How to Find the Best Construction Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia
When you suffer an injury on the job, your financial future is on the line. If you cannot work, you lose your income at the same time you face significant medical expenses. Construction accident Lawyers and Workers' compensation both protect employees from financial devastation because of on-the-job injuries.
No one has the right to deny you this benefit. But many employers and insurers unjustly deny these claims to save money.
When this happens, a sharp workers' compensation lawyer becomes invaluable. But where should you find one?
Try these channels for finding the best workers' compensation lawyer in Pennsylvania:
Take Recommendations From Friends, Family, and Others
Word of mouth provides some of the best referrals. You may know people who have hired a personal injury attorney that can give you their firsthand account of the experience.
Contact the Local Bar Association
Bar associations can provide you with a listing of workers' compensation attorneys in your area.
A Google search gives you the websites of workers' compensation attorneys where you can find further information.
Visit Legal Websites for Referrals and Reviews
What Are the Most Common Construction Accident Injuries in Philadelphia?
It’s no secret that construction workers face risks on the job. Injuries are common, with damages ranging from light sprains to head injuries to paralysis. If you work on a construction site, you may experience any of the following:
Construction workers often climb on roofs or work from high scaffolds. For many reasons, including equipment failure, weather conditions, or a loss of balance, construction workers fall and sometimes suffer devastating injuries.
Construction workers must often work in proximity to power lines and electrical equipment. Unfortunately, electrical lines and equipment can fail, resulting in the electrocution of anyone nearby.
Struck by an Object
Construction sites are full of dangerous materials. When debris, tools, and other objects let loose, they can strike workers and cause horrific injuries.
Construction sites are busy places, and workers may be struck by vehicles, including trucks, cars, and forklifts. Road construction sites are the most dangerous. Despite efforts to make them safer, many drivers continue to speed through these work areas with scant regard for the safety of workers.
In addition, just being in close proximity to traffic is dangerous. A small mistake can result in severe injuries.
Pennsylvania law entitles injured construction workers to compensation for medical costs, lost income, and other damages. No one should go into poverty because they were injured on the job. Worker’s compensation ensures they don’t.
What Benefits Does Workers Compensation Provide?
Workers' compensation insurance pays for medical treatment and time off work due to job-related injuries. Some of the benefits include the following:
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
Permanent total disability benefits compensate workers whose injuries prevent them from ever working again. Falls that result in paralysis make up a large share of permanent total disability claims for construction workers. Head injuries can also disable workers permanently. Lost limbs, eye injuries, and lung damage can also prevent injured workers from returning to the construction site.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Not all permanent conditions cause complete disability. Some injured construction workers recover enough to return to work but only part-time. In these cases, they may receive permanent partial disability benefits.
Temporary partial disability benefits
In most cases, injuries, such as broken bones, heal and the victim can return to regular, full-time work. When this is the case, workers’ compensation pays the medical bills and reimburses the worker for lost wages.
Even a minor injury can result in large medical bills. Because of worker’s compensation, injured construction workers are never left with big medical expenses because of a workplace injury.
Wage Reimbursement Benefits
Most families can only afford to lose income for a very short time. Construction workers injured on the job never have to sweat how to pay their bills while unable to work. They receive full compensation, so they remain financially healthy while they recover their physical health.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Some injuries knock the victim out of his or her current profession. For instance, a construction worker who can no longer stand for long periods because of a back injury may still be able to work at a different kind of job. Vocational rehabilitation benefits provide for retraining the injured worker.
Workers' Compensation Laws
Each state creates its own workers' compensation legal framework, but federal standards must also be met. As a result, worker’s compensation laws in Pennsylvania are based on both state and federal statutes.
These laws protect employees when they suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. For example, if a worker suffers from the black lung after working in a coal mine, he is covered under workers’ compensation even if the symptoms materialize years later.
Because of these statutes, the employer is strictly liable. Strict liability holds the employer responsible regardless of fault. The only standard for claims is that the accident was work-related.
For instance, if a construction worker loses his balance and falls, the employer cannot claim that the employee’s poor balance caused the injury, so it is absolved of responsibility. Because of this, workers receive their benefits quickly without the need to prove the employer’s negligence.
Why Are So Many Workers’ Compensation Claims Initially Denied?
It may seem that since workers' compensation functions on a no-fault principle, claims denials would be rare. However, in the real world, this is far from the truth.
Insurance companies and employers lose financially when workers file claims. As a result, there is an impetus to deny claims reflectively, even if the facts support the claim's validity. Inevitably, these denials result in appeals and lawsuits.
Some claims meet with swift approval. Usually, when there are witnesses to the accident, and the employees are long-term workers with no claims history, companies feel they have little chance of winning an appeal.
On the other hand, if one of the following factors is present, companies are more likely to fight a worker's compensation claim:
A History of Workers Compensation Claims
Insurers train insurance adjusters to be on the lookout for workers' compensation fraud red flags.
They know a certain percentage of claims come in from dishonest actors trying to get a free ride on the policy. In some cases, insurance companies have had private investigators film claimants doing physical activity while claiming to be disabled. For instance, they might find an employee claiming to have a debilitating back injury surfing.
A history of claims makes insurers suspicious that the employee is a chronic scammer. As a result, they may deny the claim.
Your workers' compensation lawyer fights back against unjust denials. Prior claims history provides no reason to deny a claim.
Witnesses corroborate the employee's story. When the accident occurs with no one around, insurers are suspicious that the injury could be faked.
However, many accidents occur without anyone seeing them. Insurance companies cannot deny claims on this basis alone.
No workers' compensation policy contains a provision excluding short-term employees from benefits. But in the real world, employers and insurers battle claims from short-term employees far more often than long-term employees.
It makes no difference if you suffered the injury in the first hour of employment or after a decade. Each case has equal legitimacy.
Accident Reported After Leaving Work
Sometimes, employees have a minor mishap and think they are uninjured. They go home, and the pain starts. When they report the injury, the employer and the insurer are usually suspicious that the injury may have occurred outside of work. For this reason, always report the accident right away and before leaving.
Many states require large employers to give advance notice of upcoming layoffs. Insurers know that claims rise after these announcements, resulting in a claim filed before a layoff being a red flag.
However, employees file many legitimate claims prior to a layoff. An insurer should never deny claims solely on this basis.
Discipline History of the Employee
Little evidence shows a correlation between an employee’s discipline history and false claims. However, some employers nevertheless fight claims on the ground that the employee’s discipline history provides evidence of fraud. This is nonsense.
Refusal to Go to Approved Doctors
If the claimant refuses to see the plan’s approved doctors, the insurer is in the right to deny the claim.
However, if you disagree with the diagnosis or treatment prescribed by the plan doctor, you have the right to seek a second opinion.
Workplaces are fertile ground for rumors. Sometimes, coworkers or managers start rumors that your claim is illegitimate without reason. Gossip cannot defeat your claim, so you need to press on despite any nasty talk. You will win.
However, you may want to report any harassment and rumor spreading to HR. You want to defend your claim and your reputation.
Prior Injury to the Same Body Part
Insurers see this as a red flag. However, it stands to reason that if you have a prior injury, you are more vulnerable to another injury of the same body part. Denials based solely on a similar past injury or reinjury are pure nonsense.
Consult with a Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyer
Mattiacci Law’s workers' compensation team takes on insurers and employers that deny claims based on thin justifications. Most workers' compensation claims are legitimate, and injured employees should never be harmed because companies want to save money.
Our workers' compensation lawyers understand how to build cases that win. Often, the basis of the denial buckles under the weight of the evidence.
Contact Mattiacci Law for a free construction site accident consultation.