Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Lawyers

If you were injured on the job, you’re likely entitled to compensation through Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation program. However, in order to collect those benefits you’ll need to follow a specific process and meet certain deadlines. Any errors or mistakes in the process can reduce or deny your claim.

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To receive the benefits that workers’ compensation is supposed to provide, you should work with an experienced lawyer from Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law. We’re here to provide a cost-free, risk-free assessment of your claim. Call us at (800) 535-3425 or use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.

Your rights as an employee under Pennsylvania law

Right to receive benefits if injured

As an employee in Pennsylvania, you are guaranteed certain benefits when you’re injured in a workplace accident or while performing your duties. This compensation includes free medical coverage and wage-loss benefits for the duration you cannot work.

Right to control your treatment

Unlike other states, in Pennsylvania, you can usually choose your own doctors instead of using the provider your employer chooses for you.

This allows you extra protection as the doctors chosen by your employer or their insurance company might not be qualified to accurately measure your injuries, or they might try to end your treatment early as a benefit to the insurance company.

Please note:

You can choose your own doctor to treat your work injury unless your employer accepts your claim and has posted in your workplace a list of six or more physicians or health care providers.

In that case, you must visit a provider on the list for initial treatment. You must continue treatment with that provider or another on the list for a period of 90 days following the first visit.

Right to recover fully before going back to work

Some employers often try to force injured employees to return to work sooner than they should. It’s important to understand that you are under no obligation to respond to this pressure from your employer. You have the right to wait until you’re fully recovered before returning to work, and only a doctor can clear you for light duty or regular work.

Right to a hearing

You have the right to a hearing if:

  • Your employer attempts to deny, reduce, or terminate your workers’ compensation benefits
  • Your disability pay was not correctly calculated

In these and other instances, your case must be heard by a workers’ compensation judge. Should the decision be to your disadvantage, it may be possible to appeal the decision.

Types of workers’ compensation benefits available in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides coverage for employees who sustain a job injury or a work-related illness. The main categories of benefits are explained below.

Medical benefits

How much will your injury cost five years from now? Will the symptoms go away, or might you require ongoing pain management efforts?

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The answers to these questions help determine the benefits you may be entitled to. Your workers’ compensation coverage is meant to fully pay for your medical bills linked to your injury, but when problems arise, your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer can help you collect the evidence you need to fully and accurately measure your damages, which may include:

  • Medicine
  • Hospital treatment and services
  • Orthopedic appliances and prostheses

Temporary total disability benefits

When the injury prevents you from returning to work for a specific but limited amount of time, you may be entitled to temporary total benefits to replace your lost income.

Permanent partial disability benefits

If your injury prevents you from returning to the same work as before your accident and leads to a reduction in income, you might be eligible to receive permanent partial benefits to cover a portion of the difference.

It’s important to note that permanent partial benefits are unavailable unless you work with a workers’ compensation attorney. A skilled Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer with Stark & Stark can fight to get you the benefits that workers’ comp should provide.

Permanent total disability benefits

Injuries that cause permanent disabilities can result in you being eligible to receive permanent total benefits to support yourself and your family after your on-the-job injury.

Death benefits

If the workplace injury results in the death of the worker, surviving dependents may be entitled to certain benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Wrongful death claims can be complex, and working with an experienced lawyer can help to support the process and your award at the end of negotiations.

Common workplace injuries in Pennsylvania

Workers in Pennsylvania face a broad variety of risks in the workplace, the extent of the risks depends on the industry they work in.

Broken bones

Depending on the location and cause of the injury, a broken bone can require surgery, treatment for infection, and other expensive procedures. Workers in the construction, manufacturing, and transportation sectors are especially prone to bone fractures.

Repetitive stress or overexertion injuries

Repeating the same seemingly safe motion in the workplace can, over time, lead to what is known as repetitive stress or repetitive strain injury. Common industries where repetitive stress injuries impact workers include construction, manufacturing, and office workers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is essentially when the tunnel through which the nerves that control your hands pass through your wrist becomes inflamed. This can lead to ongoing pain and difficulty with mobility and can limit your ability to perform your work. The activity does not have to be physically strenuous and can be caused by something as simple as typing or using a mouse on a computer.

Tennis elbow

Movements that require the lateral movement of the hands and forearm can lead to what is commonly referred to as “tennis elbow.” This overuse injury is common to workers in construction and manufacturing injuries and can lead to debilitating injury and the requirement of ongoing pain management.

Tenosynovitis (trigger finger)

Equipment operators tasked with pulling switches and pushing levers might think that their position is easier than those that require ongoing heavy lifting. However, the potential for injury is still there. Trigger finger can lead to pain and mobility issues and can prevent an employee from working during treatment and recovery or during any long-term injury.

