Allentown Workers' Compensation Attorney
Benefits for Injured Workers in Easton, Bethlehem & the Lehigh Valley
In Pennsylvania and across the United States, workers in virtually every field are covered by workers’ compensation laws. These laws were put in place to provide a system that would offer benefits to workers who sustain on-the-job injuries or are diagnosed with occupational illnesses. Workers’ compensation replaces lost wages and covers medical costs associated with work-related injuries and also provides death benefits to families when workers lose their lives in workplace accidents.
Have you been injured at work? Although you may be rightfully entitled to workers’ compensation, you may run into difficulties in applying for and obtaining benefits. An Allentown workers’ compensation lawyer at Knafo Law Offices can help you through the application process and can help with an appeal if your claim has been denied.
- Types of Work Injuries
- Workers' Compensation Benefits
- The Claims Process
- Appealing a Denied Claim
- Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
- Contact Us
Common Types of Work Injuries
There are many work-related injuries, illnesses, and accidents that can leave a worker unable to work for a period of time. We can take on work injury claims of all kinds and will be happy to discuss your specific case with you to determine how to move forward with a worker’s comp claim process.
Some of the leading causes and types of work injuries include:
- Falls from heights
- Slip and fall accidents
- Overexertion/heavy lifting injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Work-related auto accidents
- Electrocution and electrical injuries
- Falling object injuries
- Injuries caused by heavy machinery
Whether you have an administrative position in an office, work on an assembly line in a factory, or are out working on construction sites, you have the right to compensation if you suffer a work-related injury. Our Allentown work injury lawyers are here to help you recover the benefits you deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system designed to provide certain specific benefits to injured workers. Because it is a no-fault system, you do not need to prove that your employer or anyone else was negligent in order to collect benefits; in exchange, you cannot sue your employer directly. Additionally, your benefits are somewhat more limited than the compensation you could recover in a third-party personal injury claim.
In Pennsylvania, you can receive the following workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation covers any and all medical costs related to treating or caring for your injuries/illness. This also includes modifications to your home or vehicle that must be made to accommodate your injury/disability, as well as reasonable transportation costs to and from medical appointments.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits: TTD benefits are a type of wage-replacement benefit meant to compensate you for lost wages if you are unable to work temporarily due to your injury. TTD benefits are payable for a period of 104 weeks.
- Partial Disability Benefits: After a certain amount of time has passed, you may be required to receive an impairment rating evaluation (IRE), which is used to determine the level of impairment your injury has caused. If the IRE concludes that you are partially disabled, meaning you could still perform some type of light-duty work, you could receive partial disability benefits to accommodate the difference in pay between your pre-injury work and post-injury employment. Partial disability benefits are calculated at two-thirds your average weekly wage up to a set maximum.
- Specific Loss Benefits: Some injuries make an individual eligible to receive specific loss benefits. These injuries include the loss of a limb or body part, hearing or vision loss, and permanent or significant disfigurement of the face, head, or neck.
Additionally, certain surviving family members of workers who die due to on-the-job injuries or occupational diseases are entitled to receive death benefits through the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. This includes up to $3,000 in funeral expenses, as well as ongoing benefits or, in some cases, a lump-sum payment.
At Knafo Law Offices, we will pursue any and all applicable workers’ compensation benefits, including but not limited to:
- Payments for lost wages
- Specific loss benefits
- Medical care
- Death benefits
The Workers’ Compensation Claim Process
If you want to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to report your injury or illness to your employer as quickly as possible but no more than 21 days after the date of injury. In cases involving occupational diseases, you have 21 days from the date on which you became aware or reasonably should have become aware that your illness was work-related. Typically, this is the date you are diagnosed by a medical professional.
Failure to report may delay your benefits or disqualify you from receiving benefits. Once you report your injury and tell your employer it is work-related, they must report the injury to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by filing a First Report of Injury. They must also report the injury to their insurance provider.
Next, your employer’s insurance company (or your employer) has 21 days to either award workers’ compensation benefits or deny your claim. If the latter, you will receive a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial. At this point, it is a good idea to hire a workers’ compensation attorney who can help you navigate the process of appealing the denial.
