The answer is yes, if the circumstances are right. If you work in Pennsylvania and your job requires you to drive a vehicle, or you are in your vehicle, and considered to be in the course and scope of your employment at the time that you have a motor vehicle accident, you could receive workers’ compensation benefits. Every case is unique, and it will be decided by the workers compensation carrier, or by a Worker’s Compensation Judge, if denied by the carrier, as to whether the injury resulting from the motor vehicle accident is indeed covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Read More
If you’ve sustained an injury at work that has kept you from doing your job and putting food on your family’s table, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation payments. However, the red tape involved for filing these claims can be daunting at the very least. Most successful claimants have relied on the expertise of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help them navigate the legal waters of filing a claim. Following are five tips and tricks designed to help you find the best possible workers’ compensation lawyer. Read More
Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law is ever evolving. The recent case of O’Rourke v. WCAB (Gartland), No. 1794 C.D. 2012, involved a Claimant (O’Rourke) who was employed by her son, Joshua Gartland (her Employer), to provide attendant care for him at her residence in exchange for an hourly wage through a state funded program. Read More
When one suffers a work related injury in Pennsylvania, their compensation rate must be calculated, based on the gross earnings at the time of the injury. There are various ways to calculate the amount that a person receives per week in benefits, depending on the length of their employment, whether they are a seasonal worker, etc. What is also taken into account is whether the individual works more than one job. For workers’ compensation purposes, the term concurrent means “at the time” of injury. This is according to well established Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court case law, Freeman v. WCAB (C.J. Langenfelder & Son), 527 A.2d 1100 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987). Read More
For many Pennsylvanians during the winter months we experience snow, sleet, ice and rain. These conditions can make an easy commute, difficult or a challenging job dangerous. Here are a few practical tips to help you stay safe getting to and from work and even on the job too! Read More
Pennsylvania workers compensation law it is governed by the Worker’s Compensation act, which has been amended and evolved over time. A primary aspect included in the Act is the “Exclusive Remedy” provision that as of February 3, 1975 made it mandatory to file a workers compensation claim if you were injured performing your job. This means that you cannot civilly sue your employer in the event that you suffer a work injury. Over the years there have been carved out some rare, minor exceptions to this rule, but typically, the exclusive remedy is relied upon. Read More
In the past few years, fracking for natural gas has become a hot debate between health and environmental groups, and industry leaders. Industry leaders are focused on the benefits of fracking, whereas environmentalists are focused on the possible health effects posed to the environment and public in association with the practice of fracking. To help you better understand the fracking controversy, here are some of the various pros and cons of the fracking process. Read More
If you have been injured on the job and find yourself out of work, it is important to find a good workers’ compensation lawyer. Quality and ability are the two important attributes of a good lawyer. Here are seven attributes to consider in your selection process.
A workers’ compensation lawyer who is successful is honest and does not take on cases without sufficient or credible evidence. One of the major reasons as to why they don’t is because they know there is a reputation to uphold. If they take on frivolous or dishonest lawsuits, they will end up being known for it by everyone from potential clients to insurance companies and their insureds, to Judges. Thus, having an honest lawyer is incredibly important.
While everyone has to start with a first client, it does not have to be you. Having an experienced lawyer will make a few important traits certain. The first is that they are confident with their knowledge and skill. The second is that they actually know what they are doing, how to get it done efficiently and correctly, and who they are dealing with. There are aspects of the practice that are learned over time through practical professional experience.
3. Compassion and Empathy
For those that have truly been injured on the job, there is a need for compassion to help clients through the litigation, which can be stressful. A great workers’ compensation lawyer will have both empathy and compassion. Both of these traits are comforting and do not go unnoticed.
The great news is that in Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation lawyers are paid on a contingent fee basis so the client does not need to put down any money, whatsoever. Furthermore, the good workers’ compensation lawyers pay for all of the litigation costs out of their own pocket. These costs could include payment for medical records from the relevant providers, doctor deposition fees, or other expert witness fees. By taking on a case that is most likely to prevail or settle for a lump sum, the lawyer will be reimbursed these litigation costs by the workers’ compensation carrier, and these costs will not be deducted from the client’s benefits.
5. Proven Application of Their Education
When your workers’ compensation lawyer concentrates in this type of work, they spend a long time studying case law, regulations, and know what your rights are in your particular state. They also know what the insurance carriers’ rights and responsibilities are. Ask your lawyer how long they have been practicing workers’ compensation law, and if they are certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
6. Understanding Medical Complexities
When injured physically or mentally, or suffering from an occupational disease due to work, there will always be a medical aspect which needs to be proven to be successful with your particular case. Your workers’ compensation lawyer needs to understand the injury and disability and needs to work closely with the medical providers so that they can build a proper, successful case.
7. Experience On Both Sides Of The Law
Although it certainly is not necessary, it is an extreme advantage to have a workers’ compensation lawyer who has worked for the big Insurance Companies and knows how they operate on all aspects of a workers’ compensation claim. This vast experience aids the injured worker in the strategies used throughout the litigation and potential settlement, getting you the most money for your claim.
Paula Robinson Esq is certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Paula can be reached at 215-530-7166 for a free consultation. Her motto is ” No Recovery, No Fee.”