Insurance and Workers’ Compensation
Workplace injuries and illnesses are pretty common. When an employee suffers from a work-related illness or injury they should let their employer know as soon as possible, so that a workers’ compensation claim can be filed. Workers’ compensation insurance provides employees with certain benefits for damages related to a workplace injury.
Unfortunately, despite workers’ compensation requirements, employees do not always receive the full benefits they are entitled to. Personal injury lawyers from the Foley Law Firm, which serves Scranton, Stroudsburg, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, help individuals understand their rights regarding workers’ compensation, as well as their options if a workers’ compensation dispute arises.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that employers carry to cover their employees. In the state of Pennsylvania, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation to cover both their full- and part-time employees. Workers’ compensation is designed to provide workers with certain benefits if they suffer from an on-the-job injury that results from an accident, a repetitive injury related to job duties, or an illness that is work-related.
All employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits provided they file a claim and that claim is approved by the insurance company. It is important for workers to realize that a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within a certain timeframe. Workers’ compensation regulations state that employees must file a claim within 120 days of the date of their illness or injury.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The specific benefits provided by workers’ compensation depend on the details of the claim and the type of losses suffered. Potential workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Payment for medical costs related to the illness/injury
- Up to two-thirds reimbursement of lost wages for disability related to a work injury
- Death benefits for family members if the employee dies as a result of a work-related injury
It is important to note that workers’ compensation insurance does not provide coverage for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Can I Sue an Employer if I Accept Workers’ Compensation?
Generally speaking, an employee cannot sue their employer for injury-related damages if they accept a workers’ compensation settlement. By accepting a settlement employees forfeit their right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer, as well as their right to compensation from their employer for damages involving pain and suffering.
However, if a third-party is responsible for a work-related injury, individuals may be able to file a claim against them. Injury victims cannot be compensated twice for the same damages, so any civil claim would have to be in pursuit of losses not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
What if I Have Issues with My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Even though employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, that doesn’t stop issues and disputes from occurring. It is not unusual for an employer to refuse to file a claim, for the insurance company to wrongfully deny the claim, for insufficient settlements to be offered, or for benefits to be cut off prematurely.
In any of these situations individuals should contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer, such as those at Foley Law Firm. Our lawyers advocate for our clients and work on their behalf to collect the maximum workers’ compensation benefits that they are due.
Contact Foley Law Firm
If you have suffered a work-related illness or injury, working with a workers’ compensation attorney can be extremely beneficial. To learn how the lawyers at Foley Law Firm can be of assistance following an injury at work, contact our law firm online, or call (570) 342-8194.