Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Worker’s compensation exists to help employees who suffer injuries at work and to cover medical expenses for work-related medical conditions, such as carpal tunnel or degenerative conditions that develop over time. Almost every employer is legally required to carry worker’s compensation insurance and it’s vital for employees to know their rights if the time comes to file a claim.
Filing for Worker’s Compensation
The first thing you need to do if you suffer an injury at work is address the injury and notify your employer. After you’ve handled the immediate concerns, such as medical attention, you need to file a worker’s compensation claim to cover your medical bills and the lost wages from time spent out of work. The workers’ compensation process varies by state, and it’s illegal for your employer to interfere with or prevent the claims process in any way. Regardless of your situation, contacting an attorney can make the process much smoother and hassle-free. An attorney can also help you should your employer take any adverse actions against you.
When employees file for worker’s compensation, the employer may pay higher premiums for worker’s compensation insurance. This may be frustrating and incite some employers to take negative actions against the filing employee. This is retaliation in the legal world and includes behaviors such as:
- Preventing an employee from filing a claim or refusing to provide the employee with the necessary paperwork.
- Intentionally delaying the claims process.
- Taking punitive actions against the employee for filing.
- Demoting the employee.
- Cutting the employee’s pay rate or normal hours of work.
- Transferring the employee to a different department or changing the employee’s job responsibilities.
Retaliation is illegal, and any employer who engages in such activities should be accountable. Additionally, it’s important to remember that even if your employer doesn’t interfere with your worker’s compensation claim, he or she can still be liable for damages caused. You may need to file a personal injury claim against your employer if worker’s compensation benefits won’t cover all your expenses after an injury if employer negligence contributed to your damages.
Proving Negligence and Winning Your Case
Should you need to file a personal injury suit against a negligent employer, your attorney must prove in court that the defendant (the employer you’re suing) was negligent, which entails three basic factors:
- The employer had a duty to act with reasonable care, such as addressing reported safety issues quickly and effectively.
- The employer failed in this duty in some way. For example, if an employee reports a safety concern but the employer ignores it, the hazard may result in injury to an employee. In such a situation, the employer would be liable for the damages.
- The employer’s failure to uphold the duty of care directly caused your damages.
You can only sue for injuries that directly resulted from negligence, but a personal injury suit can essentially supplement your worker’s compensation benefits and help you get your life back to normal after an injury. If you are injured while working in the Pittsburgh area and think you might need a lawyer, contact Ronald J. Bua & Associates.
Our team of attorneys has more than 30 years of experience handling all manner of personal injury cases and helping injured employees with the worker’s compensation process. No matter how complex your case may be, our firm only takes a few cases at a time to ensure every client receives individualized, thorough representation. Contact our team with any questions about worker’s compensation laws in Pennsylvania or for a free, no-obligation initial case evaluation. We’ll review your situation and let you know if a lawsuit is a viable option.