Paula Robinson's Blog for Workers Compensation & Disability

Workers’ Compensation in PA is Available for Hearing Impairment

Hearing Impairment

Noise exposure at the workplace is a common phenomenon. It is one of the most widely encountered occupational hazards. The extent of damage to your ears depends on its intensity, duration, and frequency of noise exposure. The louder the noise at your place of work, the more dangerous it is likely to be. However, even if the noise intensity isn’t very high, its continuous exposure can cause problems with your hearing depending on how long you are exposed.

According to OSHA, you should not be continuously exposed to noise of more than 90 decibels for more than eight hours a day. If your job requires frequent use of tools that produce more than 100 decibels, you are at risk of permanent hearing damage. Due to the damaging effects of loud noises on hearing, workers’ compensation is designed to help protect employees who develop this condition due to their job.

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Work Injury, Where do I Start?

You unfortunately suffered a work injury, gave the proper notice to your employer, and are seeking medical attention. What are the necessary steps to ensure that your claim is accepted by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier and that you receive the proper wage loss and medical benefits?

You should seek out an experienced, certified specialist in the practice of PA workers’ compensation. When hiring a law firm to handle your unique workers’ compensation case, you should choose carefully to suit your specific needs. 

The benefit of choosing Paula Robinson as your attorney is that you are retaining her as your attorney, not a law firm with multiple associates, paralegals, and intake personnel. I answer the phone and speak with you directly about your case so nothing is lost in translation. Not only will you deal directly with me, I will be solely responsible for your case from start to finish which cuts down on unnecessary wasted time. Over my 34 years of practice, I have found that people like to tell their story once, not multiple times to multiple people.

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Rehabilitation Costs Are Recoverable Through Workers’ Compensation in PA

Rehabilitation Costs

Each workplace is different. No matter your profession or job, you deserve to be safe and secure in your workplace. Despite this fact, every day some workers suffer from accidents while on the job across Pennsylvania.

It’s important to understand that no two workplace injuries are alike. An injury to one person is not likely to have the same impact as it may have on another person, even if they had the same accident. This is one of the reasons why recovering compensation for work-related injuries can be a complex process for injured workers who aren’t sure how to navigate the system.

Your specific recovery and rehabilitation timeline will influence the medical costs and wage loss you might incur over a period of time. Whether you have a sprained wrist, or you’ve suffered back pain, you may be referred to a physical therapist for rehabilitation.

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Paula Robinson Named as 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer

Robinson Law LLC is pleased to announce that the attorney Paula Robinson has been named as a Pennsylvania 2021 Super Lawyer.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from over 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selections are made using a patented process that includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluation. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive, and diverse list of exceptional attorneys that can be used as a resource for those searching for legal counsel. 

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Due Diligence Prior to Settling Your Workers’ Compensation Case

Workers' Comp Settlement

When you are injured while performing your job duties, you will undoubtedly need medical treatment for your injury(ies). If your claim is accepted by the workers’ compensation carrier, whether you are paying both wage loss benefits and medical benefits or just medical benefits with a panel provider, your medical bills should be covered for at least the first ninety (90) days by the workers’ compensation carrier. 

What is a panel provider?

When you suffer a work injury and report it to your employer, they should provide you with a list of “panel providers” for you to choose where to treat for the work injury. This list should have also been provided to you when you were hired. If you have not been provided with a list of panel providers, then you are free to treat your injury with whomever you want and the workers’ compensation carrier should still pay the bills.

In the workers’ compensation process, it is not unusual for there to be instances where there are issues with the medical bills either being sent improperly or with the treatment being covered. Medical providers must not only send the bills, but also the medical notes or reports supporting the treatment and also Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) 1500 Claim Forms in order for the treatment to be considered to be covered.

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Post-Pandemic Changes in PA Workers’ Compensation Procedures

Post Pandemic Procedure

According to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Law Section and based upon Pennsylvania lifting the mask mandate, Workers’ Compensation offices are scheduled to reopen on August 16, 2021, throughout the Commonwealth. There are Workers’ Compensation Judges throughout PA, and each Judge has the flexibility and discretion as to whether they will schedule their hearings and mediations in person or virtually. The decision to go back in person or virtually can also depend on what type of hearing is involved.

