Common Questions about Workers’ Compensation
Our attorneys recognize that the workers’ compensation system is complicated. It can be hard to understand your options, but we work hard to help our clients comprehend the law and how it applies to their situation.
Below are a few questions we commonly hear from our clients:
- Does workers’ compensation protect my job?
- The short answer is no. When you are injured at work through no fault of your own, workers’ compensation surprisingly does not protect your job. However, there are laws that do provide protection for you while you are out of work. The Federal Family Medical Leave Act and the State Family Medical Leave Act will protect your job for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, once that time expires, you may not have protection. However, it is illegal for your employer to fire you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or because you took FMLA leave. If you believe that you were fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim or taking FMLA or other medical leave, contact us. We have attorneys who focus on these types of employment issues.
- What determines a work-related injury?
- First, you must have an accident or injury which occurred during work time. Second, you must be able to prove the injury is from work. Defense carriers and employers tend to blame aging and arthritis as the main cause of injury; however, your injury may be much more. Our attorneys can help you navigate through the medical portions of your case and help you determine if you have a claim for injury.
- What if I have a pre-existing condition?
- Under the New Jersey and Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system, any material aggravation of a preexisting condition satisfies your claim for benefits. For example, you may have had a back injury three years ago that required physical therapy. A recent work accident that required more physical therapy and possible surgery could prove to be a material aggravation. Workers often believe that because they suffered a past injury on the job they don’t have a claim. This is not always the case.
- How is a workers’ compensation settlement determined?
- Although no amount of money can compensate for your pain and suffering, your workers’ compensation settlement can help. Settlements can be substantial depending on the injury and what you are waiving in terms of future benefits. Factors considered are your weekly rate, your injury, how your injury interferes with your life and your work, and future medical care required. However, every case it unique and can yield different results.
- What is the hearing process like?
- The hearing processes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are extremely different. In New Jersey, your case will be listed several times with several adjournments based on the Court’s calendar. In Pennsylvania, your hearing will be set on a specific date and time with very few adjournments or continuances. Regardless of the state you are in, the process is long and cumbersome.