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Workers’ Compensation FAQs

Do I have a work-related injury?
It must be determined that your injury occurred on the job.  If it is clear and obvious, typically there will not be an issue; however, employers and their insurance companies can challenge whether your injury occurred on the job.
Paula at Robinson Law can explain your rights, answer all of your questions, and use her experience to help you obtain all of the benefits you and your family deserve.

I suffered a work-related injury – What benefits will I receive?
If your weekly earnings decrease as a result of your work injury, you should receive weekly benefits.  Your weekly benefits are calculated based on your gross earnings in the year prior to your work injury, and are according to a statutory rate schedule.  Your average weekly rate—your gross, and your workers’ compensation rate never change.  Also, any and all reasonable, necessary and causally related medical expenses should be paid by your employer’s insurance company.

Do I need any money out-of-pocket to pay my lawyer to represent me?
No, workers’ compensation lawyers typically are paid on a contingent fee basis.   We do not get paid unless you get paid.  A workers’ compensation judge has to approve the fee, which will then be paid by your employer’s insurance company.  The fee is deducted from your weekly wage loss check, sent directly to your lawyer, and your payment goes directly to you.
Robinson Law will pay all litigation expenses on your behalf.  These could include export reports, deposition costs, and fees for obtaining records and transcripts to help you win your case.

Do I owe taxes on my workers’ compensation benefits?
No, according to the IRS, workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable.

Will my job be protected if I receive workers’ compensation benefits?
As PA is an at will hire/fire state, your employer does not have to hold your job for you or offer an alternative position after your injury.  The Family Medical Leave Act may be a possible answer, but every situation is different.
Paula at Robinson Law can help you make the right decisions, with her knowledge and experience.

Can I settle my case for a lump sum of cash?
Yes, you can.  If you and the insurance company, on behalf of the employer, can come to an agreement, a lump sum settlement is a very real possibility.  Having an experienced, knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer is key to making sure that you receive the maximum amount possible.  If unrepresented or having an inexperienced lawyer negotiate on your behalf, your case may resolve for significantly less than what it is worth.
Paula at Robinson Law has a wealth of experience in negotiations, mediations before workers’ compensation judges, and is savvy as to her audience and jurisdictions, making sure that your best interest is forefront.  Paula has knowledge as to numerous insurance companies’ reputations and typical practices, and will shrewdly negotiate on your behalf.

What do I do if I am receiving workers’ compensation, and the insurance company is trying to stop my benefits?
You should immediately seek an lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation law.  Trying to handle the situation on your own is extremely risky and you could lose your benefits altogether.
Paula at Robinson Law knows exactly how and when to defend your rights by filing the appropriate court-related documents, and obtaining the necessary medical records and Drs’ testimonies.  Paula will effectively communicate with your employer’s insurance company, as well as explain every step of the litigation before a workers’ compensation judge to you, so that you feel more comfortable and understand what is going on.

What is the Workers’ Compensation Hearing Process?
If you case is contested in any way, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will assign your case to a workers’ compensation judge typically near where you live.   

Do I need a lawyer?
You can represent yourself in workers’ compensation proceedings, however a non-lawyer cannot ever represent you.  Please be aware that the workers’ compensation litigation process is complex, and your employer and/or their insurance company will be represented by an experienced lawyer.  You will want a lawyer on your side to fight for your rights. Paula at Robinson Law will fight your fight for you with 24 years of experience and expertise in the field of workers’ compensation.    

If I lose before a workers’ compensation judge, is it possible to file an appeal?
Yes, depending on the circumstances.  Workers’ compensation judges’ decisions can be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board and then to the Commonwealth Court.  You will be informed of those appeal rights upon receiving the workers’ judge’s decision. Paula at Robinson Law can guide you as to whether it is feasible and/or practical to file an appeal applying her knowledge of the law and experience practicing before many workers’ compensation judges.    

Is it possible to receive other benefits?
If your injury is very serious, rendering you unable to work for a year or more, you may be eligible for additional disability benefits from Social Security. Paula at Robinson Law can lay out your options and file for social security benefits, if applicable.