Back in August, we touched briefly on the topic of social media with our post 3 Common Tricks Used By Insurance Companies to Fight Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. However, since social media is starting to play such a significant role in every day life, we’ve decided it would be worth examining the relationship between Pennsylvania workers’ compensation and social media a little further.
Simply put, the use of social media during an ongoing Pennsylvania workers’ compensation trial can completely ruin your case. If you have ANY type of social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) it’s a guarantee that the opposing side is monitoring your accounts closely, just waiting for you to slip up. During an ongoing investigation, it’s really in your best interest to avoid the use of social media until the case is over. However, if you cannot bring yourself to stay away, there are some definite guidelines you need to follow.
Don’t Mention Your Workers’ Comp Case
Some people think it will help their case if they talk on social media about how painful their injuries are. But in reality, it’s in your best interest to steer clear of any mention of your case. Insurance companies and their attorneys have ways of twisting words and connecting dots you don’t even know exist. Someone you may not get along with may event try to damage your case by commenting on your posts and accusing you of faking. Don’t give the insurance company and their attorneys anything to work with.
Don’t Post any Status Updates or Photos of You Doing Physical Activity
This should be obvious, but it happens more often than it should. If you are too injured to work, you should not be using social media to share information about your trips to the gym, the time you spent dancing in the bar the other night, or any other form of physical activity. And this is also true for pictures. Even if the picture was taken BEFORE your injury, it’s still giving the opposing side information they can work with. If something goes against your doctor’s orders, don’t do it. And definitely don’t post about it on your Facebook page.
Don’t Say Mean Things about Your Employer, Their Attorney, or the Judge
Even though you are fighting against your employer and their attorney and they may be using unfair tactics against you, it’s in your best interest to remain civil. Posting negative things about these people will make it look like you have a vendetta and will not help your case at all.
If you live in the Harrisburg, Lewistown, or State College area and have been injured on the job, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at 877-COMPHELP for a FREE consultation. Don’t miss out on the benefits you are entitled to.
Back in November, we discussed safety tips for working in the cold. And, as any Pennsylvania resident knows, with winter cold comes winter snow. Here are a few safety tips you can use to avoid getting a work-related injury when working in the snow.
Please Dress Warmly
As we mentioned in the cold safety tips article, it’s important to dress for the weather. Cover all of the body parts with waterproof gloves, hats, and coats. Dress in layers and be sure to wear insulated boots. Also, in extreme cold conditions, be sure to take plenty of breaks, especially if you start to feel too cold.
Driving in the Snow
During snow storms, driving should be avoided if at all possible. However, if you are in a situation where it is snowing and your employer says driving is absolutely necessary, there are measures you can take to make sure your trip goes smoothly. First, you should make sure that, before you go anywhere, all snow is removed from the vehicle. Be extra careful to clear all of the windows and mirrors. Also, make sure your vehicle has a functioning heater and that the tires are safe for snow travel. If you have options, try to get a vehicle that has four-wheel drive.
When on the road, be sure to use your headlights (even if it’s not dark), wear your seatbelt, and DO NOT use cruise control. Go slower than you normally would and allow yourself room to stop. A good rule of thumb is to allow three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. Also, to avoid skidding, brake gently.
Watch out for Ice
If there’s snow on the ground, there’s a good chance you will encounter some icy spots. Watch where you are going and avoid running. Your employer should have all sidewalks, walkways, and parking areas salted, plowed, and safe to walk on, but this may not always be the case. Speak with your supervisor about what can be done to make your work environment a safer place in the winter.
If you have been injured on the job and live in the Harrisburg, Williamsport, or Lewistown area, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at 1-877-COMPHELP for a FREE consultation. Don’t miss out on the benefits you are entitled to.
If a workers’ compensation case is denied, is the injured worker’s health insurance required to cover the cost of their medical bills? This is one of the most common questions we receive, and with good reason, as it can be a complicated matter. The short answer, of course, is yes. Insurance companies ARE obligated to cover the cost of medical bills for work-related injuries if a Pa workers comp claim has been denied. But, unfortunately, things do not typically go that smoothly.
