Workplace injuries can cause serious issues for the injured worker. Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest city. Like many places in the US, it has a large labor force distributed across industries like manufacturing, construction, financial service, and so on.
Workplace injuries are a common occurrence in some sectors like manufacturing, construction, etc. For example, a sanitation worker recently sustained significant injuries from a mini-explosion after picking a box containing combustible items and an inflammable tank on the road.
As a resident of Philadelphia (and Pennsylvania as a whole), the sanitation worker’s medical expenses and wages lost because of the accident were covered by the state’s workers compensation benefits program.
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around two million of these types of work-related injuries/ illnesses occur annually in the United state as a whole. Some even result in permanent disabilities and fatalities.
If you or your loved one gets involved in a work-related injury, you should seek help from a Philadelphia workers’ comp lawyer, you’ll know what other steps to take if you continue reading this article.
Common Workplace Injuries
Before jumping into what to do when injuries happen at workplaces, here are some common workplace injuries. Falling off a truck and a factory explosion are not the only accidents that can be classed as any work-related injury.
- Nearly 34% of workplace injuries are due to overexertion from stressful daily tasks, bending, lifting heavy objects, and so on.
- Workers may suffer broken bones, muscle strain, cuts, bruises, or have body parts caught or compressed by machinery or equipment parts.
- Based on statistics from the National Floor Safety Institute, around 5% of job-related fatalities among women and 11 % among men are caused by slips and falls.
- Auto accidents are common among those in the transportation and delivery service.
- Overexposure to chemicals, fumes, and other substances can result in symptoms after exiting a company.
- Long exposure to noises in the workplace causes hearing impairment.
What To Do If You Get Injured At Your Workplace
The first step is to seek medical attention and notify your supervisor or whoever the company has appointed for receiving such reports. Furthermore, you should ensure that the medical examiner is aware that your injury is work-related. The outcome of your medical report is usually taken into consideration when establishing the type of compensation you deserve.
Fill the worker’s compensation form immediately. There are statutes of limitation which can prevent you from having to file any complaints after a period. Finally, you should seek the services of a compensation or injury attorney to ensure you get the best outcome. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to “play games” when it comes down to paying the deserved benefit to an injured worker.
Note that an injury doesn’t have to happen in your company’s premises before it is classified as a work-related injury. It could occur when running errands, or moving from place to place, which is common among field workers. What’s more, it doesn’t matter if it’s workers or employee negligence.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
Because work-related injuries can happen anytime, most Philadelphia employers are mandated to have this insurance coverage for their workers. This is to prevent unnecessary injury lawsuits from employees. Still, it does not mean that you cannot file a lawsuit if you feel you may have been treated unfairly after an injury.
You can also sue your company’s management if it doesn’t have a compensation insurance cover in place at the time of your injury. In Philadelphia, the compensation insurance cover begins instantly from the first day of resumption. Meaning, no employer should use any probationary periods to dodge its responsibility to an injured employee.
The following are some of the things worker’s compensation benefits covers.
- Lost wages as a result of absence from work
- Medical expense
- Specific loss, such as loss of body parts, motor skills, or impairment in mental function.
In Pennsylvania, a worker can choose medical providers he or she wishes to access medical care for an injury unless initial company policy exists on approved medical care providers. Still, this only means a worker can seek initial treatment or assessment from the employer’s approved medical care provider for 90 days. If surgery is needed, the law allows an employee to seek another opinion or receive financial compensation.
Depending on the injury or illness, there is temporary and permanent compensation. The former is when the worker recovers fully and is fit for duty, while the latter is for cases of permanent disability.
Furthermore, Philadelphia law allows an employer to present an employment offer to a worker on permanent compensation only if it can prove the worker’s existing medical restrictions won’t impair the ability to discharge duties. You can refuse this offer as an employee, but the employer has the right to petition a judge to cut your benefit or stop it altogether.
Workers’ Comp Insurance Exemptions
Pennsylvania law, which is the case in most US states, exempts some organizations from having compensation insurance coverage. If you work as an agricultural personal, are paid less than $1200, and work less than 30 days, your employer is not under obligation to cover your work-related injury under worker’s compensation benefits.
Also, domestic servants or workers, and those granted exceptions for religious grounds may not be covered under this law.
Let’s Assist You With Your Claim
A workplace injury can happen at any time. Because of the worker’s compensation benefits law, you can get the help you need during this time. It is not best to handle these cases by yourself as there are experienced Philadelphia injury lawyers that can help you get the best outcome based on the circumstances surrounding your injury.