Staffing Agencies and workers compensation in Pennsylvania

Is an injured workers who works for a temporary agency covered by workers compensation benefits?  Its a question I am often asked. The answer is — more than likely, yes.

injuryThere are some instances where an individual working for a staffing agency may very well be an independent contractor, and thus not covered by the Workers Compensation Act.  We can help answer those questions for you.  However, in most instances, especially in our area, you will likely be covered with workers compensation benefits if you are hurt on the job.

This area has been driven by manufacturing, distribution centers, and warehouse development along the Interstate 81 Corridor in Greencastle, Chambersburg, Shippensburg, and Carlisle areas.  There are also many distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities in the Gettysburg, York, New Oxford, and Hanover areas.  For instance, in Shippensburg, Procter & Gamble built a huge distribution center off Interstate 81 at Exit 24 that employs over 500 people, and is expected to employ over 1,000 later this year or early next year.  Just a handful of employees are actually employed by Procter & Gamble.  Several different staffing agencies provide employees, which is dependent upon the function of the jobs.  These employees are covered under the Workers Compensation Act.

Many of these distribution centers and warehouses hire employees through staffing agencies.  In most cases, these types of employees are covered by benefits.  Many of our manufacturing facilities in our area start employees out on a temporary status, through a staffing agency.  Again, in most cases, these types of employees will be covered by benefits.

One aspect that seems to confuse injured workers who work for a staffing agency in a large warehouse is who their actual employer is, in other words, who is responsible for covering them for workers compensation purposes.  In most cases, the staffing agency provides the workers compensation coverage and is the actual employer.  That is important.  It is important for an injured employee to understand that since the temporary agency is the actual employer, besides reporting the injury to your supervisor, who is likely an employee of the facility your work at, it is equally important to report the injury to the staffing agency with whom you are employed.

We represent many injured workers throughout Central Pennsylvania that are employed with various staffing/temporary agencies.  Often times, these injuries are denied by staffing agencies. if you have been hurt at work, don’t risk it.  Contact Mooney & Associates right away for a FREE consultation.  It costs you absolutely nothing.  Your rights and benefits are too valuable to put at risk.  Your employer’s insurance adjuster and their counsel are reviewing your file and investigating your claim.  Don’t you have that same security?   Call Mooney & Associates toll-free at 1-877-632-4656 or use our contact information provided on this website.

Offered a workers compensation settlement? Now what?

Workers-Compensation-Injury-Form-300x200From time to time, I get calls from prospective clients because they received a workers compensation settlement offer to end their workers compensation claim.  The prospective client received the offer directly from the insurance carrier adjuster.  The adjuster insists the claim is fair and reasonable.  The question I am always asked is — So now what?

First, talk to an experienced workers compensation attorney before ever agreeing to any settlement offer made by an insurance carrier.  Often these settlement offers are well below the actual value of your case.

Additionally, settlements are final.  That is important and understated.  Once you agree to a settlement and have it approved by a Workers Compensation Judge, you can NEVER have your case re-opened.  If your injury were to worsen or an additional medical development occurs that relates to your work activities, if you have agreed to a settlement, you are out of luck.  Period.

That is precisely why it is absolutely critical to have a workers compensation attorney on your side.  Remember, the adjuster is not the person drafting the settlements documents.  It is the attorney for the insurance carrier.  Their attorney will be present at the settlement hearing as well.  They have an  attorney on their side.  Shouldn’t you?

There are numerous factors that go into not just the value of your settlement, but whether you should even settle your claim.  Those factors are:

  1. Severity of your injury
  2. Permanency of your injury
  3. Extent of medical care remaining
  4. Future medical costs
  5. Likelihood of returning to your pre-injury job
  6. Likelihood of returning to any work
  7. Procedural posture of your case
  8. Strength/Weakness of evidence in your case
  9. Financial hardships
  10. Social Security Disability or Retirement considerations

There are other factors, but these ten are very important.  We at Mooney & Associates can help walk you through these factors to determine the appropriate value of your case and to determine if settlement is even right at this point.

Practice Note:  Settlements in workers compensation are often times misunderstood by injured workers.  It is important to manage your expectations.  Remember, outside a very few exceptions, if you are injured at work, your only recourse is through workers compensation.  You can’t sue your employer separately for other damages.    Additionally, there is NO pain and suffering in workers compensation.

It’s not an easy decision and you should not be in any rush to settle.  Talk to a professional first.  There is no reason not to.  The rights you will be giving up as part of settlement are just to important.  Besides, it costs you nothing. A Consultation with me at Mooney & Associates is FREE.  You can simply email me at mab@mooney4law.com or call us at 1-877-632-4656 to set up your FREE consultation.  We have offices all over South Central Pennsylvania to meet with you in a convenient location.  Our main offices include Chambersburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, York, Gettysburg, and Hanover.