Frequently, health insurance companies refuse to cover injuries that are work-related. This is because when the notes are reviewed by your health insurance provider, they see that the injury took place at work, and assume you will be receiving Pennsylvania workers’ compensation and deny the coverage.
This creates a complicated situation for those whose workers’ compensation claim has been denied. They could be at work risking further injury to try and stay on top of their expenses, or be forced into using unpaid time off while medical bills pile up.
Fortunately for those stuck in a situation such as this, there is a solution. Consulting with an expert Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can get the injured person on the right track to fighting their denied claim. Furthermore, your legal representative will know how to instruct your health insurance company to pay your medical bills while you contest the denied claim.
If you live in the Harrisburg, Chambersburg, and Gettysburg area, and your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at 877-COMPHELP for a FREE consultation. Do not miss out on the benefits you are entitled to!
Many times, injured workers elect not to file for worker' compensation or decide against fighting a denied claim based on the fear that they will anger their employer and will end up losing their job.
In the state of Pennsylvania, employers can fire an employee for any reason as long as the decision is not based on a violation of federal and state laws. For example, firing somebody because of their race, religion, or a disability. Therefore, it is illegal for an employer to fire somebody just because they have filed a workers' comp claim against the company.
Another common question that comes up is that, if you have been injured on the job, are seeking regular treatments, and are also continuing to work, can your employer fire you for scheduling your treatments during working hours.
The quick answer to this is no, your employer cannot fire you for this reason. However, it is worth mentioning that, for the sake of being professional and not trying to create any unnecessary problems, you should make an effort to schedule all appointments to take place on your own time. However, if you encounter a situation where treatments can only occur during working hours, your employer is required to allow you to miss work for these appointments. However, there will be issues over payment of wages and possible partial disability benefits for the earnings loss due to medically required treatments that cause an earnings loss in any particular work week. For situations such as these, it is best to consult with a workers' compensation attorney if you have any questions.
If you live in the Harrisburg, York, or Lancaster area and have been fired and you think it may be related to your Pennsylvania workers' comp claim, or if you have been injured on the job and need representation, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at 877-COMPHELP for a free consultation.
Mediation is one of the fastest and most effective ways of settling a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case. Mediations can be both voluntary and mandatory. In this article, we will examine the meaning of mediation, its pros and cons, and discuss what it could mean for your Pa workers’ compensation case.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a negotiation session between two parties that are involved in a lawsuit (for example, an injured worker vs. their employer’s insurance company), each party’s legal representative, and a neutral facilitator. These negotiations are confidential and serve the purpose of quickly resolving the workers comp case. Mediation can be both voluntary and mandatory, although it is usually voluntary, and can take place at any time during a workers’ comp case, even if a one or more court sessions have already taken place.
What can you expect at mediation?
During the mediation, all present parties will discuss the case. At this point, the judge will generally go down a list of all the major case points and make sure that all information has been brought to his or her attention. After the group discussion takes place, the judge will meet with the opposing parties privately to see if a fair resolution can be agreed upon.
If a fair resolution cannot be agreed upon, the mediator will help plan the next course of action in taking the case forward. This can involve taking the case to the courtroom or planning mediation. Every case is different.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mediation
Mediation has some definite benefits. The biggest of these being that most mediations are quick and effective at satisfying both parties. Other advantages include less legal fees for both parties if the case is resolved quickly, flexible scheduling, and the opportunity to be more creative with resolutions.
As for disadvantages, there really aren’t many. The main issue being that there’s a chance the case may not be settled during the mediation, but this is rare, and is usually the result of one of the parties being stubborn and overestimating the value of their argument. If this is the case, the mediator will usually remind the stubborn party they may want to reconsider what they are asking for.
If you live in the Harrisburg, Bethlehem, or Reading area and have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. For more information, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at 877-COMPHELP for a FREE evaluation. Remember, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If you have been injured on the job in Pennsylvania and, as a result of this injury, are missing work, being treated by a medical doctor, or spending money on prescribed medication, there's a good chance are you are entitled to Pennsylvania worker's compensation benefits. But what if your employer denies you these rights?
The first thing you should do is contact an experienced Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney right away. Many insurance companies will try to bully injured workers into believing they are not entitled to workers' comp benefits. These insurance companies are not on your side, and you should never accept a denied claim without first consulting with an attorney.
