FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I HAVE BEEN HURT AT WORK. ARE MY INJURIES COVERED?

Whether you work in th gas field, a hospital, warehouse, office building, restaurant, construction, behind the wheel of a truck or any other setting, injuries happen and all work injuries are covered by the Workers Compensation Act. At Hall Law, we protect the rights and interests of injured workers throughout Pennsylvania.

WHAT IF MY EMPLOYER TELLS ME MY INJURY IS NOT COVERED?

For many people filing a Workers Compensation Claim is an intimidating prospect. In some industries, employers may discourage employees from filing claims. In others, an employee may not initially associate a slowly developing injury or ailment with his or her job. Regardless of your job or what your employer may tell you, if you are injured or suffer an ailment that may be related to your work, it is important to contact an experienced Workers Compensation Attorney as soon as possible who can inform you of your options and secure the benefits that will aid you in your recovery, both medical and financial.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE AN ACCIDENT OR SPECIFIC INCIDENT TO COLLECT WORKERS COMPENSATION BENEFITS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

No, you do not. Pennsylvania Workers Compensation benefits compensate work injuries and occupational diseases. While you may have been hurt at work in an accident or can identify a specific incident that occurred which caused your injury, you do not need an accident or specific incident to receive benefits. Many times workers are injured by the performance of repetitive activities in the workplace or daily exposure to hazardous substances over a period of time. If you suspect you may have a repetitive motion injury, cumulative trauma injury or occupational disease based on prolonged exposure to hazardous substances you should not delay in contacting an experienced Workers Compensation Attorney who can work with you and your medical professionals to build a strong case in support of any claim.

I AM INJURED. NOW WHAT?

The Workers Compensation Act provides that an injured worker has 120 days to report his or her injury. If they report their injury within 20 days they may receive benefits from the date of the injury. If they report their injury after the first 20 days but before the 121st day, they may receive benefits from the day the injury is reported. Regardless of what the Act allows however, an injured worker should report his or her injury to thier supervisor, immediately or as soon as practical after the injury. The longer it takes for an injured worker to report his or her injury the more likely the Employer will deny the claim. The injury may be reported verbally or in written form to the Employer who is responsible for submitting a written Report of Injury to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers Compensation. While not required under the Act, it is also a very good idea to consult with an experienced Workers Compensation Attorney as soon as possible following a work injury. An experienced attorney can explain your rights and obligations under the law as an injured worker and help your navigate your way through the system. At Hall Law we provide this type of advice on a daily basis. We do not charge a fee for these types of consultations to assess if you are receiving the benefits to which you are entitled and how we may help if you are not.

I REPORTED MY INJURY, NOW THE EMPLOYER IS TELLING ME I HAVE TO TREAT WITH THE COMPANY DOCTOR, DO I?

The Workers Compensation Act requires your Employer to provide you with a list of Health Care Providers. As an injured worker, you are required to treat with a Panel Doctor for the first 90 days after your injury. You may choose anyone on the Panel as your treating physician provided they treat your type of injury. After the initial 90 days you may treat with any Doctor you choose and if the treatment is related to the work injury the Employer must pay for the treatment. Should you have any questions about your right to medical treatment following a work injury please contact an experienced Workers Compensation Attorney. At Hall Law we answer questions about medical coverage for a work injury and assist injury workers receive the medical treatment they need.

I REPORTED MY INJURY AND AM OUT OF WORK, HOW SOON WILL I RECEIVE WORKERS COMPENSATION BENEFITS?

Workers Compensation Wage Loss Benefits are paid after you have missed seven days of work due to your injury. The days do not have to be consecutive. If you miss more than 14 days you are entitled to be paid for the first seven. If you are not working you may receive temporary total disability benefits according to a schedule of benefits dependant on your pre-injury earnings. If you are working but at a loss of earnings, you may be entitled to partial disability benefits which are 2/3rds of your earnings loss. If you believe you may be entitled to benefits you should contact an experience Workers Compensation Attorney. At Hall Law we evaluate and assist injured workers receive the wage loss benefits to which they are entitled.

HOW LONG MAY I RECEIVE WORKERS COMPENSATION BENEFITS?

Currently there is no cap or time limit on the receipt of temporary total disability benefits. Recently the 1996 amendment which established the IRE procedure that limited temporary total disability benefits was declared unconstitutional. To date, the Legislature has not enacted a replacement cap but it may in the future. Currently an injured worker can receive temporary total disability benefits until one of four things occur;

  • The worker fully recovers from the injury
  • The worker partially recovers from the injury so that he or she may return to some sort of work
  • The worker returns to work, regardless of the state of the injury; or
  • The worker settles his or her claim.

Should the worker partially recover and/or return to work, the worker may be entitled to partial disability benefits based on a loss of earnings. Partial Disability Benefits are capped at 500 weeks.

Should a dispute arise between the Employer and the Worker over the Workers ability to work or entitlement to wage loss benefits, the Worker is entitled to have that dispute resolved through the State’s Adjudication System. The Worker should immediately contact an experienced Workers Compensation Attorney when the possibility of disagreement with the Employer is likely to arise in order to be well armed with knowledge of their rights and obligations under the Act. At Hall Law we can help you get through these tough times with experienced advice, counsel and representation.

CAN I SETTLE MY CLAIM FOR A LUMP SUM PAYMENT?

It is possible to settlement your Workers Compensation Claim for a lump sum payment. However, you should not venture down that path alone. It is full of traps for the unwary. It is possible to enter into a Compromise and Release Agreement with your Employer when, once approved by a Workers Compensation Judge, is a full and final settlement of your claim. The Agreement normally includes that in exchange for the payment set forth in the agreement the injured worker releases the employer from having to pay any additional benefits for the work injury. Our principal at Hall Law, William J. Hall, has been settling workers compensation cases since the Act was amended in 1996 to provide for settlements. When Attorney Hall served as a Workers Compensation Judge he helped create a Mediation system that assisted the parties settle their claims and was later adopted as the Statewide Voluntary Mediation Program. He has taught Judges how to mediate cases. He continues to serve as a Private Mediator helping parties resolve their disputes and settle their claims. Should you have any questions about settlement we at Hall Law are ready, willing and able to help.