Understaffing at Pennsylvania Nursing Homes cause work injuries

back-work-injuryWe have seen the various reports from time to time on the overall impact of understaffing at Pennsylvania Nursing Homes.  In this report of 18 of Pennsylvania’s most understaffed nursing care facilities, ten of the eighteen are owned and operated by Manor Care, and three of the 18 are right here in the mid-state, in Chambersburg, Carlisle, and New Bloomfield in Perry County.  These reports generally focus around the sub-standard care is causes to the patients who reside or are being cared for in the facilities.  Rightfully so.

The untold stories of understaffing in these care facilities is the risk it puts on nursing home employees.  I get my fair share of injured nursing home employees.  Many times, understaffing is the culprit of these injuries.  Most common are lifting injuries.  These injuries usually occur when lifting patients.  They can occur due to lack of lifting equipment and understaffing.  Frequently we see back, neck, and shoulder injuries when it comes to lifting residents.   These injuries also occur due to lack of or sped up training due to understaffing.  It isn’t just sped up training though, many time it can be faulted to poor training programs.

We also see CNAs and LPNs injured by violent acts of residents.  Again, many times it is due to understaffing for patients with medical conditions that cause either violent tendencies or inability to understand or control reaction.  Fortunately, health care employees are speaking up regarding violence in health care facilities and demanding protections.  OSHA is considering new workplace violence standards.

We also see injuries occur due to lack of staffing because of employee fatigue.  Patient care is not easy.  It can be quite taxing.

Health care can be a quite rewarding career field.  Unfortunately, it is also a dangerous field, as health related work injuries now rank as high as construction work injuries.   The focus of understaffing at nursing homes should turn to patient care and employee safety.   For more information on workers safety in nursing homes, visit the OSHA website here.

Meanwhile, if you work in a nursing home in Pennsylvania and you have been hurt at work, protect your rights and potential entitlement to benefits.  Too many injured CNAs stay silent out of fear of their employer.  You don’t need to do that. Contact Mooney & Associates today for a FREE CONSULTATION.  Let us help protect you!  Call today at 717-200-HURT.

 

Seven Things to do in a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall accident

Thousands of people get hurt in slip and falls every year.  Often times these occur in places of business, such as grocery stores, retails stores, health care facilities and more.  The aftermath of these type of non-work related accidents can be overwhelming, worrisome, and costly.  Here, we provide you seven steps to take if you are a victim in a slip and fall accident.

  1. Get pictures.  I know, the last thing any person is concerned about when injured is taking pictures at the scene of the injury.   However, photos can be an important piece of evidence, as well as, an important tool for your attorney in evaluating the viability of your case.  If your slip and fall was the result of a defect, and you did not get pictures that day, return to the property and take pictures.
  2. Report the injury.  Many times, when a person slips and falls in a store, they are embarrassed.  They just get up, in pain, and go there way to try and get out of the store quickly.  Don’t do that.  Report the injury to the manager or property owner.  Property owners or managers must be made aware of the injury.  Report it.  Ask for an incident report after you report the injury.  Get the name of the manager or employee you spoke with to report the injury.  Get the name of any witnesses.
  3. Call Mooney & Associates.  Call us right away.  Call us at 717-200-HURT.  It is important that you contact us right away so we can guide you through the process and advise on what documents and forms to sign, and what not to.  Personal injury consultations with Mooney & Associates are FREE.  We will look at the circumstances and evaluate your case to determine if you have a viable case.  If so, you will be given a contingency fee agreement, which means, we do not get paid unless you get paid!
  4. Do not talk to Insurance Company.  Tall to Mooney & Associates first.  We can provide advice and guidance.  Recorded statements are meant to restrict and box you in.  Talk to us first.  Protect yourself.
  5. Treat.  Seems simple.  It is important when you are hurt in a slip and fall to seek medical treatment.  Follow your doctors treatment protocol.  Proper diagnosis is critical to getting your feeling better and recovered.  Keep notes and track your pain and treatment, it is critical for settlement evaluation.   Keep treatment information, like medical records, bills, insurance explanation of benefits forms, receipts, and more.
  6. Account for losses.  Keep an accounting of losses you incurred, such as deductibles paid, medical bills paid, prescriptions paid, and any other expenses you had to incur because of your accident.  Provide them to your attorney.
  7. Document changes.  Document changes you had to undergo, such as, things you have been restricted form doing, like hobbies, due to the injuries you suffered.  Document any wage loss you may have incurred due to the injuries.  Write it down, whatever you feel.  Keep a good injury and recovery journal.

Slip and falls are unfortunately too common.  Make your life and your case easier.  Follow these seven steps and protect yourself.

Mooney & Associates had 14 offices through South Central Pennsylvania.  That is for your convenience.  We bring our law firm close to you.  Simply call us at 717-200-HURT to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.

Pennsylvania workers compensation time limitation for a claim

I am frequently asked questions on how long an injured worker in Pennsylvania has to file a claim and how long does an injured worker have to tell the employer about the injury.  They are extremely important questions and can have substantial impact on your work injury claim.

