Phoenixville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Located at the intersection of the Schuylkill River and French Creek, Phoenixville is a popular community in Pennsylvania just northwest of Philadelphia. Formerly a steel mill town, it has enjoyed a revitalization that attracts many diverse companies including the headquarters of Novatek Corporation, a producer of air filtration products, Boehringer Laboratories, and Nutrition Management Services Company among others. Considered a part of the Philadelphia Metro Area, Phoenixville’s population is around 18,600 and growing as more and more people enjoy the borough’s charm and downtown filled with local craft breweries and winery tasting rooms. With over four decades of experience, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC are here for the community of Phoenixville.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Since 1915, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act has required that benefits be paid to workers who are injured on the job. It is a no-fault system that protects both employers and their employees. No fault means that even if the worker is partly responsible for the work accident that caused his or her injuries, he or she can still receive benefits. When an employee has a work-related injury or illness, the employer provides for the cost of compensation for medical treatment and lost wages. In return the employer is protected from direct lawsuits by the employee. Coverage begins on the first day of the job and lasts for the entire duration of employment.
What Kind of Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Available?
If you have a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for some or all of the following benefits:
- Medical: to cover the cost of doctor visits, medical treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, and other related expenses such as wheelchairs, walkers, or canes.
- Wage Loss: injured workers can receive payments of about two-thirds of their salary if they are unable to work while recovery from a work-related injury or illness.
- Rehabilitation Therapy: to cover physical and occupational therapy required as part of recovery from a work-related injury or illness.
- Temporary Partial Disability: this benefit is paid to injured workers whose return to work is limited during their recovery. They may only be able to work part-time hours, or they may be assigned different work until a doctor clears them to return to their original position.
- Permanent Partial Disability: when a work injury causes a permanent disability, but the employee is still able to perform certain jobs, they can receive this benefit
- Permanent Total Disability: this benefit is paid to workers when a doctor determines that their work injury or illness has left them unable to ever return to work.
- Disfigurement and Specific Loss: these benefits are paid to workers who suffer permanent impairments such as severe scarring, disfigurement, or loss of an eye, ear, finger, hand, arm, toe, foot, or leg.
- Death Benefits: this benefit is available to the families of workers who suffer a fatal injury and includes funeral expenses.
Exemptions from Workers’ Compensation
In Pennsylvania some workers are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits because they are covered under a different law, or because of their position. For example, executives of companies are usually exempt. Railroad workers, longshoremen, and federal employees are not covered under state law, but have their own workers’ compensation legislation.
Other workers not covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act include domestic servants and agricultural workers who work for fewer than 30 days or earn less than $1200 in a year.
What are Some Common Work Injuries?
Workers’ compensation is available for injuries and illnesses suffered in the course of employment. Many people first think of dangerous occupations like construction when they think of a work injury, but office workers get injured too. The most common work injuries happen across all industries and include the following:
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs): this broad category comprises everything from sprains and strains to slipped discs. Any job that requires lifting, bending, pulling, pushing, or working in awkward or cramped spaces can result in an MSD. Back pain is the number one cause of sick days in the U.S. and most types of back pain are related to MSDs.
- Repetitive stress injuries: repetitive tasks use the same muscles over and over and eventually cause injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Working with computers, cell phones, scanning items, or using power tools are just some of the tasks that can cause a repetitive stress injury.
- Broken bones: this work injury can happen anywhere, often because of a slip and fall accident. Retail workers, food service workers, construction workers, and delivery workers can all suffer broken bones on the job.
These are just some of the work injuries covered by workers’ compensation. Benefits are also paid to workers who become ill over time due to their workplace environment regardless of a worker’s previous physical condition.
Third Party Compensation for Work Injuries
If you suffered an injury on the job that was the result of the negligence of someone other than your employer, such as a sub-contractor or outside vendor, you can file a personal injury claim to hold them accountable. In the same way, if your injury was caused by defective equipment, it may be possible to sue the manufacturer of the defective tool or part. To be successful in such a claim the burden of proof is on you to show that the other party’s negligence caused your injury.
Filing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you get injured on the job it is important to tell your employer right away. You have 21 days from the day of the accident for reporting injuries and if you miss the deadline your claim could be jeopardized. It is best to give notice of your injury in writing but if you tell supervisor or manager make a note of the date and time when you told them. Your employer will notify their insurance company and then they will either approve or deny your claim. After any work injury you should see a medical professional for treatment and keep any appointments for care. You are not required to use a lawyer to file a claim, but consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure you receive the maximum amount of benefits available to you.
Phoenixville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Represent Injured Workers Throughout Pennsylvania
For answers to all your questions about workers’ compensation claims, contact the skilled Phoenixville workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Call us at 610-594-1600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania we proudly represent injured workers in Phoenixville, Downingtown, West Chester, Malvern, Reading, and Morgantown.