Workers’ compensation systems were initially instituted to protect employers from the adverse effects of maintaining unsafe work environments. Before workers’ comp laws, workers would commonly sue their employers in lengthy, expensive personal injury cases in the event of an injury on the job. Workers’ comp benefits presented a trade-off: employers had to offer their employees insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages, but they were given almost complete immunity against lawsuits from injured employees, even if the employer’s own negligence led to the injury.
Thus, in a normal situation of workers’ compensation, no fault is found among the parties involved. The benefits paid by an insurance carrier are not decreased due to the employee’s carelessness or augmented because of an employer’s negligence. Certain factors may invalidate an employee’s right to workers’ comp, like if the employee was intoxicated when they were injured. Usually, in uncomplicated situations of work-related injury, an employer’s insurance carrier will pay all necessary medical bills and a benefit compensating an employee for the time they missed at work. Unfortunately, complications requiring the services of a workers’ compensation attorney occasionally arise.
What Injuries Are Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?
Any injury that “arises out of employment” is eligible for workers’ comp. Generally, that is taken to include traumatic incidents, like falling off a ladder, and “cumulative” injuries that arise from a repeated motion, like carpal tunnel syndrome. Illnesses caused by your work environment, like prolonged exposure to dangerous chemicals, are also generally commensurable.
For workers’ compensation to come into play, a medical professional must be able to verify that an injury or disease is present and that work-related causes were primary in causing it.
Making A Workers’ Comp Claim: Denial Of Benefits
If you have properly notified your employer of an injury, they or their insurance carrier must agree that your condition is, in fact, work-related. If your injury occurred on the job, but your employer denies this, you may file a Claim Petition and your dispute will be reviewed by a compensation law judge. In this situation, the guidance of an experienced workers’ comp attorney will prove invaluable.
Common Reasons To Make A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Every employee’s circumstances are different and, for this reason, we suggest consulting a workers’ compensation lawyer before making any decisions. Below, we’ve described common complications that may arise in situations involving workers’ compensation. If you find that your own situation is described by any of the following points, you should contact a workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer If…
- Your employer refuses to file a report of your injury with the appropriate governing body.
- Your work-related injuries make surgery necessary.
- You are too injured to resume your previous position, but your employer has offered you another.
- You and/or your doctor think that your health won’t return to its condition prior to your work injury.
- You have a disability that predates your injury.
- You are not getting the correct benefits, or think there may be other benefits to which you are entitled.
- Your employer’s insurance carrier has denied your benefits.
- You don’t feel comfortable navigating the workers’ compensation process alone.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, contact the Disability Law Advocates Group, P.C. at 215.563.0600 or by completing our contact form.