If you were injured at work, you have the right to file a claim for workers compensation benefits. However, you will find out that, although the law is on your side, your employer and their insurance company will not make it easy for you to get these benefits. The best option for getting a positive outcome is hiring a Philadelphia workers comp lawyer.
Legal counsel is especially needed if you are faced with one of the following situations.
1. Your Employer Says that You Are Not Covered by Workers Compensation
Pennsylvania workers compensation law stipulates that most employees are eligible to receive benefits for a workplace injury, with a few exceptions:
- Employees covered by other laws: railroad workers, longshoremen, and federal employees
- Domestic workers
- Agricultural workers who work fewer than 30 days or earn less than $1,200 in a calendar year from one employer.
Also, independent contractors are not covered by workers comp, because they are working for themselves. And this is how many employers try to evade the responsibility of maintaining workers compensation coverage: they classify their employees as independent contractors.
So, if your employer says that you are an independent contractor and do not have the right to file a claim, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can prove that you were misclassified and that you are actually an employee.
2. There Were No Witnesses to Your Accident
Many employees work in teams, or in an open space, where they can see each other. Thus, if one of them suffers an accident, there is at least one eyewitness to explain what happened.
If your accident happened in a place and at a moment when no one is around you, the insurance company is very likely to deny your claim. They will say that with no one to corroborate your story, they cannot be sure that you were injured at work.
A skilled attorney can find other evidence, such as:
- CCTV cameras that filmed the accident
- Expert witnesses who can confirm the likely cause of your injuries
- Witnesses who can confirm that you were not injured and in good health when you clocked in on that day.
3. The Accident Happened Close to the Beginning or End of Your Shift
One of the most commonly used tactics to deny workers comp claims is questioning the moment when the accident happened. Workers compensation covers only accidents that happened while you were on the clock.
Thus, any incident that takes place during lunch break or as you are driving to and from work is not covered. In this context, if you happen to get injured at the very beginning or end of your shift, your employer will try to claim that you were not technically on the clock.
It takes a lot of attention to detail and getting information from the system that records employees’ hours to prove otherwise. By yourself, you may not be able to obtain the necessary evidence. But a Philadelphia workers comp attorney has the right to request any document as evidence.
4. You Went to the Hospital before Taking a Drug Test
The basic procedure applied by all employers is to give you a drug test immediately after you notify them that you suffered an accident. They want to make sure that you were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the moment of the accident. If this is the case, you cannot file a claim.
However, some employees give the notification and go straight to the nearest ER or are taken to the hospital in an ambulance. A lawyer can prove that the severity of the injuries or the level of pain justified this decision.
At any rate, the hospital will perform blood work as part of a diagnostic test, and any controlled substances or alcohol can be easily detected in your sample. If the tests turn negative, your employer does not have any reason to deny your claim.
5. You Have an Old Injury
Old injuries and pre-existing conditions are common reasons for insurance companies to deny workers comp claims. If this is your case, make sure to mention this aspect to your lawyer. Do not think that you can hide it from the insurance adjuster. They can obtain access to your medical records.
It is much better to disclose your medical history to your Philadelphia workers compensation attorney, allowing them to build the right strategy for your case. If your injury comes to light later in the claim process, your lawyer may not be able to secure your benefits.
Schedule a Free Case Review with an Experienced Philadelphia Workers Comp Lawyer!
The journey to getting the benefits you deserve is much shorter and simpler with an experienced Philadelphia workers comp lawyer by your side. At our law firm, we will analyze the evidence you present us with care and explain your legal rights.
Do not wait too long after your workplace accident. Call us today to schedule your free case review: 267-314-8024!