If the hearings are settlement or status hearings, these most likely would have a better chance of being virtual as opposed to hearings requiring the injured worker’s (claimant’s) or other fact witness’ testimony, where the involved Judge would need to assess credibility.

Also, as part of the change, the PA Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board will still hear oral arguments virtually, but as of July 1, 2021, parties can request live oral arguments through the automated workers’ compensation system, WCAIS.

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Protecting Workers from Eye Injury in Pennsylvania

Eye Protection

July is the Eye Injury Prevention Month in the United States. At Robinson Law, our mission this month is to raise awareness about the eye injury hazards at the workplace and highlight the need for employers and workers to use protective eyewear to prevent accidents.

Eye injuries are among the more common job-related injuries across various industries. According to NIOSH, as many as 2,000 American workers sustain serious workplace eye injuries that require medical treatment every day. Nearly one in three of these injuries require treatment in a hospital ER with at least 100 of these worker eye injuries resulting in one or more missed workdays.

To counter this, safety experts and eye care professionals at the American Association of Ophthalmology (AAO) say that appropriate eye protection can reduce the severity, or prevent up to 90% of these eye injuries. Clearly, employers can engage a more proactive role to protect workers from eye injuries by providing protective eyewear, raising awareness about the eye injury risks, and creating policies and supervision procedures to ensure compliance with safety methods.

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Amazon’s Footprint on Pennsylvania’s Workforce

Amazon Warehouse

Amazon has rapidly increased its distribution footprint in the greater Philadelphia region over the last few years. The e-commerce giant currently has as many as 57 warehouses and buildings already operational or under construction across the region. In 2020, Amazon doubled down on its expansion plans for Philadelphia, and started hiring tens of thousands of workers for its warehouse network in the metropolitan area.

While this unprecedented hiring spree is welcome for the region’s economy and employment prospects, it also increases the risk of warehouse injuries for the workers. It is vital to assess the impact of Amazon’s footprint in Philadelphia in terms of workplace safety and make sure that the injured workers’ right to compensation is fully protected. 

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Can I File a PA Workers’ Compensation Claim Without a Doctor?

Doctor for Workers' Comp

First of all, what is a Claim Petition? A Claim Petition is filed with the Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication if an injury claim is denied by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. If you are injured while working in the course and scope of your employment, you report the same to your employer and they send it to their workers’ compensation carrier to investigate and accept or deny your claim.

In order to file the Claim Petition, you must have a doctor give an opinion in writing that your injury is directly related to your work. If you are out of work and claiming ongoing disability which may last more than a year (52 weeks), then not only will you need a doctor’s note or report, but that doctor will have to testify on your behalf. This is referred to as a doctor’s deposition. The assigned workers’ compensation judge will set a trial schedule, typically giving you (the claimant), through your attorney, ninety (90) days to take your doctor’s deposition, the employer, through their attorney, will then be given (90) days thereafter to take their doctor’s deposition.

Who is the employer’s doctor? Well, the workers’ compensation carrier will choose what is referred to as an Independent Medical Examiner (IME) doctor to examine you one (1) time in conjunction with reviewing your medical records. That doctor will write a report and then testify from that report.

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National Nurses Day

National Nurses Day

Every year, on the 6th of May, we celebrate National Nurses Day to recognize and honor the enormous contribution made by nurses in promoting public health.

The Role of Nurses in Healthcare Sector

Nurses play an integral and irreplaceable role in the healthcare sector. From providing care to patients to assisting and coordinating with healthcare providers, advocating for the health and well-being of patients, and educating people on preventing illness and injuries, they perform a wide range of duties to improve patient outcomes. 

Nurses play a particularly important role in providing care for individuals with disabilities and workers who suffer serious injuries on the job. The care provided by nurses to these patients goes above and beyond the administration of medications. They treat these patients with compassion and empathy, tend to their needs, and offer emotional support to help them recuperate faster. 

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