An Allentown workers’ compensation attorney at our firm can help you report your injury to your employer and can follow up to make sure your employer sends the appropriate report to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. We can also file a claim petition for a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge if your claim is denied for any reason.
Appealing a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have received a Notice of Workers’ Compensation, don’t worry! This does not mean that you will be unable to recover benefits for your work-related injury. You have the right to appeal the denial to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. We strongly recommend that you work with a lawyer if you need to appeal your denied claim. Remember, at Knafo Law Offices, we do not charge any upfront lawyers’ fees or out-of-pocket expenses, and you do not owe anything unless we recover benefits on your behalf.
How to appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania:
- First, you must file your appeal using form LICB – 25/26 with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within 20 days of receiving the notice that your claim was denied (as postmarked)
- Along with filing the appeal form, you will request a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. The judge will assign a date and time for the hearing.
- Next, your attorney will help you prepare for the hearing by putting together all relevant documents, such as medical records and bills, interviewing witnesses, and collecting other information.
- At the hearing, you and/or your attorney will present evidence in support of your claim. The workers’ compensation judge will then rule on your case.
If the judge does not rule in your favor, there are additional steps you can take to file further appeals and seek compensation for your work-related injury. Your attorney will help you navigate this process.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Workers' Comp Settlement?
In some cases where you suffered a minor injury and your employer and the workers' compensation system are cooperating, you may be able to resolve your claim without the help of a lawyer. However, this isn't the case for everyone. If you are experiencing any of the following, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer:
- Your claim has been denied or you have not received your promised benefits
- Your settlement doesn't cover all of your expenses
- You plan to apply for both workers' comp and Social Security Disability benefits
- You are unable to return to work due to your injuries
- You are facing hostility or retaliation from your employer
- Your injuries were caused by a third party
Hiring a lawyer can help ensure that your best interests are represented throughout the whole process and that you receive fair treatment and a fair settlement for your injuries.
We Fight for Injured Workers
At Knafo Law Offices, we are committed to standing up for the rights of injured workers. Since 1982, our team has successfully helped numerous clients recover their rightful workers’ compensation benefits, and we are ready to fight for you, too.
Whether you were recently injured on the job and need help beginning the workers’ compensation process or your claim has already been denied, our firm is available to help you navigate the process. We have six conveniently located offices throughout the Lehigh Valley and answer calls 24/7. Reach out to our Allentown workers’ compensation lawyers today to learn more about how we can assist you with your work injury claim.
Workers’ Compensation FAQ
- Can I still receive workers' compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?
Yes, you can get workers’ compensation benefits if your mistake caused your workplace accident. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, so liability is not usually a factor when deciding if a claim should be accepted. Issues can arise if the insurance company suspects you intentionally tried to get injured, or if you were acting in a way that was egregiously outside of your employer’s safety protocols. Workers’ compensation only covers accidents, after all, not intentional or near-intentional injuries.
- What kind of benefits can I receive from workers' compensation?
Workers’ compensation benefits are as varied as they are important. You can get 100% coverage for all necessary medical treatments, not elective treatments. You can also get wage replacement benefits if you can’t work, usually equal to two-thirds of your average pre-injury salary. Another common benefit through workers’ comp is vocational rehabilitation, which pays for training and certifications you might need to start a new job or career.
- What isn’t covered by workers’ comp?
Although the benefits of workers’ compensation are good, they do not provide for everything you might suffer as an injured employee. Specifically, workers’ compensation does not provide for your pain, suffering, and emotional injuries. You can only get those damages in a personal injury claim, which you might not be able to file if you create a workers’ comp claim.
To learn more about workers’ comp and your right to benefits, call our firm at (610) 756-1098.
Record-Setting $15.2 Million Wrongful Death
Wrongful death case ended in a verdict of over $15 million dollars.
$8.2 Million Car Accident
Car accident verdict.
$7.25 Million Motorcycle Accident
Using mediation after a motorcycle accident, $7,250,000 was awarded.
$4.1 Million Medical Malpractice
Secured a settlement of over $4 million dollars after medical malpractice occurred.
$3 Million Negligent Trucker
Secured a $3 million dollar settlement for client involving a negligent truck driver.