Though most work-related injuries are from accidents, some also arise from occupational diseases. A worker’s compensation insurance plan will provide similar coverage for occupational diseases as it does for workplace accidents.
What Are Occupational Diseases? Occupational diseases or illnesses are chronic disorders resulting from the activities or environmental conditions in the workplace. In other words, they’re not ordinary diseases of life that people get outside work. Occupational illnesses usually develop over time and are a result of prolonged exposure to toxins in the workplace.
In its occupational disease act, the state of Pennsylvania lists 16 specific conditions that qualify as occupational diseases. Some include:
● Poisoning by arsenic, beryllium, lead, manganese, mercury, phosphorus, and their preparation or compounds in any occupation involving direct contact or exposure.
● Compressed air illness (Caisson disease) resulting from any work carried on in compressed air
● Disability as a result of direct contact or exposure to radioactive X-rays or substances, including Radium poisoning
● Epitheliomas cancer or ulceration resulting from working with tar, bitumen, mineral oil, pitch, or paraffin
● Asbestosis in any occupation involving direct contact with or exposure to the dust of asbestos
● Tuberculosis, hepatitis, or other infectious diseases that a healthcare worker contracts in the course of the job
● Silicosis, or coal workers pneumoconiosis resulting from a workers exposure to the dust of anthracite, bituminous coal, or silicon dioxide
● Lung and heart diseases resulting in disability or death after four years or more in service of firefighting
Exceptions to Ordinary Diseases Certain ordinary diseases of life may also be compensable if there’s convincing evidence that it arose as a result of work. For instance, hearing loss is a common disease an individual can get outside work. However, workers in noisy construction sites and manufacturing plants who acquire loss of hearing more than ten percent are eligible for compensation.
In comparison, the general public is at risk of flu, and there’s no compensation for it, irrespective of the work environment. The best workers comp lawyers in Lancaster, PA, can help you determine if your condition is eligible for compensation according to law.
Making Claims for Occupational Diseases Pennsylvania workers are to file claims for workplace injuries within three years of their occurrence. However, occupational illnesses may take several years to show symptoms, and it’s difficult to say precisely when the illness started. Therefore, the law allows workers to make claims within 300 weeks of their last exposure to the toxic workplace environment.
If you make a claim, you’ll have to prove that it arose from the work environment, and it can be challenging. The defendant may say that it was a pre-existing condition, and this may hurt your claim. For instance, if you already had asthma before working in a paint factory, the fumes can increase your illness. However, you may lose your claim since it was a pre-existing condition.
On the other hand, if you never had asthma before and it resulted from the fumes, you can get workers comp benefits. Due to the complexity of occupational disease claims, only the best workers compensation attorneys in Lancaster PA can defend your case.
Sometimes a previous work injury can lead to a secondary problem. Other times, a re-injury, independent of the old damages, can occur after completing a workers compensation plan. In both situations, the employee may be eligible for a new or renewed workers compensation benefit.
These cases can be complicated since no employer wants to keep paying benefits for injuries. The insurer and the legal team will find reasons to deny your claim. However, a Lancaster workers compensation attorney can fight for your best interest.
When a Secondary Injury and Re-injury is Eligible for Workers Compensation For a secondary injury to be eligible for workers comp benefits, you must prove that it was a result of your old wounds. It could go both ways:
● The new injuries were worse only because of the old one.
● The old injury was the direct cause of the new one.
You can also file a claim for an off-the-job re-injury as long as it was a consequence of your first injury. An example of an off-duty injury is a slip and fall that occurs at home. If an existing work-related injury, like a broken ankle, led to the slip and fall, you can still get benefits.
Cases of new injuries that occur after old ones have healed are slightly different. You'll have to show proof that they are different from the initial injuries.
When Are New Injuries Not Covered? An employee won't receive coverage for new injuries that aren't work-related and has no relationship with pre-existing injuries.
Example 1 Sam had a torn shoulder bone from work, and he's still recuperating from his injuries. He slipped and fell on ice, leading to his shoulder joint pulling from its socket, while at home. A medical examination reveals that his home accident was only worse because he had a previous injury. Sam is, therefore, eligible for more coverage.
Example 2 Hannah resumed work after being on workers compensation for a broken right knee that resulted in surgery. While at work, she jumped out of the way of a falling box, landed wrongly, and broke her right ankle. The court agreed that although the re-injury was on the same leg, it wasn't in a similar location and had no correlation. She got another workers compensation benefit.
