Paula Robinson's Blog for Workers Compensation & Disability

Firefighters/Medics/Police

Fire Fighters

These brave workers risk their lives everyday while in the line of duty.  Typical work-related accidents can include motor vehicle accidents, falls from elevated heights, overexertion, shooting accidents, which can result in broken bones, burns, and scarring. 

Robinson Law is well versed with these types of injuries and can provide assistance if you have a potential third party lawsuit against another entity, in addition to your employer.  They can also advise if you are entitled to additional workers’ compensation benefits, besides the usual indemnity and medical benefits.

Firefighters, for example, perform a wide array of duties other than just putting out fires. Using heavy specialized equipment such as actual fire extinguishers, hoses, and water vessels and pumps, firefighters tackle the many different obstacles in their path. They also use equipment to combat hazardous material fires, which must be cleaned, inspected and maintained.

These hard workers have to be in tip-top shape and undergo rigorous ongoing training in all aspects of their jobs. Consider that when these brave souls approach and go into burning buildings. They may very well have to search for and rescue people and/or animals and further, treat sick or injured people. Most of this work is fast-paced, with injuries to muscles and bones being common. Despite the heavy protective equipment being worn, burns can still occur, leaving scarring and disfigurement. 

Because these are emergency situations, time is of the essence. Knowing this, the hurry could cause motor vehicle accidents involving fire trucks and emergency vehicles. There are a host of injuries that can occur from these particular accidents, such as neck and back injuries, loss of use of limbs, internal injuries and concussions, to name a few. For a more in-depth look at what firefighters must do and endure, click here

Medics and Police also face many of these challenges. Although they are not necessarily dealing with fires, they can unfortunately deal with more sinister injuries such as knife and gunshot wounds, or even death. 

Don’t take any work injuries lightly, consult with a certified 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 Robinson.

Specific Loss

In the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, there are general provisions that allow the payment of compensation for amputations or permanent loss of use of body parts, some loss of hearing and loss of eyesight, and certain disfiguring scarring. These provisions are referred to as specific loss. It is possible that if you have a work injury causing any of these conditions, even if you did not miss any time from work, that you may be entitled to specific loss benefits.

In order to have some uniformity, the Act sets forth the categories of disfigurement and specific loss. Scarring or disfigurement must be above the clavicle to be considered. With scarring claims, they are viewed by the attorney representing the injured worker, the attorney representing the employer/workers’ compensation carrier, and the assigned workers’ compensation judge. The injured worker testifies as to how the injury took place, and the parties literally measure and describe the scarring on the record, with a court reporter making a record of the hearing. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on the dollar amount to settle the scarring claim, the workers’ compensation judge will make a decision as to the number of weeks at the compensation rate to arrive at a lump sum amount to be paid to the injured worker and will issue a written Order and Decision on the matter.

There are numerous complicating issues that can occur with specific loss cases such as statute of limitations, healing periods, injuries separate and apart. It is best to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to determine what your case involves and what benefits you may be entitled to and not even realize it.

In addition to regular benefits, workers’ compensation attorney Paula Robinson can help you receive benefits for loss of your vision, partial or total blindness, benefits for loss of hearing, partial or total deafness, benefits for disfigurement, including dental and facial breaks and deformities, benefits for any scarring above the collar line, of the neck, face, and head, benefits for total and partial amputations to arms, fingers, legs and toes.  These injuries may or may not be in conjunction with another work injury, and even if you can continue working, you may be entitled to specific, hearing or vision loss benefits.  At Robinson Law, we have helped workers obtain specific loss benefits for missing teeth, eye injuries, scarring, and partial and total loss of fingers, toes, and limbs.