By law, you are financially protected when you suffer an injury at your place of work. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires every employer to maintain insurance to compensate you in the event that the unexpected happens. However, many workers' compensation insurance programs leave you with a battle of red tape. The job of our team of workers' compensation lawyers is to cut through that red tape and to get you your rightful compensation. That is where workers' compensation attorneys, Gabriella Hashem Farhat and Linda F. Gerencser, and our team of experts step in, to help ensure you receive satisfactory care and fair compensation to aid in your recovery.
Our workers compensation attorneys will work hard to provide you with the following:
Before you decide to retain us for your workers' compensation case, here are a few self-help guides of things that could happen in your case over the course of handling your case. We hope that this provides you with some general guidelines concerning workers' compensation, answers some of the many asked questions about your case, and familiarizes you with the workers' compensation system.
Workers' compensation cases are controlled by the Workers' Compensation Act, which provides for certain benefits to workers that are injured on the job [or have an occupational disease], regardless of fault, regardless of the prior condition of the employee.
Basic benefits* to which an injured Employee is entitled are:
*There is NO recovery for any type of pain and suffering as a result of the work injury; other potential rights might accrue.
Usually, the following occurs:
Usually, you, the Claimant, will testify under oath, in the presence of a court reporter, as to the circumstances surrounding your injury. Your attorney will question you first (direct examination); then, the attorney for the Employer/insurance company will have the opportunity to question you as well (cross-examination).
Usually, yes, there is more than one hearing held in your case. Generally, witnesses, if there are any, may be called by either side to testify. They may testify at a hearing or via a scheduled deposition. Unless otherwise advised by our office, you should attend all hearings. These hearings are scheduled by the Judge and pursuant to the Judge's calendar; generally, we have no control over the scheduling process.
Yes, the testimony of any physician(s) is required to prove a causal link between your injury and work This testimony is usually presented via medical depositions (outside the hearing room) and at the convenience of counsel. Typically, only counsel attend such depositions.
You should note that the Defendant/employer is entitled to have you examined by a physician of their own choosing; typically, every 6 months. This will be discussed with you in more specifics if warranted.
After all of the evidence is presented, the case is closed and the Judge issues a "briefing schedule", advising each party to submit his/her factual and legal statement of the law. Then, the Judge to whom your case has been assigned will issue a written decision; it is mailed to you and to our office. The length of time for the decision to be processed depends on the Judge.
This will be discussed with you as needed. However, if the Judge commits an error of law, an Appeal can be filed to the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. However, the Judge is the final finder of fact and credibility of witnesses; and these issues cannot be overturned on Appeal.
Do the following:
Do NOT do the following:
Remember: Our main objective is to obtain for you all the benefits to which you are entitled under the applicable law. We understand that this process is probably new to you, and going through it along with treating for your injury is a stressful process. Therefore, please be assured that we are working on your behalf to obtain the best result for your condition, and should you have any questions or fears regarding the process, do not hesitate to contact us.
It will be our pleasure to assist you in any way possible.