religious beliefs.
Workers’ compensation coverage does not apply to contractors or gig workers. It only covers employees. If you are injured on the job and classified as a contractor, it is crucial to ensure that the classification is correct. Misclassification unfairly deprives workers of benefits, and it also opens up employers to legal action.
However, workers’ compensation benefits cannot be denied just because you are a new employee. Workers’ compensation coverage begins on day one of any job. Most Pennsylvania employers are required to carry workers’ comp coverage. An employer who is required to have workers’ compensation insurance but doesn’t do so may face lawsuits or even criminal charges.
Contact MyPhillyLawyer Today
If you’re injured at work, seek medical attention immediately. For emergencies, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. For non-emergencies, get prompt medical care.
Tell your supervisor about the injury as soon as you can. In some cases, your supervisor may already know you’ve been injured. Even if you think your supervisor already knows, provide notice in writing. Write down the date, time, and place you were injured, as well as what happened and how you were hurt. This notice officially begins the workers’ compensation process.
For many Pennsylvania workers, receiving workers’ compensation benefits is simple. For others, employers or insurance companies fight to withhold benefits – even when you are entitled to them by law.
If you’re denied benefits or benefits are delayed, take your time. Contact an experienced Doylestown workers’ compensation attorney right away. The legal team at MyPhillyLawyer is dedicated to helping our clients get the benefits they are entitled to so they can focus on healing. Reach out to us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.