Example 3 Jamie recently received his medical examiner's report that he's fit to return to work. His injuries were from a broken backbone when he fell off a tower at work. While driving, a speeding driver runs into his vehicle, and he breaks his back again. The court determines that both injuries are independent of each other and didn't grant his workers compensation claim. He contacted a Lancaster auto accident lawyer and received compensation for personal injury from the negligent driver.
Conclusion Insurance companies try to give out as little compensation that they can. They wouldn't be pleased to pay again for new injuries. If you're a victim of a secondary injury or re-injury, contact a workers compensation lawyer lancaster pa, for proper representation.
To know more, visit: https://www.georgelislaw.com/
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A workers compensation case can end through two methods; a settlement or a court hearing. For instance, if your employer denies your claim or fails to reach an agreement, your case will likely end in court. Although a court trial is more complicated with lengthy proceedings, it might be the only solution for some workers compensation cases.
At a court hearing, you'll need to convince the judge that you deserve a particular benefit. Most injured workers prefer to consult with top workers compensation lawyers in Lancaster, PA, to prepare for the hearing adequately. Since most attorneys charge on a contingency basis, you'll be able to afford the fees.
Preparing Yourself for the Hearing Preparation is vital in a court hearing. It helps you avoid surprises that may throw you off balance and make you uncomfortable in front of a judge. Before the trial, meet with your lawyer to help you prepare on how to testify.
Your lawyer will teach you some basic rules about answering questions and practice likely questions with you. Most importantly, ensure you organize your evidence, like medical reports and bills.
The Hearing Itself Parties that Attend a Workers Compensation Hearing The key people involved and that will be present in a court hearing includes:
● You and your attorney
● The attorney representing the insurance company
● The workers compensation judge will be there.
● Witnesses, if any.
Other parties that may be present include a representative from your employer or the insurance company and a court reporter.
How to Act Part of a judge's duty is to watch your demeanor to determine your credibility. It's essential that you act calm, friendly, and answer all questions honestly. Don't exaggerate the details to gain sympathy as the judge is probably familiar with, and can detect such acts. If you're evading questions or being hostile, it'll be detrimental to your case.
Presenting Evidence Both you and the other party will have an opportunity to present evidence. This evidence may include certified medical records, medical bills, employment records, proof of lost income, eyewitness, and expert witness testimonies.
Your Testimony The judge will first place you under oath where you'll swear to tell the truth. Your lawyer will then question you, after which the insurer's lawyer will ask you questions in cross-examination. Some questions to expect include details about:
● Your employment including job duties, wages, and working hours
● Medical history
● How the injury occurred and the reporting procedure you followed
● Your current symptoms and any injuries limiting your work
What Happens Next The judge may not decide the case at the first hearing. He may schedule a second hearing, which will involve depositions of medical experts. This hearing is optional for you and only requires the presence of both attorneys.
The judge will schedule a final hearing for evidence, and he'll take between 30 to 90 days before issuing a written decision. If his decision isn't favorable to you, you can go for an appeal.
Conclusion Litigations are quite challenging. However, preparation is the key to winning. Hire one of the top workers comp lawyers in Lancaster, PA, to help your case.
When a personal injury accident occurs, victims naturally want to know how much they can claim. Some ask questions like "what's the average personal injury settlement?" to get a benchmark for filing a claim. Truthfully, there's no "average" settlement for a personal injury accident, and what a victim receives depends on several factors.
Some surveys and online articles may give you figures for an average settlement. However, they're not a good determinant of what you should file or what you'll receive. Since every accident differs, the value of each settlement will vary from the so-called average amount.
In fact, if someone receives $500,000 for a similar accident as yours, you may not get that exact amount. Such is the difference in each personal injury case. The best person to help you calculate a range of possible values is a personal injury lawyer Lancaster PA.
With general damages, Pennsylvania law allows victims to settle for non-economic losses that are difficult to value. These losses include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, loss of companionship, and other pain and suffering damages.
The degree of both types of damages will determine your settlement value. For instance, the amount someone gets for permanent paralysis or severe brain damage will be higher than another victim for short-term injuries.
The Defendant's Assets and Insurance Limits Besides your damages, a court will consider the worth of the defendants, including his insurance limit and sell able assets. If the defendant has no means to pay either through his insurance policy or assets, your settlement may be below. It's advisable to consider a defendant's worth before when calculating your average compensation.