Most attorneys will not charge you for a consultation. During your consultation, they will ask you questions about your injury. Examples include where the injury took place, how the injury took place, and what kind of medical attention your injury has required you to obtain.
After taking in and evaluating your information, the attorney will advise you on what your next step should be. If it sounds like you do not have a case, an attorney will most likely tell you to let it go and move on. However, if an attorney feels you are missing out on the benefits you are entitled to, they may have you fill out a claim petition or they may even try to negotiate with the insurance company. Every case is different and it's best to speak with an attorney to learn what all of your options are.
If you have been injured on the job and live near the Harrisburg, Allentown, or Bethlehem area, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow for a FREE consultation. Call out offices at 1-877-COMPHELP or send us an email!
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires all employers in Pennsylvania to give their employees a notice of their rights. Unfortunately, many workers just skim this over or, even worse, don’t look at it all. Do you know all of YOUR rights? Below is a summary of the rights the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act guarantees you as a worker in Pennsylvania. For a printable version of the full document, check out the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry website.
• You have the right to seek medical treatment for any work-related emergencies from any health care provider of your choice. However, for post-emergency injuries and non-emergency injuries, you are to seek treatment from a designated medical professional for up to 90 days after your first visit took place It is up to your employer to provide you with a list of medical professionals to choose from.
• During the 90 day treatment period, you have the right to switch to a different designated medical treatment provider.
• As long are your treatments come from one of your company’s designated medical processionals, your employer is to cover the costs of all reasonable medical supplies and treatment in relation to the work related injury.
• You have the right to seek a second opinion from a doctor of your choice if invasive surgery has been prescribed by one of the company’s designated health care professionals.
• You have the right to a medical consultation or treatment from a medical professional other than one of the ones designated by your employer. BUT, you will be required to pay for these services yourself.
• After being treated by one of the designated medical professionals for over 90 days, you are entitled to seek treatment from a medical professional of your choosing, regardless of whether or not the professional is on the employer’s designated list.
• You have the right to seek treatment from any health care provider after the 90-day period has ended. However, do keep in mind that it is your duty to notify your employer of treatment by a non-designated provider within 5 days of your visit to the provider. Failure to notify your employer within 5 days may cause you to lose out on your benefits.
If you have been injured on the job and reside in the Harrisburg, Scranton, or Pottsville areas, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers compensation. Contact 1-877-COMPHELP for a FREE consultation!
Winter is well on its way and, as all Pennsylvania residents know, this means cold temperatures. And, just like working in the heat can lead to serious health problems, so can working in the cold. Those that work in the cold are at risk for developing frostbite, hypothermia, trench foot. These are all very serious conditions. Below are some tips you and your coworkers can use to help prevent these from happening.
Frostbite is when damage is caused to skin and other tissue due to freezing. Signs of frostbite include tingling or stinging in hands, numbness, and bluish/pale waxy skin. If you suspect one of your coworkers is suffering from frostbite, get the person to a warmer location as soon as possible and contact a medical professional. Try to avoid having the person use the frost bitten area (for example, walking with a frostbitten foot). Once inside, the person should immerse the frostbitten area into warm water (not hot).
Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below the minimum requirement for normal body functions. During this state, the body is unable to replace the heat that is being lost. Symptoms include shivering, blue skin, and confusion. If a person appears to be suffering from hypothermia they need immediate medical attention. While waiting for medical assistance to arrive, the person should be moved into a warm location, have all wet clothing removed, be wrapped in a dry, warm blanket.
Trench foot is caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to damp, unsanitary and cold conditions. It is most likely to occur when working in water or deep snow. Although not a common workplace injury since it generally takes at least 13 hours to develop, it can occur to those that work long hours. Symptoms include numb feet, red or blue skin, and swelling. If someone begins showing signs of trench foot, you should contact a medical professional immediately. In the meantime, thoroughly clean and dry the affected feet.
Preventing Cold-Related Conditions
When working in the cold, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing. Be sure to cover all parts of the body with waterproof gloves, hats, and coats, dress in layers, and wear insulated footwear. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and schedule heavier work for the warmer parts of the day when possible. Be sure to take plenty of breaks, especially if you are starting to feel too cold, and work with a partner.
