Staying informed helps you recover the maximum benefits from worker’s compensation. If you are injured at your workplace in Philadelphia, PA, worker’s compensation kicks in right away. But how can you claim it? What maximum and minimum can you claim as worker’s compensation? Should you hire a Philadelphia work injury lawyer? Let’s find answers to all these questions in this article.
What Is Worker’s Compensation in Philadelphia?
Worker’s compensation laws in Philadelphia, PA, are covered under the Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Act. This act came into being in 1915, which states that all employees, irrespective of if they were at fault, have the right to receive worker’s compensation for the injuries.
Also, in Pennsylvania, both the employer and employee are protected under the worker’s compensation act. An employee is protected by rightfully receiving compensation for the lost wages and medical bills. At the same time, the employer is protected against lawsuits filed by injured employees.
However, employers have to buy a worker’s compensation coverage in Pennsylvania. Such coverage protects the employee from the very first day they are employed.
Types of Worker’s Compensation Benefits in Philadelphia, PA
Every employee is indeed protected in Philadelphia with worker’s compensation. However, it comes with specific terms and conditions. You must qualify for the specific types of compensation benefits.
1. Temporary Total Disability
Temporary total disability or TTD are injuries that keep you out of work due to the injury. You are still under medical care under this condition. You can still receive your lost wages as per the Temporary Total Disability benefits in Philadelphia.
However, for this, you need to undergo an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE). This is conducted by the employer’s insurance company after you are out of work for more than 104 weeks. If this evaluation finds that you are more than 50% bodily impaired, you are eligible to receive such benefit, subject to state limits.
2. Partial Disability
Partial disability means you are not under medical care anymore and have recovered partially. An employee is eligible for this benefit after the Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE). If the rating in IRE is less than 50%, you are considered partially disabled.
In such a case, you may not be fit to perform the old job you were doing before you got injured, but you can still join other light-duty jobs. The benefit is calculated based on the 2/3rd of the difference in the wages average weekly wage up to the maximum rate you were injured and the pay in your current job. Also, this is applicable only when the current job pays you less than what you were paid in the old job.
3. Specific Loss Benefits
The specific loss benefit is an extension of the temporary total disability benefit. If an injured employee loses senses, like vision or hearing, they are entitled to specific loss benefits. The benefit is calculated similarly as a temporary total disability benefit.
4. Travel Expenses
In Philadelphia, you also get travel expenses. This benefits those who have to commute to get their treatment done. This may include going out of Philadelphia or to a different area. These are also termed travel mileage reimbursements.
It also covers the transportation expenses, for instance, an ambulance or physiotherapist transport charges.
5. Medical Expenses
Like in any other personal injury case, Pennsylvania worker’s compensation laws also cover medical expenses. This includes reimbursement of medical bills and other expenses related to buying medical equipment like a wheelchair, crutches, and so on.
6. Death Expenses
In Philadelphia, death expenses are also provided to the spouse or immediate dependants if the injured employee succumbs to death due to injuries. They are entitled to receive $3,000 as funeral expenses within 300 weeks of injury.
If the insurance company or employer fails to provide the benefit within the stipulated period, you can hire a worker’s compensation lawyer to file the lawsuit.
The children under the age of 18 are also entitled to receive such benefits along with the spouse until they remarry.
What to Do After Being Injured at the Workplace in Philadelphia, PA?
If you get injured while at work due to work reasons in Philadelphia, PA, follow the steps given below in the same order:
Inform Your supervisor or Employer
From the point of view of claiming the worker’s compensation benefit, the injured employee should report the injury to the supervisor or employer within 21 days. No compensation is allowed if you fail to report the injury within 120 days from the date of injury.
Wait for the Insurance Company to Call
After you report the injury, the employer must report the same to its insurance company within the next 21 days. The insurance company evaluates the report to consider if the injury is work-related or not.
Get the Notice of Compensation
After evaluating the report, the insurance company either sends a Notice of Compensation Payable, Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable, or in worst cases, sends a Notice of Compensation Denial.
You may also receive other notices during the process of claiming benefits like Utilization Review, Petition to Terminate benefits, Modify benefits or Suspend them, a notice of Vocational Examination, or other notices.
At any stage, if you feel you are being deprived of the benefit, you can talk to a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA. They will guide you towards the next best action in a given circumstance.
Get a Medical Check-Up
As per section 314 of the Worker’s Compensation Act, the employee must undergo a medical check-up from the doctor prescribed by the insurance company/employer.
Such a doctor confirms if you have then said injury mentioned in the report. The doctor also examines if the injuries can allow you to join back work or not.
This is mandatory and cannot be avoided. However, if you do not feel right, you can speak to a lawyer about the same.
Get Your Rightful Benefits
As per your right, the wage loss benefits are calculated depending on the type of disability and the average weekly wage. For 2021, the maximum weekly compensation benefit in Philadelphia is set as $1130.
It is further calculated depending on the average weekly wage of the employee. If it falls between $1695 and $847, the weekly compensation is 66 2/3% of the average weekly wage. If it falls between $847 and $627, the weekly compensation is 90% of the average weekly wage. An average weekly wage includes the gross wages.
That said, if you are looking for the best Philadelphia personal injury lawyer who can help you claim the best worker’s compensation, we are here to help you. Contact us today to learn more.