Paula Robinson's Blog for Workers Compensation & Disability

What is “Donate Life”?


Did you know in the United States of America April is designated as National Donate Life Month!

To celebrate, let us explore more about the non-profit organization Donate Life America and what it could mean for the residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“Donate Life Pennsylvania is a collaborative initiative between Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL), the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Transportation. It is funded by residents of Pennsylvania through voluntary contributions included with driver’s license renewals, vehicle registrations and state income tax filings. All contributions are used by the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund to educate Pennsylvanians, build awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation, and increase the number of people who sign up to become donors on their driver’s license, learner’s permit or state identification card.” Donate Life

How can you get involved or support Donate Life PA?

It’s pretty easy. Simply sign up to be an organ donor or make a monetary donation!  

Good news for Pennsylvania residents, you do not have to wait for your driver’s license renewal to change your Organ Donor status. You can sign up anytime online with the following information:

  • PA Driver’s License Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security Number.

Here are a few staggering statistics from the Donate Life website regarding the need for organ donations. Read More

PA Workers’ Compensation Employee Rights Scenarios

workers rights

Employee Legal Awareness Day was established by an Australian lawyer, Paul Brennan. His aim was to emphasize the importance of legal education for employees and small businesses and reduce their risk of legal problems. The day isn’t only about laws though, Brennan also suggests that employees should increase their awareness of their company’s policies. According to him, it is important for employees to have a copy of the employer’s handbook, where you can find information about bereavement policy, attendance and punctuality, conflict of interest statements and non-disclosure agreements.   We thought it would be the perfect opportunity to focus on the employees’ rights in the event of a work injury. Here are a few “what if” scenarios: Read More

Re-entering the Workforce After a Work Injury

work injury

Life After a Work Injury

A work injury can oftentimes alter a person’s career path. Recovering from a work injury is not always easy. January is commonly known as a month of new beginnings, a fresh start or clean slate. If you or a loved one has suffered a work injury, these phrases may have a new meaning as it maybe be an unfamiliar beginning. Work injuries affect more than just the injured worker, it affects the family and the life they have known.  

Redirection or a career course correction is often needed, although at the time it can be difficult. Like many of life’s hurdles there is often a silver lining when we look for it. What is your silver lining? In the spirit of starting the New Year off on the right foot, despite a work injury, here are a few tips to evaluating your new quality of life and making the most of your future despite the potential limitations of a work injury. Read More

Added Benefits to Serving as a Volunteer

Workers' Compensation

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is geared to be, for the most part, charitable and caring to the injured worker.  A perfect example of this is the section of the Act dealing with volunteer workers.  In Pennsylvania, volunteer emergency workers, including volunteer fire departments, volunteer ambulance workers, and even volunteer forest firefighters are included as employees under the Act.  Because they unselfishly give of their time and services, they have the presumption that their wages are at least equal to the statewide average weekly wage for the purpose of calculating their weekly compensation rate. Read More

Chiropractic Connections

chiropractic connections

Without our health, it is difficult to enjoy all life has to offer. So, when a serious work injury happens and you’re unable to work, earn an income, or do simple tasks it can take a toll on us both physically and emotionally.

October was National Chiropractic Health Month and it got me thinking about all of the wonderful Chiropractors who I have come into contact with in the workers’ comp field in Pennsylvania. Read More

Post-Hurricane Season – Lessons Learned for Future Preparedness

hurricane preparedness

This year North America had a very active hurricane season leaving us to look back and ask the questions, what can we take away or do differently to prevent loss of life, excessive property damage and to ensure a quick recovery post-natural disaster. Having a plan prepared for the unlikely event of a disaster, with or without warning, can be a huge help when disaster strikes.  After seeing the devastation brought on this year by Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria it is clear that weather can be fierce and unpredictable.

Although we cannot control the weather, we can control our actions. Here are a few things we can be mindful of prior to the next massive weather event. Read More

Traveling Employees Beware of Drowsy Driving

Safe driving

How many times do you travel on roads around where you live?  Probably almost every day right?  When you are out traveling, how often do you see trucks in all different sizes hauling goods and products, ranging from oil, gas, UPS, FedEx, Amazon, groceries, you name it!  All of those drivers are working as drivers or drivers/deliverers.  So, if they are driving to further the business of their Pennsylvania employers, and they are in an unfortunate accident, then they most likely should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

How do those accidents occur? 
There are any number of ways accidents can occur.  The week of November 5-11, 2017 is Drowsy Driving Prevention week across the nation.  Certainly, drowsy driving is a cause, as the driver drifts off in their mind and body, then can drift off the road or into another vehicle, person, or object.  Drunk or buzzed driving is certainly another cause; however, this would most likely not be accepted as an accepted work injury in Pennsylvania as this would be against the law.  Other causes of accidents could be texting, eating, or just not paying attention to the road while driving.  Weather or smoke from fires can also play a role, creating slick conditions and limit vision.

Work injuries can come in all forms from scratches and bruises to broken bones, head concussions, eye injuries torn muscles and tendons to even post-traumatic stress disorder.  These injuries can either result in no missed time from work to many months out of work and treating for the injury(ies).  Certainly, every case is different and should be handled on a case by case basis.