Liability The final factor is the extent to which the defendant is liable for your injuries. Irrespective of the extent of your injuries, you won't get a large settlement if you were partly responsible for the accident.
If the percentage of the defendant's negligence is higher than yours, they'll only be accountable for their contribution. However, if your liability is above 50%, you may get nothing, due to Pennsylvania's contributory negligence law.
Pennsylvania workers compensation law spells out the benefits you'll receive when you experience a work-related injury. However, if you're not aware of the different types of compensation available to you, it can affect your claims.
To get a good result, injured employees prefer to hire top workers compensation attorneys in Lancaster PA. A lawyer can analyze your case and explain in detail the kind of benefits you can receive. Let's consider the types of workers comp benefits available in Pennsylvania.
Medical Coverage Workers compensation will cover medical treatments that are reasonable and necessary for your injuries. Reasonable medical costs include doctor's appointments, surgeries, prescriptions that are related to your treatment.
Wage Loss Benefits Workers comp pays a portion of your lost income if you're unable to work due to a disability. This benefit depends on the injury's severity, and the time it'll take to heal. Pennsylvania classifies this disability in two ways.
Total Disability Total disability benefits are payable as long as you're unable to work. However, after collecting total disability for 104 weeks, your employer's insurer may request you to undergo an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE).
If the result of the examination shows that you have less than 50% whole body impairment, you'll classify as partially disabled. However, you'll still receive your total disability benefits for a limited period of 500 weeks. Your employer's insurer can attempt to reduce your benefit during the 500 weeks, but top workers comp attorneys in Lancaster, PA, can defend you.
Partial Disability Partial disability indicates that you can earn some wages through light-duty work, although you haven't fully recovered. Usually, it's the result of an IRE or the insurance company's doctor that'll determine if you're partially disabled.
If your new light-duty job pays less than your previous position, you'll receive two-thirds of the difference between both wages. These benefits are payable for a maximum period of 500 weeks.
Specific Loss Benefits Specific loss includes loss of body part, permanent disfigurement to neck, head, and face, and loss of hearing or vision. If you suffer a work-related specific loss, you'll be eligible for two-thirds of your average weekly wages for a particular period.
Death Benefits Death benefits are payable to your heir or beneficiary if you pass away due to a workplace injury or illness. Your dependents will receive the death benefits within 300 weeks of the injury or exposure to hazards. It includes $3,000 funeral expenses, benefits to a spouse until they remarry, and children under 18 (under 23 if they're full-time students).
Conclusion Insurance companies won't explain your entitlements to you before giving you an offer. Therefore, it's vital to know the different benefits you can receive when you suffer from a work injury. While these benefits are broad, the best workers compensation lawyers in Lancaster, PA, can point out which benefits apply to you.
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Some workers acquire injuries from their workplace that leads to a disability. In such cases, the workers may qualify to receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Unfortunately, an "offset" may limit the total benefits obtainable from both programs.
An offset reduces the SSDI so that an eligible person receives not more than 80% of his average earnings before the injury. The rules of a workers’ compensation offset are complex, and they also vary by state. That's why you'll need to contact one of the best workers comp lawyers in Lancaster, PA.
How Social Security Calculates the Offset The Social Security Administration (SSA) first determines the total amount of your combined benefits every month. This calculation is the "applicable limit," and it can be either of the following:
● 80% of your pre-injury income, your average current earnings, or
● the total SSDI that all members of your family receive in the first month you get your workers’ comp benefit. It's also called "total family benefit."
In most cases, SSA uses the average current earnings when determining total benefits. Every month, the SSA will calculate the combined benefits, and if they exceed your average current earnings, they'll bring it down to the applicable limit.
Calculating Your Average Current Earnings Social security calculates your average current earnings using the following formulas;
● The average monthly formula: The average monthly earning on which your SSDI is based.
● The high-five formula: The average monthly earning from your five highest-earning years in a row.
● The high-one formula: The average monthly wage from a single year. It can either be the year your disability began or any year from the five previous years.
Social security will use the formula that's most favorable to you, and most times, it's the high-one formula.
How the Offset Works SSA adds your SSDI benefits to your workers’ comp benefits. If there'll be an offset, it'll apply to your SSDI. Let's say the SSA determines your average earnings as $4,000, and your workers’ compensation benefit is $2,500 monthly.
Also, you qualify for an SSDI benefit of $2,000 per month. Your total combined benefits ($4,500) exceed 80% ($3,200) of your average earnings ($4,000). Therefore, SSA will reduce your SSDI to $1,200, leaving you with a total of $3,200.