Remember, if you have suffered a cold-related injury, or any other injury, while on the job, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. If you live in the Harrisburg, State College, or Wilkes-Barre area, call 877-COMPHELP for a free consultation.
Head injuries are amongst the most dangerous work-related incidents that can occur. Below is some information including the most common types, how to prevent them, and how they can be treated.
Types of Head Injuries
A head injury is any type of trauma that damages the skull, scalp, or brain. One of the most common head injuries is called a concussion. A concussion occurs when the brain shakes and crashes into the skull, usually as a result of a blow to the head. Other more serious head injuries include contusions, skull fractures, and hematoma. Contusions occur when the brain becomes bruised and causes swelling. A skull fracture is when one of the cranial skull bones receives some type of break. Hematoma is when the brain begins bleeding and clots.
Signs for all of these injuries include confusion, slurred speech, headache, nausea, loss of balance, loss of memory, ringing in ears, and changes in behavior. Signs that the head injury is more serious include the inability to move one or more limbs, convulsions, changes in pupil size, loss of consciousness and vomiting. If any of these symptoms occur to somebody on your jobsite, it is imperative that they receive immediate medical attention.
Causes of Head Injuries
Head injuries generally occur to those that work in manual labor. Examples include construction, maintenance, and landscaping. However, head injuries can also happen to people that work in other fields, such as office work and retail. Below are a few common situations where head injuries occur.
• Falling objects
• Falling from a high distance (ladder, scaffold, roof, etc.)
• Tripping over an object on the ground
• Slipping on a spill
Preventing Head Injuries
Like other work-related incidents, most head injuries can be avoided by following proper safety procedures. One of the most important components to remaining safe on the job is wearing the proper safety equipment. Hard hats should be worn at all times and must properly fit the wearer. A proper fitting hard hat will cover the forehead with the brim parallel to the ground and/or floor. The hat should not be lose enough to fall off the head or slide around, but should also not be so tight that it irritates the skin.
Furthermore, head injuries can be prevented by treating every situation with caution. Do not horse around on the job site, and never throw tools and equipment. Even situations that seem as innocent as asking your coworker to “toss a hammer” can quickly get ugly. Taking the time to walk up to somebody and hand them something as opposed to tossing it across the job site can prevent life-altering injuries. Shortcuts like this simply aren’t worth the risk.
Hard hats aren’t the only safety items that can prevent head injuries. Harnesses, wet floor signs, and slip resistant shoes also need to be used when necessary. Speak with your supervisor if you are unsure about the type of equipment you should be using.
Have you been injured on the job?
If you have received a head injury while on the job, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. If you live in the Harrisburg, Indiana, or Pittsburgh area, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at 877-COMPHELP for a free consultation.
The state of Pennsylvania does allow injured workers to represent themselves in court. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor warns that “…you should be aware the WC litigation is complex, and your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier will be represented by an experienced attorney”. And they’re right. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney to represent you in your workers’ compensation case.
Insurance companies will do all they can to see that you do not win your case, and we guarantee they’ll have hired the most experienced attorney they can afford. It is unwise to go into your case without somebody on your side who understands the way insurance companies think. Workers’ compensation laws are also extremely complicated. Because of this, if you elect to represent yourself in court, it is quite likely that you will miss some key points that will really work in your case’s favor. Especially considering that you may be in the process of nursing yourself back to good health and will not have the time to devote to the case an experienced attorney has.
A Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney will help you decipher legal jargon, answer all of your questions, prepare for your workers’ compensation hearing, get all of your medical documents in order, and complete and submit your claim petition. Remember, if you choose to represent yourself, it is your responsibility to prove all necessary points that entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits. It can be very easy to miss something, even in the simplest of cases.
In short, yes, you can represent yourself in a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case. However, it greatly decreases your chances of winning the case. Remember, you have nothing to lose by contacting PaWorkersCompHelpNow for a free consultation. If you live in the Harrisburg, State College, or Bethlehem area and you think you are missing out on the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, call 877-COMPHELP right away.