Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers in Philadelphia
Did you know that there several types of compensation benefits that you could be entitled to if you or a loved one has been hurt or injured on the job in Pennsylvania? It is important to be aware of your rights so that you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled.
By talking to a Philadelphia workers' compensation lawyer at Fenner & Boles, you could protect your future and your family from missing out on the compensation you deserve.
Four Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits Associated with Workers' Claims.
Wage loss benefits
You are entitled to two-thirds or more of your average weekly pay prior to your injury, as calculated by the weekly average of your pay for the top three quarters of the previous year. Remember that:
- These benefits cannot be taxed.
- Low-wage employees may be entitled to receive more than the 2/3 weekly average.
- Wage-loss benefits are fixed at the date of injury and will not have an increased inflation.
- Any raise received after the injury will not affect the previously calculated, average weekly rate.
Specific loss benefits
You may be entitled to benefits if you suffered a "specific loss," such as the permanent loss of a limb or a specific bodily function. Remember that:
- Pennsylvania Law recommends the number of weeks for each loss, in addition to a "healing period."
- You are entitled to receive benefits for the period set forth in the Act.
- You are entitled to these benefits whether or not you lose time from work as a result of your injuries.
You are entitled to coverage for expenses related to your medical treatment and reasonably related expenses. "Balance billing" — or billing you for the difference between your medical care and the maximum amount allowed by the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act — is prohibited in the state of Pennsylvania. Remember that:
- Benefits are paid directly to the medical provider.
- If your injuries are governed by Pennsylvania law, please be weary of balance billing if you seek treatment by a medical provider outside of the state.
As the widow / widower or dependent or orphaned child, parent, or sibling of an employee who was killed in a work-related incident, you may be entitled to death benefits and possible burial expenses. Remember that:
- Reimbursement will be determined by the number of dependents.
- Widows / widowers who remarry are entitled to a lump sum equal to two years of wage-loss benefits.
- Burial expenses must not exceed $3,000.
You may be able to receive penalties in addition to wages and medical expenses if the insurance company did not pay your benefits in a timely manner. Remember that:
- The workers' compensation judge has the authority to impose up to 50% in penalties for late and / or illegally suspended benefits.
- Under certain circumstances, attorney's fees can be recovered as well.
- The amount of the penalty will be under the discretion of the workers' compensation judge, and will depend on factors such as explanations / excuses given by insurance company for the delay.
Pennsylvania law protects your right to negotiate for a lump-sum settlement if this is preferential to receiving ongoing benefits. Remember that:
- If you opt for a lump-sum settlement, you will be foregoing your right to any other workers' compensation benefits, including payments for ongoing medical treatment.
- Future medical care can be denied by the health insurer if you choose a lump-sum settlement.
Providing Dedicated & Ethical Advocacy for More Than 25 Years
At Fenner & Boles, we are proud of our reputation as a law firm known for integrity and experience. Our attorneys take initiative to pursue the best possible outcomes for our clients. Retain us to help you achieve the best possible case result.
As board-certified specialists in the field of workers' compensation law, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to handle your claim. In order to learn more about our firm or to talk to a dedicated legal professional about your specific case, call Fenner & Boles today. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, we are poised to serve clients throughout the eastern Pennsylvania region.
Request a free consultation with a Philadelphia workers' compensation attorney at our office today!