If you are injured during the course of your employment, you may be entitled to payment from the state workers’ compensation system. This system is designed to ensure injured employees receive medical coverage, replacement wages, and more. Many times, however, companies attempt to deny claims in order to save money.
When this occurs, a dedicated injury attorney could help you fight back and protect your right to payment from the workers’ compensation system. If you were denied the coverage you are entitled to, speak with a Southampton workers’ compensation lawyer for guidance.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Under Pennsylvania law, nearly all employees who are injured while on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Although there are a few rare exceptions, this promise of compensation to injured workers is designed to be a method of ensuring the protection of the rights of employees while also balancing the costs of litigation for employers.
Workers’ compensation is not based on fault. Even when the worker was responsible for their own injury, they can still recover. This is true also if the employer was responsible for the injury.
How is Workers’ Comp Different from a Personal Injury Claim?
There are significant differences between workers’ compensation cases and personal injury lawsuits. In workers’ compensation cases, there is no determination of who is at fault while personal injury cases are based on fault. In typical workers’ compensation cases, an injured worker may be precluded from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Instead, they must seek compensation through a workers’ compensation claim.
In certain cases, such as when an independent contractor is responsible for the injury, a personal injury lawsuit may also be appropriate. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in the area could determine whether a civil suit is necessary based on the facts of a case.
Reporting a Work Injury
If a person is injured at work, it is critical that they report this injury as soon as possible. Under state law, an injured worker has only 120 days to report their claim, or it could be lost. This report must be made through official channels, meaning telling a supervisor of the injury may not be enough. A knowledgeable attorney could help an injured employee properly report their workplace injury.
Once an injury is reported to the employer, the employer will determine if the injury occurred at work and decide whether the claim will be granted. If granted, the worker will likely receive up to two-thirds of the average weekly pay as well as coverage for medical expenses related to the injury.
What Happens if a Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
If a workers’ compensation claim is denied by the employer, this is not the end of the process. An employee can appeal the denial of the claim to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. However, there are incredibly short timelines in which to file after the worker receives the decision denying coverage. In Southampton, a worker must file with the appeal board within 20 days of the decision.
This board will review the case and decide if they agree or disagree with the original decision. If the Appeal Board denies the claim, an appeal can be filed with the Commonwealth Court within 30 days of the denial by the Appeal Board. A well-practiced lawyer in the area could determine whether appealing a workers’ compensation decision is viable.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Southampton Right Away
Many employers wrongfully attempt to avoid paying for your injuries, but there are legal mechanisms to protect your rights. Whether you are filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, or if you were wrongfully denied your benefits, you should not hesitate to seek legal guidance.
An experienced Southampton workers’ compensation attorney could help you seek the compensation you deserve. Reach out to our team today to schedule your initial case consultation for free.