Some states have a rule that reduces workers’ compensation benefits instead of SSDI. It's called a reverse offset rule. To understand how an offset or reverse offset applies to your case, discuss with one of the best workers compensation attorneys in Lancaster PA.
Conclusion The workers’ compensation offset may seem like a loss. However, there are different ways you can minimize this offset so it won't affect your total benefits. The best workers comp attorneys in Lancaster, PA, can show you how to maximize your benefits.
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No one anticipates getting involved in an accident or suffering a personal injury. It's therefore understandable that in the aftermath of a personal injury, some people feel confused. As a result, it's easy to make mistakes.
While some mistakes are harmless, others might jeopardize a victim's ability to get compensation. It's essential to know the common mistakes personal injury clients make so that you can avoid them.
Failing to Keep Record of Evidence After a personal injury accident, it's vital to document every evidence, beginning from the scene of the accident. It would be best if you took numerous photographs of the scene and your injuries. If you can locate witnesses, speak to them, write down everything, and collect their contact information.
When claiming compensation, you need to prove that someone else's negligence and not yours was the cause of the accident. Besides a police investigation, keeping a personal record of evidence can help support your claim.
Delaying Medical Attention Not all injuries are immediately noticeable when accidents occur, and some victims might skip getting medical help. An injury like internal bleeding, which you may not notice at first, might lead to severe problems later. Whether you notice a broken arm or feel okay after an accident, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Besides a negative impact on your health, delaying might give you a hard time proving the connection between your injuries and the accident. If your wounds heal before obtaining medical evidence, you might not receive as much compensation as you deserve.
Not Hiring an Attorney on Time Many clients think personal injury claims are clear cut issues, and that they can get help at any time. However, not seeking legal representation on time might have consequences. For instance, every state has a statute of limitations for which you can file a claim. If you wait too long, you might not get compensation.
If you want the best out of your claim, hire a personal injury lawyer Lancaster PA, as soon as possible. They can tell you about the statute of limitations and help you file your claims on time.
Settling Quickly with The Insurance Company Insurance companies try to settle claims immediately if they know they could lose money later. They do so when they think you're yet to get legal help. Their first offer may be less than you deserve, so you should consult an experienced lawyer. Don't settle with the insurer yourself. A personal injury attorney Lancaster PA, will know how to negotiate and get you the best deal.
Posting on Social Media In a personal injury lawsuit, the opposing party may use any post you make online against you. They can spin a harmless photograph around to downplay your injuries. It's best to be careful what you post online or avoid posting until the lawsuit is over.
Conclusion You need to know what to do when you suffer a personal injury. If you make a claim with the right evidence and have an experienced attorney by your side, you'll get proper compensation.
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While workers' compensation helps take care of different expenses, it doesn't make up for a full-time salary. Besides helping you earn more, returning to work may also help you feel better around supportive co-workers. If you're eager to go back to work after an injury, you must do so carefully.
What Should I do? You should first consult a doctor to give you the go-ahead. He'll examine you to determine if you've reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning your injuries have healed as much as they can. If yes, he'll clear you for work, and if not, he may tell you to stay back.
Your doctor may also ask you to resume with specific work restrictions, even when you don't reach MMI. For instance, if your work entails heavy lifting, he'll give you limits that'll notify your employer to place you on lighter duties. Most times, you'll get a new job duty on lower pay.
What If I Feel Better but Didn't Get Clearance? If your doctor doesn't clear you, don't return to work on your directive. Even if you feel well enough, you should listen to your physician. Returning too early might affect your recovery process, and you could re-injure yourself.
What If I Don't Feel Better After Clearance? If your doctor clears you to return to work and you don't, you might lose your workers' compensation benefits. If you don't feel well enough after medical clearance, contact one of the top workers comp attorneys in Lancaster, PA, immediately.
What If My Employer Insists That I Return to Work? As part of the workers' compensation process, employers usually request an injured employee to go through an independent medical examination (IME). Sometimes, the IME's report might clear you to return to work, while your doctor's report doesn't.
Employers don't enjoy paying workers compensation benefits and may force you to resume based on the IME results. If you're in such a situation, contact one of the top workers compensation attorneys in Lancaster PA to handle your case.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Not Returning? Yes. Your employer can fire you when you don't return. However, you may still be able to receive workers' compensation benefits if you have an experienced attorney.
