Wilkes Barre Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
After an on-the-job injury, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation offers medical benefits, wage replacement and disability payments to get you through a period of disability until you are ready to work again. The process for filing a claim and getting benefits is unknown to most workers, and your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier may not be much help. See below to learn about your basic rights and procedures, and call our office after a workplace accident so we can make sure you are fully informed of the critical steps to take immediately following an injury on the job. If your claim is denied or your rights are being violated, our Wilkes Barre workers’ compensation lawyers help you get your case back on track so you can start or continue getting the benefits you need and deserve.
The complete cost of your medical care should be covered by workers’ compensation for as long as you need it. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation pays for all reasonable and necessary treatment related to a work injury. If these costs are steep, the insurance company may try to find ways to suspend or terminate benefits early, such as by requiring an Independent Medical Examination (IME) every six months or denying certain medical bills. At the Figured Law Firm, we have dealt with all of the insurer’s tricks and tactics. We’ll fight to see that you get the care you need when you need it.
Wage Loss Benefits
Wage loss or wage replacement kicks in if you miss more than seven days of work due to your injury. Although the first seven days of missed work are not replaced initially, if you wind up missing more than 14 days of work, then wage loss benefits for the first seven days will be paid retroactively.
Wage loss benefits essentially equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage, within certain minimum and maximum ranges set by law. For 2019, the maximum weekly benefit in Pennsylvania is $1,049, and the minimum is the lesser of 90% of your average weekly wage or $582.77.
Wage loss benefits are provided until you reach a level of maximum medical improvement or up to 104 weeks. If you receive a disability rating of 50% or more, you can continue to receive total disability payments beyond 104 weeks.
If you are not totally disabled and can return to work but with different duties and at less pay, or if you have a disability rating of less than 50%, you can receive partial disability payments. Wage loss replacement for partial disability equals two-thirds of the differential between your pre and post-injury wages. These benefits can last until your pay returns to your pre-injury wage or until you have received partial disability for 500 weeks.
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation also provides specific loss awards for loss of a body part or serious disfigurement in the face, head or neck. These benefits equal two-thirds of your wages for a period of time dependent on the rating schedule and impairment guides. For instance, in the case of hearing loss in one ear, the percentage of impairment is multiplied by 60 weeks. If the hearing loss is in both ears, the impairment percentage is multiplied by 260 weeks.
The insurance company may try to settle or buy out your claim for a lump sum rather than pay disability benefits potentially indefinitely. Talk to an attorney at the Figured Law Firm to determine whether a settlement/buyout is in your best interest and to have an experienced legal professional negotiate a fair amount for you.
When a worker’s death comes about because of an on-the-job injury, surviving family members can receive death benefits and funeral expenses. Pennsylvania workers’ comp law allows $3,000 for funeral and burial expenses. The amount of death benefits depends on how many dependents survived the worker, including the spouse, children and other relatives who depended on the worker for support.
Help is Available for Workers’ Compensation Claims in Eastern Pennsylvania
Attorney Keith Figured is an experienced Wilkes Barre workers’ compensation lawyer who has helped countless workers throughout eastern Pennsylvania receive their workers’ comp benefits despite claims denials, delayed payments and other challenges generated by employers and their insurance carriers. For help with a workers’ compensation claim in eastern Pennsylvania, and to make sure you get every penny of the benefits due to you, call the Figured Law Firm at 570-954-9299 for a free consultation.