Erie Workers Compensation Lawyer
Erie, Pennsylvania, was a maritime center after the American Revolution. It later transitioned into a railroad station and important manufacturing center. Today, Erie is a bustling city with smaller-scale manufacturing companies amidst a diverse mix of other industries. The top employers in Erie are the government, manufacturers, medical services, insurance, retail, and public utilities. When an employee suffers a work injury in Erie, he or she can seek financial help through the state’s workers’ compensation program. If workers run into problems with the system, they can come to the experienced team at Dallas W. Hartman P.C. for legal assistance.
Erie Work Injury Lawyers
Accidents happen in every industry. Falls from ladders, transportation accidents, crush injuries, poisoning, and repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel can plague any workplace. Almost all serious workplace accidents are avoidable. When negligence plays a role in workplace accidents, injured workers may have means of compensation outside the workers’ compensation system. Come to Dallas W. Hartman P.C. for legal counsel about a civil work injury claim.
About the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation System
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires every business in Pennsylvania to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the event of an accident. Workers’ compensation will provide compensation for all accident-related medical expenses. If the accident results in an employee being unable to work, workers’ compensation will also give benefits to cover disability costs until the employee can return to work. Almost all workers in Erie qualify for benefits through workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation program covers all work-related injuries, illnesses, conditions, and diseases, unless intentionally self-inflicted or caused by the injured employee’s unlawful act.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits after an accident, an injured employee must first report the incident to his or her employer. There are time limits to make this initial report, so employees should do so as soon as possible. Describe what happened in detail, giving the date and location of the accident as well as the names of any witnesses. Your employer must then report your accident to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by filing the official form. If your employer denies your claim, you have the right to file a petition with the Bureau for a hearing.
If the Bureau accepts your workers’ compensation claim, you will receive benefit checks within 21 days of at least a seven-day absence from work. If you miss work for 14 days because of an injury, you will receive payment for the first seven days. Regular payments may come to those with disabilities at weekly, biweekly, or monthly intervals. Payments can include two-thirds of average weekly lost wages, as well as compensation for all medical expenses. Payments will continue until a doctor clears you to return to work.
Should I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim vs. a Civil Claim in Erie?
The workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania works in the form of an exchange. A workers’ compensation insurance company will deliver benefits to an injured worker regardless of the cause of the accident, in exchange for the employee’s ability to sue the employer. In many cases, this is a good arrangement for the employee. He or she does not bear the burden to prove the employer’s negligence to qualify for compensation. Sometimes, though, reserving the right to sue is a better choice for an injured worker.
If an employer’s negligence caused or contributed to a workplace accident, those injured should seriously consider bringing a personal injury claim against the employer instead of filing for workers’ compensation. A negligence-based PI claim could result in greater compensation than workers’ compensation. While workers’ compensation only delivers benefits for two-thirds of lost wages, medical bills, and disability costs, a successful PI claim could result in compensation for total lost wages and lost capacity to earn, medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses.
You will have to prove negligence to have a successful claim against your employer, but this can be much easier with help from our Erie attorneys. We will investigate your recent work accident, talk to eyewitnesses, and hire experts if necessary to help prove your claim in front of a judge or jury. If your accident involved a hazardous property condition, dangerous chemical, lack of employee training or protective gear, reckless coworker, or defective product, you could have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against your employer and/or another party.
Pursuing Compensation from BOTH Workers Comp and Civil
It is possible to request damages from the workers’ compensation program and the civil system, as long as your employer isn’t the entity you’re trying to sue for negligence. When you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you give up your right to sue your employer. You retain your right to sue other parties, such as a coworker, product manufacturer, property owner, or the government. If the party at fault for your accident isn’t your employer, think about seeking benefits from both sources.
Workers’ Compensation Bad Faith Attorneys in Erie
The advantage of the workers’ compensation program is that injured employees don’t have to prove anyone’s negligence to qualify for benefits. They simply must show the injury occurred while performing work-related tasks. Sometimes, workers’ compensation claims are not as seamless as they should be. There are cases in which an insurance company wrongly denies or delays claim approval. If your employer’s workers’ compensation company denied your claim for some reason, call Dallas W. Hartman P.C. today.
Denied claims may stem from missed deadlines, improperly filed claims, inadequate proof of injury, or insurance bad faith dealings. Whatever the case, our lawyers can review your claim and help you argue for maximum compensation. We understand the workers’ compensation process in Erie, and we know how to fight for what a worker deserves no matter the injury or industry. Let us help you get the most out of your claim.
Our Erie Work Injury Attorneys offer Free Consultations!
Dallas W. Hartman P.C. has helped injured workers secure compensation in Erie for almost 25 years. It is our team’s mission to help those who suffer injury on the job in Erie. We can help you make the right claims decision and start whatever process is best for your particular situation. Contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation. Call our Erie office at (814) 461-8844 or toll-free at (800) 777-4081 or go online for a consultation today!