We don’t know if this reflects fewer actual incidents, or fewer reports of work-related injury.
Honesdale, PA (PRWEB) February 27, 2013
According to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, nearly three million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported by private industry employers in 2011. This resulted in an incidence rate of 3.5 incidents per 100 employees, with the rate unchanged over 2010 after nearly a decade of significant declines each year. Statistics for 2012 will not be available until late this year.
“We don’t know if this reflects fewer actual incidents, or fewer reports of work-related injury. The economic climate may have some effect on workers’ pursuit of their rights,” says Cal Leventhal, a workers’ compensation attorney with DLP in Honesdale, PA.
“DLP has handled numerous workers’ compensation cases involving injured employees whose employers deny benefits. Sometimes a company will attempt to avoid paying Workers’ Compensation benefits to its injured workers by asserting the injuries were caused by the workers themselves, or by declaring that the claims have to be handled in the state where the workers were actually hired as opposed to the location of the injury. When an injury occurs on the job in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania laws apply,” explained Attorney Leventhal.
Attorney Leventhal offers a brief summary of benefits for injured workers to understand their rights in the event they are injured on the job or receiving benefits from an on the job injury:
- There is a time limit of 120 days within which the worker must give notice to the employer that an injury occurred. Report the injury to a supervisor immediately, even if the injury appears minor at first. Just mentioning it to a co-worker does not suffice as “notifying” the employer.
- If the injured worker’s doctor releases him or her to light duty, and the employer provides a job, benefits may be reduced if the worker does not go back to work. Recent developments in worker’s compensation law suggest that there is more of an obligation to return to work than there was in the past.
- Medical benefits that are reasonable and necessary, and related to the work injury, are paid by the employer. In order to deny payments, the employer must petition to the Commonwealth for an independent reviewer to decide what is reasonable and necessary. The employer may not simply decide for itself what to pay and what not to pay when the treatment is sought for the work injury.
- Once an injured worker begins receiving benefits, the employer or its insurance carrier may not stop paying without an agreement with the worker or a court order.
“Also keep in mind that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, where either the negligence of the employee or the negligence of the employer in causing the injury is not relevant. If the employer tries to deny benefits saying the worker caused the injury to him or herself, it should be a red flag for the worker,” said Attorney Leventhal.
“An injured worker in court with the employer is not required to have a lawyer, but without a lawyer who is knowledgeable about workers’ compensation law, injured workers can miss out on collecting benefits, despite their disabling injuries,” he said.
If you have been injured at work and need the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney, contact DLP for a free consultation, toll free at (877) DLP-9700 or (877) 357-9700.
DLP is a full-service law firm whose Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to representing clients with compassion and dedication. With offices in Moosic, Kingston, Honesdale or Hazleton, DLP serves all of Northeast Pennsylvania.