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Workers Compensation

Workers' Compensation is a form of insurance for employees who've been injured – or become ill – on the job. The program varies from state to state, but all offer an important safety net for workers. Pennsylvania's laws provide benefits to workers injured on the job or having an occupational disease; or to surviving dependents of workers killed on the job or as a result of the job. The benefits are provided regardless of who was at fault in causing the injury, disease or death, and regardless of the previous physical condition of the employee. Under certain circumstances, this may include injuries sustained when traveling to or from work sites and for other work-related injuries, diseases and death, even away from the workplace.

Available benefits include

  • Weekly wage replacement compensation (paid pursuant to a schedule set by law) to the disabled worker or surviving family;
  • Reasonable, necessary and related hospital, surgical and medical expenses;
  • "Specific loss" benefits if there is a loss or a loss of use of a certain body part or if unsightly scarring is caused by a work injury; and
  • Death benefits and burial expenses to a deceased worker's dependents.

The law applies regardless of where the worker was hired, and may cover injuries or occupational diseases occurring outside the employer's premises (and even outside of Pennsylvania under certain circumstances). The law also provides for benefits when a work- related injury aggravates a pre-existing condition.

The law has many traps for the unwary, and if you have questions regarding entitlement to workers compensation, you should consult an attorney right away. Also, if your employer or the insurance company wants to have you examined by a doctor or interviewed by a vocational consultant or adjuster, it is a good idea to contact an attorney first so that the case may be monitored, and to prevent you from making statements or taking actions that can have serious consequences later.

Third party settlements

One aspect that may be overlooked by attorneys who don’t practice in this area consistently is someone other than the employer or employee is responsible for a work injury. It could be a defective product (forklift, lathe, furniture, computer, etc.) or someone else’s negligence (a co-worker or contract worker, auto accident on the job, etc.).

The attorneys at Badey, Sloan & DiGenova, P.C. provide free, no obligation initial consultations. Most of our Workers' Compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that there is no attorney fee unless we make a financial recovery for you, or successfully stop the insurance carrier from cutting your benefits. To protect injured workers and their families, the law requires that all fees must be approved by a judge before the attorney can be paid.

“Workers’ rights have been seriously eroded in recent years… OSHA protections, labor laws, NIRB, the Pennsylvania Compensation Act… rights have been hobbled or in some cases, gutted. That upsets me. I was raised in a union household. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done representing workers. I don’t dance to the tune of special interests, big business, and insurance companies.”

-- Mike DiGenova

“I never forget that these are people’s lives in the balance here. I come from a working-class background myself, so I know that losing the ability to work – and not having any money coming in – when you’re already living close to edge – is awful. Most people are desperate to get back to work, and will often do so long before it is safe or healthy to – because they are so frightened and stressed. One of the many things we do in working with our clients is to try and find alternate sources of recovery for them and their families to live on while we litigate their claim – give them a little breathing room. And some hope.”

-- Mike DiGenova