Generally, you can't receive compensation from your employer for a car accident. However, there are exceptions, and this is where the term "work-related" becomes relevant. Work-related car accidents imply that you got an injury while you were discharging your duties as an employee.
An accident that occurs when you're simply commuting to and from work may not qualify as an injury for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you stopped on the way to pick up office supplies and an accident occurs, you can make claims. Here are some other car accident scenarios that can qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits.
● Making deliveries: If you're making deliveries for your company, whether it's part of your job description or not.
● Running errands: If your employer asks you to drop something off or do a coffee run for the office.
● Driving to another worksite: It can include commuting from one branch of the office to another or an off-site location during work hours.
● Transporting a co-worker: It may be to a meeting with a client or a trip to the airport as part of discharging your duty.
● Paid-travel time: If you travel for a work-related reason that an employer pays you for, or you're a remote employee paid for commuting to the office.
However, if you had an accident while deviating from a work duty you were to perform, you won't be eligible for benefits. Also, you may not be able to make claims for an accident that occurs during lunch hours. Although it's a workday, lunch breaks are personal hours.
You may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to recover damages from your injuries. You'll have to reach out to a Lancaster auto accident lawyer to guide you through.
When Are Work-related Car Accidents Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation? If a minor accident occurs and you didn't sustain any injury, you can't receive workers’ compensation benefits. The reason is that you have no medical bills or lost work time to recover. Another reason is if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs or committed a crime.
What If I Caused the Accident? Workers’ compensation law doesn't require anyone to be at fault before you can file a claim. The law allows you to make claims if you sustain an injury while working. So, even if you caused the accident, as long as you're eligible for compensation, you'll receive one.
You may also not have to pay damages to the other party whom you hurt. Most times, your employer's liability may protect you. Your employer may pay for the damages and your legal fees if a lawsuit arises. If you find yourself in this scenario, you'll need a Lancaster workers compensation attorney to help you understand your liabilities.
Employers owe workers a safe workplace. If an employee sustains an injures, the hirer —often, through an insurance company— pays due compensations.
But what if an employee suffers injury from an auto accident during a work-related trip away from the workplace?
Workers Compensation for Auto Accidents
To be considered an auto accident victim for workers' compensation, the accident must have happened during "company time." This means it must have occurred while on a company assignment. If, for instance, a company driver got injured while driving a company vehicle, it'd be assumed the accident happened while at his typical job routine.
Workers' compensation system recognizes the following accidents:
• Driving between two work locations.
• Running work-related errands — such as making company deliveries
• Driving another worker on company assignment
• Paid travel duration from home to work site.
While some exceptions apply, these are the first considerations to determine workers' compensation after an auto accident.
If an accident occurs away from your typical company-recognized delivery route, or en route a personal destination, you may not qualify for any workers' compensation benefit. However, you may want to discuss with top workers compensation lawyers in Lancaster, PA, to find out your options.
When A Worker Is at Fault
Typically, workers' compensation covers lost wages and medical expenses associated with work-related injuries. Interestingly, it doesn't matter the party at fault.
Liability for Third-Party Driver's Damages
Often, auto accidents involve at least two vehicles. Thankfully, employers' workers' compensation insurance policy takes care of their employee's physical injuries, while their liability insurance handles vehicle damage – assuming you were using a personal car –and damage to other vehicles, damaged properties, and injured occupants of other vehicles (s).
Employee Sued for Personal Injury in an Auto Accident.
Employers may not be liable in an on-the-job injury if:
• The injured committed a crime
• The victim is guilty of DUI
In these cases, your employer may deny you both your workers' compensation and even liability coverage for the third party's damage.
Secure Workers' Compensation for On-the-job Auto Accident
If you got involved in an auto crash in the line of duty, making workers' compensation claim is no walk in the park. While workers are legally entitled to several juicy benefits after a workplace injury, many times, they do not receive their due compensations.
If you're confused about how to secure workers' compensation after a work-related accident, no worries. Georgelis Law Firm boasts a team of top workers comp lawyers in Lancaster, PA. We not only offer free consultation on how the best legal action to take, our experienced experts lead you through the process until you get all your benefits.
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Workers’ compensation and personal injury laws have a common purpose — to compensate an injured party. These legal provisions are both designed to ensure accident victims do not pay for injury-related bills with their funds.
That said, these concepts have some differences. This article helps draw a fine line between worker’s compensation and personal injury.
These considerations are needful for differentiating workers’ compensation from personal injury:
Who Caused Your Injury?
