Workers’ compensation is an insurance program for employees that is established and managed by the state. Who qualifies for workers’ compensation, and what benefits are provided? Will workers’ comp in Pennsylvania pay for an injured employee’s chronic pain management? Can Philadelphia workers’ comp attorneys help?
Workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. Employers without coverage may be found liable for employees’ personal injuries and may even be subject to criminal charges.
WHO CAN HELP YOU WITH A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM?
An employee who is injured in a work-related accident in this state may submit a workers’ compensation claim and take those benefits while recuperating. Sometimes, however, injured or ill employees in Pennsylvania are not sure if they qualify for these benefits.
Others are not sure how to go about filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you are injured in Pennsylvania in a job-related accident, let an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney help you file a claim and acquire the benefits you need.
Workers’ compensation protects both employers and employees. After a work-related injury, an employee receives medical care and partial compensation for lost wages. Employers pay for workers’ comp coverage, and in return, they may not be sued by employees for personal injuries.
WHAT IS PAID BY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
However, determining precisely which workers’ compensation benefits an employee may qualify for can be quite complicated. Employees in Pennsylvania, in most cases, are entitled to receive workers’ comp payments for necessary medical costs arising from workplace injuries.
Injured employees in Pennsylvania are also usually eligible for partial wage replacement benefits as well as benefits to pay for chronic pain management if necessary. Chronic pain is defined by the medical community as pain that persists for longer than six months.
HOW DOES CHRONIC PAIN HAPPEN?
Chronic pain happens when the nervous system sends non-stop pain signals to the brain over a period of months or even years. The pain may be caused by a single injury, by an injury from cumulative stress or repetitive trauma, or by an underlying disease such as cancer or arthritis.
The stress of constant chronic pain can lead to eating and sleeping disorders, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Without effective pain management, the health of a chronic pain victim will almost always slowly deteriorate.
Millions in the United States suffer from mild chronic pain and manage to live with it. Others, however, are genuinely disabled by excruciating chronic pain.
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured employee must report a work-related injury to his or her employer within 120 days. However, if you are the employee who is injured, you need to make that report at once. The employer then accepts or denies the claim.
WHAT TYPES OF BENEFITS MAY BE AVAILABLE TO INJURED WORKERS?
What specific types of benefits are available to injured employees through workers’ compensation in this state? Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, benefits may include:
- Partial wage replacement: Depending on an employee’s injury and on how much time the employee requires to regain health and return to work, workers’ compensation benefits may include temporary total or partial disability and permanent total or partial disability.
- Medical coverage: For a work-related illness or injury, an employee may be compensated for necessary and reasonable medical treatment including prescriptions, surgeries, treatments, therapy, and even mileage and parking for medical appointments.
- Specific benefits: Particular injuries like amputation or facial disfigurement may qualify for specific additional benefits.
- Vocational rehabilitation: Employees who cannot return to their jobs may qualify for vocational rehabilitation payments to cover vocational retraining and job placement.
- Death benefits: The surviving family members of employees who are fatally injured in work-related accidents may qualify for workers’ comp death benefits. The amount of the benefits will hinge on the employee’s previous earnings and number of dependents.
WILL WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PAY FOR CHRONIC PAIN MANAGEMENT?
To be compensated for chronic pain management, an employee’s illness or injury must arise directly from a work-related accident or hazard. That’s one reason why you must seek medical attention immediately when a job-related injury happens.
If you need to obtain workers’ compensation payments for the cost of chronic pain management, you will need to demonstrate that your pain arises from a job-related injury or illness such as:
- a repetitive stress injury
- a back injury
- a musculoskeletal injury
- a burn injury
- a traumatic brain injury
- exposure to toxic chemicals
Treatment for chronic pain can be complicated. Eligible injured employees may be compensated for pain management costs arising from work-related injuries including over-the-counter and prescription medicines, surgeries, pain management therapy, and in some cases, counseling.
COULD YOUR WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS BE DENIED?
If you are injured or made ill at work, compile as much documentation as you can regarding your injury or illness. Some injured employees may feel that the medical examinations required for workers’ compensation benefits are inadequate – or even biased against them.
Some workers’ compensation insurance companies have been known to use any legal loophole to deny a workers’ compensation claim. Especially when an injury is not visible – like many of the injuries that result in chronic pain – an injured employee will need reliable legal help.
If you are injured at work in Pennsylvania, let an accomplished Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney help you submit your injury claim. If necessary, your workers’ comp attorney can even arrange a visit to an independent doctor for a second opinion.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW FIRM IN PA?
The acceptance or denial of a workers’ comp claim can hinge on a number of technicalities. If you are injured at work in Pennsylvania, do not make the mistake of failing to have all of your questions about workers’ compensation answered and all of your concerns addressed.
Whether you are injured at work abruptly in an accident or over time with a repetitive stress injury, report the injury to your employer, be examined by a physician, and meet with an experienced workers’ comp attorney as quickly as you can.
Nothing is more important than your health or your future. If you are injured at your place of work in Pennsylvania, compensation is your right. A good attorney’s help is also your right. If you are injured at work, get that help at once.