Cuts, lacerations, and punctures

Objects on the job that might ordinarily seem safe can lead to severe injury if they’re hit at high speed or with force, causing cuts, lacerations, and punctures. These types of injuries require immediate medical care and can develop into further complications.

Head and brain injuries

Any time that your head experiences a bump, blow, or penetrating wound, you can experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury can lead to permanent chemical changes in your brain that can impact your ability to work, and your capacity to enjoy your life as you had prior to the accident.

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If you’ve experienced a head wound on the job it’s essential to receive follow-up medical care, as it can be difficult to detect the true extent of a brain injury without proper medical care.

Common causes of workplace injuries

Approximately 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in the private industry were reported in 2020 alone. Keep in mind that these numbers were included in reports made during the COVID-19 pandemic, so more injuries likely occurred in 2021 when more workers returned to their jobs.

Regardless of the workplace or industry you work in, some workplace injuries – and mistakes made in the workplace – are more common than others.

1. Equipment malfunction

Equipment malfunctions are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries with varying severity. As such, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets strict obligations for employers to ensure equipment is operating properly and undergoes regular maintenance to protect their employees from injuries, especially serious nonfatal injuries like amputations.

2. Falling objects

Construction workers and individuals involved in that industry are most likely to experience injury as a result of falling objects. Employers have a duty to maintain the safety of job sites by protecting against falling objects and providing protective equipment for workers to prevent injuries should accidents happen.

3. Slip and fall or slip and trip

Employees must be able to perform their duties without the undue risk of experiencing an injury from a slip-and-fall. This includes safeguarding slippery areas, covering trip hazards with no-trip plates, and other measures.

4. Overexertion and bodily reaction

Workers in the construction industry are particularly susceptible to injuries due to overexertion and bodily reaction. Dehydration can lead to a broad variety of symptoms, which can in turn impact a worker’s reactivity to dangers, magnifying the severity of any injuries that might be experienced.

5. Exposure to harmful environments or substances

Experiencing injury due to exposure to harmful substances or environments can entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits for the related injury and lost work benefits. These injuries can be especially dangerous given that they do not always immediately emerge, but may take many years of exposure to develop into dangerous health conditions.

Issues a workers’ compensation lawyer can help solve

While it would be ideal if your workers’ compensation benefits were received automatically after you have received a qualifying injury, that’s not the case. Instead, you’ll have to draft a claim with evidence to prove your damages after you timely file a report about the accident, then the claim must be negotiated with your employer and/or their insurance company.

The insurance company doesn’t want to pay you the complete amount you may be entitled to, instead, they want to pay you as little as possible.

Improper wage reporting

The amount of benefits you may be entitled to is based on a proportion of the wage rate reported in your workers’ compensation case. Your employer may improperly report your wage to reduce the amount they and/or their insurance company must pay you for your injuries.

This can lead to you receiving much less than you may be entitled to.

Challenging employment status

Your ability to receive benefits for your workplace injury depends on your status as an employee. In an attempt to evade their duties and responsibilities toward you and your workplace injury, employers and insurance companies have been known to challenge your employment status to avoid paying out your benefits.

Questioning eligibility for benefits

Receiving benefits is essential for the ongoing financial stability and support of you and your family as you manage the implications of your workplace injury. To reduce or deny your benefits altogether, your eligibility may be questioned. This can be done by denying that you were injured, denying liability, or claiming that your injuries can’t be as severe as your claim details.

The evidence matters here, and working with a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to collect the evidence you need to make the most of your case.

Hurt at work? Let us help before you run into an issue with insurance.

The best way to collect full workers’ compensation benefits – including medical care, weekly temporary disability benefits, and partial permanent settlement that can compensate for loss of function – is by working with a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer.

The experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys with Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law can help you with your claim every step, from drafting to negotiating the benefits you deserve. To learn more, schedule a consultation or call (800) 535-3425.

Multiple locations to better serve your needs—

Hamilton, NJ

100 American Metro Boulevard
Hamilton, NJ 08619
Phone: 609.896.9060
Secondary phone: 800.535.3425
Fax: 609.896.0629
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Marlton, NJ

40 Lake Center, 401 NJ-73, Suite 130
Marlton, NJ 08053
Phone: 856.874.4443
Secondary phone: 888.241.7424
Fax: 856.874.0133
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Yardley, PA

777 Township Line Road, Suite 120
Yardley, PA 19067
Phone: 267.907.9600
Fax: 267.907.9659
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New York, NY

5 Pennsylvania Plaza 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 800.535.3425
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Philadelphia, PA

The Bellevue 200 S Broad St #600
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 267.907.9600
Secondary phone: 800.535.3425
Fax: 215.564.6245
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Bridgeton, NJ

78 W Broad St
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Phone: 856.874.4443
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