If you sustained an injury in the line of duty, you might be eligible for worker’s compensation. Such damages may include, for example, one suffered from an industrial machine in a manufacturing plant.
In some cases, such injuries may not be linked directly to one’s typical office functions. For example, you would qualify for compensation if you sustained an electric shock from an exposed wire, dangling within the workplace.
Provided it happened at the workplace, the sufferer is eligible for worker’ compensation – negligence regardless.
Interestingly, the worker’s compensation does not favor only the employee; employers also benefit:
• The affected worker cannot sue the employer. So, this saves the organization from the time- and resource-consuming legal fights.
• On their part, the employee receives immediate compensation to handle resultant bills without trying to prove who was at fault and also bypassing the widely-dreaded legal processes.
Can I Sue Another for an Injury at Work?
Yes. But in limited situations. Although there’s no use finding who was at fault with the workers’ compensation system, some cases involve liability.
For instance, a third-party injurer may be held liable for damages if the said person is not your employer. The exception, however, is when your employer knows about the potential harm of the third party’s action or inaction. In this case, the burden falls back on your employer.
A Lancaster workers compensation attorney can walk you through the options as applicable in your local laws.
Workplace Injury Recovery
Here are likely compensations obtainable after a workplace injury:
• Medical treatment
• Wages payable during off-work recovery time
• Settlement in the case of permanent disability
• Retraining in the event victim cannot return to their job
• Death benefits paid to the victim’s survival
These compensations may vary across states. And, for compensation, victims can decide to choose a substantial one-off sum or weekly payments over an agreed duration. A seasoned best workers compensation lawyers in Lancaster, PA, will discuss your options and offer expert guidelines.
That said, personal injury lawsuits cover settlement for some damages not captured by the worker’s compensation benefits.
Categories of Personal Injury Damages
Personal injury damages are in three categories, including:
• Punitive Damages
Designed to punish defendants for egregious and malicious acts which resulted in the injury
• Economic Damages
Intended to make the party responsible pay for financial implications associated with the injury. If the injury is auto-related, consider getting a specialist Lancaster auto accident lawyer to maximize your economic compensation.
• Non-economic Damages
Compensation for emotional-related (non-financial) damages
Workers’ compensation, on the other hand, makes provision for neither of these damages. Instead, it considers only medical expenses and a part of lost remuneration.
One key difference between worker’s compensation and personal injury is that while personal injury seeks who to blame, worker’s compensation benefits come without tracing who was at fault.
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Workers’ laws evolve by the day. Those once-lenient legislations currently impose stricter rules to check increasing employee-employee exploitations.
Currently, all employers should create a safe and conducive working environment for all workers. Failure to do so makes hirers liable for penalties and citations, which may become full-grown lawsuits. Discuss workers compensation lawyer Lancaster PA if you wish to make claims against your employer for on-the-job related accidents.
While your employer must provide a hazard-free work environment, some accidents are not entirely their fault. If, for instance, an employee’s accident is substance abuse-related, the firm has no blame, per se. Except where toxicology results say otherwise, the injured worker has breached the terms of employment and may face relevant sanctions.
However, since the incident occurred within the work environment, the employer will still provide necessary benefits to the injured party.
These provisions cover injured workers’ medical bills, lost wages, and related financial implications caused by the accident. In most cases, the law obliges employees to pay applicable compensations, regardless of who was at fault. A top workers comp attorneys in Lancaster, PA can help push for your benefit in the event of an on-the-job accident.
Know When to Take Legal Actions
While workers’ compensation is a requirement, sometimes, workers may take further legal steps. For example, one may pursue a personal injury case against their employers if their action, or inaction, caused the employee’s injury.
It is needful to know your right and act against violators accordingly. You may sue your company and collect applicable benefits if they fail to provide the necessary insurance coverage.
Where faulty equipment or toxic substance caused a workplace accident, you can take legal actions against the product’s manufacturer for the supply. While such complex processes may be pretty much tricky, not taking any action justifies your employer’s supposed negligence.
Besides court settlement, many cashout millions of dollars as compensation for damages – you too can. Taking relevant legal actions for benefits doesn’t mean you’re frivolous; it only means you seek due compensation for your losses.
Not sure when to take legal actions against your employer for workers’ compensation and personal injury-related infractions?
Georgelis Injury Law Firm is your go-to partner. Our many years’ experience in workers’ law in Pennsylvania and the truckload of positive client reviews speak volumes.
