Pennsylvania Workers Compensation and travel expenses to doctor

Either way you look at it, a work injury can be financially disturbing for many.  Many injured workers have their injury denied, meaning they are receiving no income while they litigate their claim.  Others have an accepted claim, but for medical benefits only, which again means, no wage loss benefits while the claim is being litigated.  Others may be receiving benefits, but at a reduced rate from their regular, average weekly wages.  Often, it causes financial hardship.

Regardless, work injuries often times require significant medical treatment.  That means trips back and forth to the doctors, to pain management, to physical therapy, and to the pharmacy.  Unfortunately, there is a misperception out there that an injured worker is entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses back and forth for their treatment.    The injury isn’t my fault, why should I have to pay for my own gas to and from treatment.  Great argument.  And I agree wholeheartedly.  However, in Pennsylvania, it is not a reality.  (more…)

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Understaffing at Pennsylvania Nursing Homes cause work injuries

We 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…

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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…

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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…

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Concussions aren’t just in sports, but in the workplace too

Concussions have been in the national spotlight recently.  That is because of the rising awareness of concussion impacts on the NFL, NHL, and other sports.  However, concussions aren’t just a ‘sport’ thing, they happen often in the workplace as well.

Concussion work injuries can be one of the most serious of all on-the-job injuries. Most of these type of injuries can be attributed to head trauma that is caused by falling objects, slip and falls, malfunctioning equipment, and auto accidents.  They are also often litigated in Pennsylvania because of the impact they could have and the fact that symptoms can be slow to wane and continue to develop.

Loss of consciousness — does it matter?

One of the misnomers out there is the fact that if the individual did not lose consciousness, then he/she is probably exaggerating their symptoms.  That simply is far from the truth.  A mild traumatic brain injury can certainly cause loss of consciousness, but there also may be no obvious symptoms at all, including loss of consciousness.  In fact, the vast majority of concussions across the United States, loss of consciousness does not occur.

One common myth about a concussion is that it only occurs, or more often occurs, following loss of consciousness. The truth is that concussions occur with or without loss of consciousness. In fact, more than 90 percent of concussions are not accompanied by a loss of consciousness.  A related myth is that when there is a loss of consciousness, this indicates a more serious concussion and a lengthy recovery period. Our research shows that loss of consciousness is not directly correlated to a longer recovery, and may even be associated with a shorter one. (more…)

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What are the Workers Compensation LIBC Employment Verification forms?

Pennsylvania injured workers get tons of paperwork in the mail, especially when they are in litigation of their workers compensation claim.  They get tons of documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, from the insurance carrier, from their employer, and from their attorney. There are a few documents you should know about and understand the importance in completing and returning these forms in a timely manner.  They are Employee verification forms, specifically, LIBC 750 (Employees Report of Wages), LIBC 756…

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While Pennsylvania Workers Comp rates improve, work injuries remain

Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania Workers Compensation rates improved, yet again.  Pennsylvania fell from 17th in down to 26th in workers compensation insurance costs for businesses.  That is a pretty big jump and shows that Pennsylvania is more attractive to business and has a friendly business environment.  In fact, check out how many insurance carriers offer workers compensation coverage in Pennsylvania. "More than 325 companies offer workers' compensation insurance coverage in Pennsylvania," said Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller, in a…

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Pennsylvania 2017 Workers Compensation Wage Rates

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry released the 2017 Average Weekly Wage chart with the new year wage loss rates.  This chart determines what an injured worker receives for wage loss weekly benefits based on his/her average weekly wage earnings.    Under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, injured workers are not entitled to their full wages. If you are injured at work in 2017 and are out of work and entitled to indemnity benefits, here are the wage rates.…

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US Dept of Labor: States failing injured workers

The United States Department of Labor issued a scathing report on how states handle their workers compensation systems and the fact that injured workers are often led into poverty, because of an injury on the job.  The report recommends additional Federal Government oversight to help injured workers overcome state deficiencies in state systems. Four reasons I note here from the report are legitimate concerns I hear often. Increased denials due to decreased benefits Decrease in adequacy of benefits New procedures…

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Happy Labor Day Pennsylvania!

One thing I have learned through my years of dedicating my practice to representing injured workers is the fact we have a strong labor work ethic in Pennsylvania.  I see it everyday.

Happy-Labor-Day-Greeting

The misnomer out there is that injured workers want to just sit on workers compensation benefits.  That is just not accurate.  Many injured workers that I represent want to get back to work quickly, even before they are healed.  Many are losing precious dollars each week, many are long time employees of companies they enjoy working for, and others feel worthless just sitting at home, while they heal from their work injuries.  These are not people trying to live off a benefit they deserve.  These folks do not go to work asking to be injured.

Robust Economy in Central Pennsylvania

In Central Pennsylvania, we have a robust economy.  Cumberland County is expected to become the fastest growing county in the Commonwealth.  From a strong housing market, to a positive tax environment, to a robust work ethic, the Carlisle, Mechanicsburg, Silver Spring Township, Hampden Township areas, and even south to Shippensburg, are bustling with economic development.  Even across the county border to Franklin County, just look at the growth in Chambersburg.  Distribution Centers and manufacturing are popping up all along Interstate 81 corridor.  Shippensburg is set to see more growth off Interstate 81, Exit 24.  One thing these companies have cited is a strong work ethic.  That is something to be proud of.  Companies do not locate to areas where they do not believe they can gain a strong work force.

So on this Labor Day, we should take pride in our communities that we live in and be thankful we are seeing growth and advancement, not decay and depreciation.  Pennsylvania is not a growing state, population wise, but the area we live in, well, the story is quite different.  Take pride in our communities and who we are as Central Pennsylvanians.  We work well, we work hard, and we produce.

Treating injured employees with respect

Hopefully, as we continue to see companies locate into Cumberland, Franklin, and Adams counties, we will see companies become good stewards.  Part of that is treating employees with respect and taking care of them when they are hurt.  Work injuries happen.  It is a fact.  Many people get hurt working around the home.  But, at work, there is heavy lifting, there are fork lift accidents, there is such a thing as repetitive stress and trauma, there are slip and falls, there are certified nursing assistant who get injured helping patients, and there are auto accidents.  The key is how we respond to such injuries.  Companies need to do a better job at restructuring or revising processes to avoid work injuries.  They need to constantly evaluate work injuries and make changes to head off injuries before they occur.  They need to put employee safety as a core company value.  Without employees, companies do not exist.  Without a healthy work force, profits dwindle.  It’s called good stewardship and it needs to become a core principle.  Companies need to stop with the suspicions, stop the blaming, and stop putting up impediments to treatment for injuries, and instead, focus on getting injured workers well and compensating them fairly for life altering injuries.  (more…)

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