What happens if you or a loved one is simply traveling to and from work in Pennsylvania, is that covered by PA workers’ compensation?  Typically, traveling back and forth from work in PA is not considered to be within the course of employment, however, there are some exceptions.  These exceptions are as follows:  The contract between the employer and employee specifically included transportation to and from work; the injured worker had no fixed place of work; the injured worker was on some special assignment for his or her employer; or some special circumstance where the injured worker was actually furthering the business of the employer.  Again, these cases are fact specific and whether they are indeed covered as an accepted injury depends on the circumstances, the involved employer and workers’ compensation carrier, and eventually the Workers’ Compensation Judge, if left to go to a Decision in Court.

Did you know that in Pennsylvania, there are special rules that apply to drivers and passengers of van pools?  Click to read the complete Legislation, please click the link below.

Essentially, the Ride Sharing Act, and not the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, comes into play when the employees are mere passengers hurt while in the van pool on their way to work; their employer has no ownership, lease, or contract for the van involved; and the employer simply provides information about the van pooling.  Because the PA Workers’ Compensation Act is not involved, the injured workers can file a direct tort action, and not be limited to only workers’ compensation as their remedy.

For answers to your traveling questions, feel free to contact Robinson Law LLC for an initial free consultation.

Organize Your Medical Information for Your PA Workers’ Compensation Case

Workers' Comp Lawyer

If you have a PA work injury, one thing that you can do that will make your life easier is organize your medical records regarding your work injury.  Some tips for how to get started follow.  First, get an expandable folder to hold all of your paperwork.  Everything should be in printed form, even if you type notes on your computer or handwrite it all. Next, what are some of the things that you should include in your organizational file?  All of your medical appointments with doctors, physical therapists, and/or chiropractors should be documented and kept in chronological order.  Also, all diagnostic studies, such as X-rays, MRIs, CAT Scans, EMG and Nerve Conduction studies should come out not only on CDs, but also in reports. These reports are invaluable to your case.  After each Dr. visit, you will receive a note regarding the history that you gave, your symptoms, your examination findings, the diagnosis, and recommendations for future treatment.  Keep all of these in chronological order. Read More

Road to Recovery With Physical Therapy After A Work Injury

Workers' Compensation

After a work injury, one may have body aches and pain, loss of range of motion, and even loss of function of certain body parts, such as hands, arms, feet, or legs. In an effort to heal and move on many injured workers turn to physical therapy.  In conjunction with treatment by a physician or chiropractor, physical therapy can be key.  What is physical therapy anyway?

The below is Wikipedia’s definition.


Physical therapy, mostly known as Physiotherapy, is a primary care specialty in western medicine that, by using mechanical force and movements, Manual therapy, exercise therapy, electrotherapy and various physical therapies who practice evidence based treatments, remediates impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention. It is performed by physical therapists.

Physical therapy, mostly known as Physiotherapy, is a primary care specialty in western medicine that, by using mechanical force and movements, Manual therapy, exercise therapy, electrotherapy and various physical therapies who practice evidence based … · Text under CC-BY-SA license

In order to receive or undergo physical therapy, one must get a prescription from a licensed physician.  Therapy can also be in the form of occupational therapy and vestibular therapy. These types of therapies help individuals who have suffered concussions or eye injuries, for example.  Occupational therapy can help with simple cognitive thinking exercises, and the vestibular therapy is used, among other things, for balance and eye disorders suffered due to concussions.

How long therapy goes on for depends on the injury, where the injured worker is with his or her treatment, and what his or her doctor prescribes.  Something to be aware of when one is undergoing any therapy while on workers’ compensation is that in many cases, the workers’ compensation carrier will at some point file a Utilization Review, which is a way for the carrier to try to not pay for the treatment. How it works is having another physician or physical therapist review the treatment and or therapy and give an opinion as to whether the treatment is reasonable and necessary.  If the treatment being reviewed is found to be reasonable and necessary, then the carrier will pay for the same.  If the treatment being reviewed is found to be not reasonable or necessary, then the carrier will not pay for the same. 

What can the injured worker do if the treatment is determined to be “not reasonable or necessary” but feels like the treatment or therapy is really working and wants to fight the determination?  The injured worker should then obtain experienced workers’ compensation counsel and file a Petition to Review Utilization Review.  The Petition will then get assigned to a Workers’ Compensation Judge, who will review evidence, then decide if the treatment is reasonable or necessary for the period reviewed.  The evidence typically admitted is the injured workers’ testimony as to how and if the treatment helped him or her, and also the deposition testimony of the Provider in question.  The burden is always on the employer/workers’ compensation carrier to prove that the treatment is not reasonable or necessary.  If the Judge determines that the treatment is reasonable and necessary, then the carrier will have to pay for the treatment.

If you find yourself on workers’ compensation, and your treatment or therapy is being challenged by the workers’ compensation carrier, do not give up!  You have options to try to keep your treatment.



3 Simple Reminders of Traffic Safety

traffic safety

As a workers’ compensation law firm in Pennsylvania we know that there are a lot of dangerous jobs revolving around the construction, upkeep, and monitoring of traffic throughout the Commonwealth.  Not only can your morning or afternoon commute be dangerous for you as a driver but it can be extremely dangerous for those working on the road, especially with the increase in distracted driving incidents.  

August is National Traffic Awareness Month. So we are taking a look at a few ways to improve safety for traffic and those workers who make our roads and bridges possible.   Read More