Our team of personal injury lawyer Lancaster PA will hold you by the hand through the legal path and ensure you receive your full benefits.
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The ‘Fault’ concept can be a lot confusing in a personal injury lawsuit. While it’s one thing to know who’s to blame for your injury, how the insurance handles it can be tricky. Insurance companies’ response to personal injury cases varies across states. You may consult experienced attorneys in Lancaster PA, for an in-depth overview of Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws.
Personal injury insurance states are grouped into two: fault and no-fault states.
Before you file a personal injury lawsuit, first, answer the “who is at fault?” question. Filing for damages starts with knowing who has the blame – and with facts that make them at fault.
At-fault Insurance – Explained
Fault is a form of liability. For compensation, the injured must provide enough evidence that proves the accused’s negligence caused the damage.
Four Elements of Negligence
Negligence refers to a failure to show care in interaction with people or properties. Legally, negligence is a non-intentional careless act.
Here are four legal elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
At every point, the duty of care is expected in our daily social interactions.
For instance, a grocery shop owes a duty of care to shoppers. So, he ensuresthe store is in its safest possible state. If, for example, a customer slips and falls, the store may be liable.
Breach of Duty of Care
In the event a person fails to take necessary precautions to avoid causing harm to another, it is considered a breach.
If, for instance, a store owner cleans the floor – without any warnings that indicate a wet floor – the duty of care may be breached for exposing customers to such a high fall risk.
Breach Leads to Injury
Too often, people breach their duty of care. But in many cases, nobody gets hurt. Texting down the sidewalk, for example, is a breach of duty, since you put the lives of other pedestrians at risk. But since you do not bump into anyone and no injuries, you are not liable for any damage.
So, legally, it is only considered fault or negligence if one’s behavior leads to another’s injury.
The Injury Causes Harm
While texting, you could hit someone hard, but without any bruises or falls. Perhaps the party hit had a bad day. They might get angry and threaten a lawsuit against you for negligence.
No, don’t fret. That’s not how it works.
Negligence claims require that the claimant proves that the other party’s negligence caused them actual harm – in fact, one that demands medical attention.
No-Fault Insurance – Explained
No-fault coverage allows out-of-court settlement for small claims. Here are common terms associated with fault systems:
• First party refers to the policyholder
• Second party is the insurer (insurance company)
• Third party means any other person involved in the accident
The insurer compensates its policyholder after a loss, without considering who was at fault. To illustrate, in a no-fault state, a driver is expected to own a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. For severe injuries, the driver may sue even in no-fault jurisdictions.
No-Fault Medical Policy
One can as well protect themselves from accident liabilities besides auto crashes.
Most homeowners’ coverages come with a no-fault medical insurance package. A visitor who got injured in your home can seek compensation from your insurance company without making any liability suit against you.
Where There Are Multiple Defendants At Fault
Often, the fault isn’t from one person. Besides, it’s likely the party who caused the accident may not be the person liable for damages.
For instance, an eight-year-old child breaks a neighbor’s window while practicing baseball. Although the child is responsible for the neighbor’s loss, factoring his age, the parents may be held liable.
Sometimes, multiple parties might be at fault for an injury. A Lancaster personal injury lawyer can walk you through the legal possibilities based on available facts.
The fault systems dictate how one’s negligence may contribute to an injury. Whether or not you’re at fault, you may want to seek a professional opinion.
A personal injury attorney Lancaster PA may help identify who’s at fault and advise on the next action to take. They can advise you to either file claims for remaining costs following an insurance compensation, or act no further – If the settlement offered is reasonable.
Discuss with Georgelis Injury Law Firm, Lancaster, PA, for available legal options to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
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An accident could result in any injury that causes bodily harm. In other cases, an employee, based on the nature of work, can contract an occupational disease – an undesirable health state caused by prolonged exposure to unhealthy elements –like chemicals – within the workplace.
In such events, affected workers are due for compensation. If you experience such workplace health threats, consider hiring a top workers compensation lawyers in Lancaster, PA to walk you through the legal processes.
That said, construction workers are widely susceptible to fatal accidents. Among the large numbers, about 40 percent are falls-related.
These common causes account for about 60% of total construction workers’ deaths:
• Caught between objects
• Struck by object
Factoring the hazard construction workers face, employers should help their employees stay safe from danger.
