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. A Pittsburgh workers compensation attorney at Ronald J. Bua & Associates can help you determine if you have a case, and can guide you through the process of filing your claim. Many times, employees who have been injured at work have numerous questions, including:
- Can I file a lawsuit against my employer?
- How can I get paid for lost wages?
- What if my workers compensation claim gets denied?
- Who pays for my medical care when I’m injured at work?
- What if I can’t return to work after my injury?
Pittsburgh Workers Compensation Injuries in 2016
Surprisingly, Educational and Health Services provided a majority of work-related injuries in 2016. Most of these injuries were sprains or strains – most likely from lifting a heavy object or prolonged sitting and typing. Coming in last, was Pennsylvania’s mining industry with 747 injuries in 2016. These numbers are also influenced by how big each market it, with education and health services having thousands more employees than mining.
A Look at Pennsylvania’s Most Dangerous Industries
A look at the top three industries with the most injuries in Pennsylvania:
Educational and health services, which includes ambulance services, nursing care facilities, hospitals, and social assistance, leads work-related injuries with 44,723 injuries reported in 2016.
Trade, which is comprised of markets like gas stations, wholesale manufacturers, retail stores, and non-store retailers, is the leading market in injuries with 41,323 reported in 2016. Transportation and warehousing comes in second with 13,145. And finally, the utilities market with just over one thousand injuries at 1,095.
Manufacturing has numerous sub-categories. Metal manufacturing produced the most injuries in 2016 with 5,075. Leather and allied manufacturing produced far less with 21 injuries throughout the year. All together, the manufacturing industry had 19,824 injuries throughout Pennsylvania in 2016 – the third highest industry.
Filing for Workers Compensation in Pittsburgh
The first thing you need to do if you suffer a workplace injury 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 a Pittsburgh workers compensation attorney can make the process much smoother and hassle-free. A work injury 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 you should contact a Pittsburgh workers compensation lawyer if your employer displays behaviors such as:
- Preventing an employee from filing a workers compensation 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.
What Can I Get From Workers Compensation In Pennsylvania?
- Lost wages – This usually ends up being about two-thirds of a workers’ regular salary. Wage loss benefits do not kick in until a worker has missed more than seven days of work because their injury.
- Temporary and permanent disability – A Pittsburgh workers comp attorney can help you determine if you qualify for this or you can apply through Social Security if you are unable to return to work.
- Medical bills – Pennsylvania workers compensation law states that all employees injured on the job are entitled to compensation for their medical bills.
- Vocational Rehabilitation – If an employee cannot return to their job because of their workplace injury, they may qualify for job retraining for another job through their workers compensation injurer.
Proving Employer Negligence and Winning Your Workers Compensation 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.