Statute of Limitation in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation

If you are injured at work, there are time limitations, called Statute of Limitations.  These time limitations are prescribed by law within the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act.  Generally, an injured workers has three years from the date you were injured to file a claim for workers compensation benefits.  Whether a Denial or a Notice of Compensation Payable is issued,  an injured worker has three years to bring a claim.  It is a bit different for repetitive type trauma.  These time limitations can run from the last day you worked due to the repetitive trauma.  Having the right medical evidence is crucial.  If you are beyond the statutory time frames, then your claim may be barred.

When the work injury results in death of the injured worker, a death claim must be filed within three years from the date of injury. In addition, the death of an injured worker must be causally linked to the work injury and occur within 300 weeks from the date of the work injury.

There are other complex nuances to timely filed work injuries.

Work Injury Notice Requirements

Statute of Limitations to file a claim is different than notice requirements.  The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act also provides time limitations providing notice to your employer that you sustained a work-related injury.

Many employees are told by employers that their claim is denied and they have no right to workers compensation benefits because they did not report the work injury the same day it occurred.  They are wrong!

Generally, you must tell your employer about the work injury within 21 days of the injury.  It is important to inform your employer that not only did you sustain an injury, such as a shoulder injury, but that it was caused by your job.   Reporting the injury within 21 days provides potential eligibility for wage loss benefits back to the day you stopped working.  If you fail to report the work injury within 21 days, you can still provide notice within 120 days.  If you report the work injury after 21 days, then it delays payment of wage loss benefits to the date you provided notice to your employer, instead of the date you went out of work due to the injury.  Failure to report the injury within 120 days may forever bar your workers compensation claim.

The best way to avoid pitfalls on filing a claim is to contact Mooney & Associates when you are injured at work.  Our consultations are FREE.  Your rights when injured at work are simply too important to leave to guessing or to rely on what your employer or adjuster tells you.   Your interests are paramount to us, your employer’s interest are paramount to them.  Call today at 717-200-HELP.  We have 15 convenient offices throughout Central Pennsylvania and seven of those offices hold evening hours throughout the week in various locations.

Mooney & Associates expands law firm ownership

The Ownership of a regional Central Pennsylvania law firm, Mooney & Associates, has expanded.  Founding Attorney John J. Mooney III has added Attorney Jason Imler of Hanover, Attorney George Swartz II of Hanover, and Attorney Mark Buterbaugh, of Shippensburg, as equal owners of the regional firm.

The law firm announced the expansion via a press release, as picked up here by the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal.

For purposes of this Blog, I am proud to be part of the new ownership group of Mooney & Associates.  We are looking forward to working together, collaboratively, to take this successful law firm to even new heights.  As for injured workers and disabled clients throughout the midstate and Northern Maryland, we will continue to strive to provide you excellent client service and effective legal representation.

Mooney & Associates operates 15 offices through Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland and offer General Practice and Personal Injury     Fully staffed office are in Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, York, Hanover, and Gettysburg.  Mooney & Associates also offers evening hours at our various office locations throughout the week.  For more information on the firm’s and it’s client services, visit us on the web at http://www.mooney4law.com.

 

Bilateral Avascular Hip Necrosis found to be Aggravated by Work Injury

Mooney & Associates recently won a case for an injured Pennsylvania worker that included bilateral avascular necrosis.  The claimant had both left and right hips replaced and the insurance carrier was forced to pay for both hip replacements.

Generally, avascular necrosis of the hip (AVN) is a degenerative condition that is not completely understood by the medical community.  Essentially, avascular hip necrosis is a dying bone condition within the hip that in most cases will lead to a hip replacement.   It is not a condition that is caused by a traumatic injury, such as falling or getting hit in the hip with an object.  However, it is also a condition that many injured workers may have, but have no previous knowledge of such condition and no prior hip pain.

These types of non-traumatic conditions will almost always lead to the issuance of a workers compensation denial from your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier.   Any ‘pre-existing condition’ such as degenerative disk disease, a prior surgery, a prior work injury, or a condition like AVN, will always trigger a denial.  That is a given.  That DOES NOT mean that your pain is not work-related, despite what your employer may tell you.

Every story is different.  Did you have pain or symptoms in that area prior to your work incident?  Have you gone a significant period of time with no treatment for a prior injury or surgery?  What does your doctor say?  There are many complex questions to be asked when dealing with a pre-existing condition.  There are strategies to be developed and positions to take.  Mooney & Associates has a strong track record in winning aggravation/exacerbation cases, just like our gentleman from Hanover, Pennsylvania with the bilateral hip necrosis.

Don’t let your employer tell you that you did not experience a work injury because of a pre-existing condition or because you are an older worker.  You do not need to take that.  Call Mooney & Associates today at 717-200-HELP to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION with Attorney Mark Buterbaugh or email him direct at mab@mooney4law.com.  We stand ready to protect and defend Pennsylvania injured workers!