Construction Accidents – Falls
Although the most common cause, construction accidents from falls are preventable. Employers may consider the following preventive measures:
Protect Floor Holes, Wall Openings, and Sides
Typically, buildings under construction are usually without handrails, doors, and related safety contractions. Ensure the site is well lit, and workers are familiar and cautioned about holes and dangerous openings. Besides, toe boards and guardrails built around elevated platforms, runway, and the floor will come handy.
Safety nets, handrails, stair rails, harness and line will help optimize work-site safety. Non-slip work boots and shoes, hard hats, and related protective gear, based on the nature of work, will go a long way to reduce construction-related accidents.
Construct and Maintain Scaffolding
Properly constructed scaffolding with guardrail is an ideal safety measure at construction sites. Give due attention to replacing building materials or heavy equipment on a scaffold with limited capacity and space to handle the weight.
Proper Use of Small-sized Ladders
Ensure to use a well-positioned portable ladder. Besides, supervisors should check routinely to ensure the ladders are not damaged and without little defects.
Construction Accidents – Struck by objects
From cranes to trucks, many construction workers have lost their lives to being struck by moving objects.
Supervisors should check equipment and jacks regularly to be sure they match the amount of force and weight they manage. Besides, workers should be sensitive when passing beneath suspended loads and, where necessary, signal the operator of your movement.
Using personal protective equipment would dramatically curb the rate of accidents at the site.
Construction Accident – Electrocution
Here are vital precautionary tips to avoid electrocution while in the field:
Grounding: (or ground fault protection) is an essential safety measure. Electrical explosions, burns, and fires may result from poor grounding.
Power lines contact – avoid power lines, as fatal electrocution is highly probable around these lines.
Equipment errors – construction workers should learn how every job-related equipment works – whether or not the task at hand is electricity-related.
Construction Accidents – Caught Between Objects
This is when a construction worker helplessly suffocates or gets exposed to harmful chemicals. As a precaution, prefer personal kits most fitting for your work site. Besides using protective equipment, ensure your accessories, clothes, and hair is close and suitable enough to avoid getting trapped in a moving machine.
When You Get Hurt in a Construction Accident
First, inform your site supervisor immediately – trailed by proper detailed documentation. Then, consult top workers comp lawyers in Lancaster, PA experienced in worker compensation claims and personal injury.
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The next line of action after an on-the-job injury can be somewhat confusing. Such confusion, too often, leads to mistakes, grave enough to ruin your workers' compensation claims.
Before we discuss the mistakes, noteworthily, all Pennsylvania employees qualify for workers' compensation. The exception, however, include:
• Casual laborers
• Sole proprietors
• Railroad workers
• Federal employees
• Agriculture laborers
• Domestic workers
Besides the workers' compensation benefits, these categories of workers may qualify for FECA and related benefits. Domestic workers may also consider obtaining their personal workers' compensation insurance.
That said, the following may ruin your chances of a workers' comp
• Delayed Reporting of Injury
Regardless of how minor the damage seems; timely reporting increases your chances of receiving compensation. In Pennsylvania, for example, an injury must be reported within 120 days after injury to be eligible for compensation. For even better chances of compensation for lost income and medical bills, report injury within 21 days.
You may still get compensated if you miss this deadline. But, on the ground that you have a witness and perhaps due to your incapacitation, you couldn't file a report within the stipulated timeframe. Consider contacting some of the best workers comp lawyers in Lancaster, PA to review your case and take necessary legal steps to secure your compensation.
• Error While Filing Forms
Pursuing a workers' compensation claim requires detailed information and proper documentation. Many compensation claims denial is a result of inadequate or incomplete documentation. The insurance companies are out for the tiniest reason to reduce the value of your benefits or possibly avoid paying claims.
To strike out the possibility of any forms of error, get the best workers comp attorneys in Lancaster, PA.
• No Accident Report or Missing Medical Information
For evidence, accident reports and medical information are essential. Regardless of how minor the injury seems, seeking immediate medical attention will go a long way.
Where an injury claim lacks details of the damage or medical evaluation of possible causes, the request may be declined. Ensure you specify, categorically, that the accident occurred at work.
• Incomplete Medical Examination
For an investigation, the insurer's doctor might require an independent medical examination. This is to determine the severity of the injury and, as well, confirm its work-related claims.
Failure to keep up with the medical examinations may affect your chances of getting compensated for your injury.
Discuss with a Seasoned Attorney
Getting paid for work-related injuries isn't always as easy as it seems. The slightest mistake can ruin the entire process and hurt your claim. For the best outcome, discuss with your local top workers compensation attorneys in Lancaster PA.
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