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Why Should You Hire a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

While an attorney is not necessary for every workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania, there are many cases in which having one is recommended. You should hire an attorney if you do not understand the workers’ compensation process, your injury or disability is being disputed, your injury is serious or complex in nature, or you are concerned about benefit and settlement specifics. The role of a workers’ compensation attorney is to protect your rights and enable you to focus on recovering from your injuries.

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation is Complicated

construction work injuries

Because Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law is always changing, it is complicated. For example, there was a roughly 18-month period in which IREs were deemed unconstitutional, but they are now back in an altered capacity; however, the constitutionality of the new provisions is still being challenged as is the impact of the new law on old cases.

You will also be sent many forms to fill out. Some of these forms are not necessary and others will cause your benefits to stop if they are not completed correctly and in a timely manner. An attorney can help you sift through these forms and the information you receive from your employer. You may be given incorrect or outdated information regarding your case, either by accident or on purpose, by your employer or the insurance company. Some common misinformation includes:

  • That you must treat with the company doctor or that the company can disregard the opinions of your own treating doctors;
  • That you do not qualify for workers’ compensation because you are not a full-time employee;
  • That your injury is not covered by workers’ compensation for some reason;
  • Incorrect deadlines for when certain forms must be filed;
  • An unapproved list of physicians to treat with;
  • That your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, when in fact, they do not; and
  • Threats of retaliation if you file a claim.

Your Workplace Injury or Disability is Disputed

In many cases, your workplace injury or disability may be disputed. These disputes will come from either your employer or their insurance company and can take a few different forms. Depending on the nature of your injury, one form these disputes can take is when it is denied that your injury happened in the course and scope of your employment. If you fall from a ladder at work and injure your back, especially if there are witnesses, it is unlikely for this type of denial to happen. But if there were no witnesses, you are suffering from a repetitive stress injury, or you partake in potentially dangerous physical activities in your spare time, it may be argued that your injury did not occur at work.

Another common dispute arises from a disagreement regarding the extent of your injury. Your employer, their insurer, or the treating physician may claim that you are ready to return to work even if you do not think that to be the case. If they believe you have sufficiently healed, they may request an independent medical examination (IME) or attempt to stop your benefits.

Your Injury is Serious or Complex