After a serious accident, the medical bills alone often exceed $100,000. A severe head injury, for example, may require weeks of intensive hospital care. Then, the victim often needs many months or years of physical therapy to regain lost functions.
Thanks to workers’ compensation, injured victims from work accidents need not prove fault to receive cash benefits that they need during this trying time. It’s important to work with a lawyer after a construction accident to help ensure fair compensation in these cases. It’s also important to know your rights in these situations.
The Right to File a Claim
If you are hurt at work, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Typically, it is a good idea to err on the side of caution. Even if you are not 100 percent sure that your injury was work-related, go ahead and file paperwork. That move preserves your rights, and you can always withdraw the claim later.
The time deadlines get rather complicated in occupational disease cases, such as hearing loss or back pain. Most people do not run to the doctor the first time they feel a tinge of discomfort. So, the time to file a claim may be even shorter. As soon as you get back from the doctor, talk to a lawyer, even if you do not have a firm diagnosis.
Your Right to Lost Wages
Most work accident victims in Pennsylvania receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage for up to eleven and a half years. That’s one of the most generous such periods in the country.
It is also much needed. Many head injury victims need lots of time in physical therapy to recover. Moreover, forward movement often comes in fits and starts. A victim may go several weeks or months without making any real progress. It’s important to keep going to therapy, and that means your lost wages benefits must continue.
Some job injury victims are totally disabled. They are either unable to return to work at all or they must accept lower-paying positions. Typically, workers’ compensation provides benefits in these situations as well. The amount of compensation usually depends on the nature and extent of the injury.
Your Right to Payment for Medical Bills
In this area, prices have gone up significantly over the past several years. Workers’ compensation pays for high medical bills. Typically, an attorney can arrange for job injury victims to see doctors with no upfront expense. Later, attorneys can negotiate for lower fees, so victims hold onto more of their settlement money.
Workers’ compensation pays for reasonably necessary medical expenses. Insurance company lawyers routinely challenge claims on this basis, so an aggressive and experienced attorney is vital. Otherwise, you may lose your right to compensation for all your medical bills.
During the first 90 days after the injury, victims must see a doctor approved by their employers. Afterwards, they are free to choose their own physicians, in most injury cases.
Talk to a lawyer today about your rights in a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim.