What are my next steps/options?

Asked in Breinigsville, PA , on Mar 11, 2022

My husband has not received his workers comp payment in almost a month & he is supposed to get it every 2 weeks. Last payment he deposited on Feb 14th. They have not gave us a letter or anything saying payments have ceased. I tried calling the PA dept of WC & the insurer Esis as well. I have not heard from Esis & the original claims adjuster is no longer employed by the company, I asked her how to get in touch with someone, she did not reply back. We have bills to pay, & kids to feed, & I’m not sure we can survive strictly off my income as I’m on short term disability due to childbirth. This is scaring me & stressing us out. what can we do?

Answered on Mar 12, 2022

Very much depends on the nature of the documents that have been filed with the Department of Labor. There is an easy route to request those and have them reviewed by an attorney, it would be a good idea. Early on in the claim is the most important time period, many rights are fixed in our lost. You should have a call or sit down with an attorney, get these records requested and figure out the right path forward. If this is a significant injury, there is alot to lose. Also, must attorneys will not charge for this as most will handle the case on a contingency, meaning if they do not win or settle it, there would not be a fee.


Is it legal for your employer to schedule you more hours in a pay than you need to work while receiving partial compensation ?

Asked in Lebanon, PA , on Feb 20, 2022

I am technically holding a part-time position. Prior to being injured I always worked a lot of overtime at my own discretion. Now my employer is trying to schedule me over my part-time hours because they said I used to always do that. While that is correct, I am on heavy restrictions and having a tough time getting through the short four hour shifts I am being scheduled. Now they continue to add more hours and I just want to know can I be scheduled over what I technically have to provide for them while I am injured?

Answered on Feb 25, 2022

It is likely early in your claim, the first few months. They potentially are trying to avoid paying you wage loss by pulling a temporary notice of compensation payable. Maybe they are trying to accept only a medical claim, which limits your rights. If it is a bit later in the claim, they my be trying to issue a suspension of your benefits without having to go to court. There is not many facts here, but there is alot of smoke and whether there is smoke there is fire. It sounds like your employer and insurer and trying to limit their responsibility on this claim. You should talk to an attorney and give them the chance for a full intake. These cases are generally contingent, so you do not pay unless there is a recovery or protection of your benefits of some sort. Good luck.

What can I do about a false summary?

Asked in Hamburg, PA , on Jan 29, 2022

The insurance carrier received the doctors IME Report and it says that I am maybe capable of returning to an easier job with restrictions. A company working for the insurance carrier made a summary of this report and it says that I can return to work immediately. Is that false information?

Answered on Jan 29, 2022

Well IME’s are paid opinions and not medical treatment information. In my experience, they tend to have a fair amount of fiction in them. That said, it is clear that you are in an important stage of your workers compensation case. This is likely a precursor to the insurance company filing a petition to stop your benefits. You will likely need to hire and depose a doctor in response, so now would be the time to start talking to an attorney if you do not have one already. It is even more important if you are in the first 90 days after an injury. How the next several months go, whether you have funds during that period and many important issues are likely to be decides in the next short period of time. You should get the help you need on it. Good luck.

Can I get reimbursed for uber for my therapy/doctors appointment(workers comp)? How would I go about it??

Asked in Lancaster, PA , on Jan 24, 2022

My job is walking distance from my house and I don’t drive but I have to uber to therapy/doctors appointments. I hurt my wrist/hand and have an ongoing workers comp case. Can I be reimbursed? How would I go about it?

Answered on Jan 26, 2022

Travel expenses incurred by the employee to obtain medical treatment that is, or can be, provided locally will not be reimbursable. Helen Mining Co. v. WCAB (Tantlinger), 616 A.2d 759 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1992). However, there is a case where it was not even determined that care was not available locally that was reimbursed when the travel expenses were an integral part of his medical care. Barnyock v. Workmen’s Comp. Appeal Bd. (Garden State Tanning), 664 A.2d 683, 685 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1995). As someone said, it would be difficult to get this paid, but they may do it voluntarily under these circumstances. I never trust the insurance companies at all, there is always something going on in the background but if you claim is actually accepted (which is not as clear as it sounds), they likely would want you to get better and that is the way you may want to frame it. All of that said, you should get an attorney, many attorneys will not even take a fee until they are successful in some fashion on your claim. There are so many small fights in WC that that happens eventually. You would be better off in the long run getting help, claim end better that way. Good luck.

Can I sue the company I work for

Asked in Hazleton, PA , on Dec 7, 2021

My job sent me an hour away in their company truck. As I was on my way home the truck started wobbling and the back tire ended up falling off.

Answered on Dec 8, 2021

If you are injured, you generally would have a claim under WC. Often times, an employer will have immunity for their negligence if there was a work injury. However, you really should speak with someone and provide all the facts. Most of these cases would be contingent, meaning you do not pay unless something is recovered for an injury. Good luck.

Can I be terminated for having surgery ?

Asked in Warminster, PA , on Dec 7, 2021

I recently had surgery that my supervisor knew about a month a head and helped me choose the date . I had surgery and had to be out for 7-10 days because my doctors note was not accepted . They told me to go on STD but was denied because illness was not severe . I occurred occurrences during my 1.5 weeks off and am being terminated for having too many missed days . Can I fight this ? This is not fair and it was planned with the supervisor and told in advanced before they hired me. It’s a large company so I am just a number , but this is wrongful termination.

Answered on Dec 8, 2021

This is slightly off topic, however, if you have a physical injury that gets worse because of work, even if it was not originally work related, it can be covered under WC and when you are terminated with restrictions there is a much more direct path to be compensated. An injury can occur from an “incident” or from repetitive trauma or the like. I see this scenario alot with injured workers and they often do not realize this. In terms of your specific injury, you may need to provide more information for example, where you in a Union or was there an agreement. What was the nature of the condition, was it permanent or temporary, what were the policies and was there compliance and was there any effort to seek an accommodation. Good luck.

I’m on light duty we work 10 hours 2 hours of that is overtime can my work place stop me from work 10 hours cause I’m on light ?

Asked in Shickshinny, PA , on Nov 23, 2021

I have a tear on my labrum so I’m on light duty

Answered on Nov 29, 2021

You likely have to provide more information and talk to someone on this. If you are a Union employee, you may have a contract provision on it. Most people work at will and you would not have a general entitlement to overtime. They cannot deny you overtime solely because of a disability or they could violate the ADA, but would be hard to enforce. I think Attorney Neiman is right that the focus should be on why you are not getting paid by the WC insurer for your wage loss. It raises some questions about whether the claim is being handled correctly. If you are past the 90 day period or if you have a basis to avoid the panel providers I would generally recommend that for my clients. You should talk to an attorney, these cases are contingent, unless an attorney is successful for you in some why there is generally not a fee. Some will also represent you if you are already receiving benefits until they do something to benefit you. Claimants are always better off getting help. Good luck.

Can I reopen a comp case if I missed the hearing and months have passed.

Asked in Lake Ariel, PA , on Nov 15, 2021

Hello on august of last year I had surgery for a hernia I got while at work. I was out 6 weeks ànd on light duty for 2 more. About March of 2021 I started to have pains in my gut where I had the surgery I was out for a few days here and there for it and chalked it up to gas. In April o. The 22 I carried a pump that weighted 250 about 100 yards. At the job I was at we work a 4 day work week 10 hour days Monday thru Thursday on Friday my back was stiff but bearable. Saturday I couldn’t even get out of the bed. Çome Monday morning I called to tell my boss that I had hurt my back carrying that pump. That same day I got my daughter’s results for a covid test they were positive so when they were sending me to the Dr I was in isolation. Long story shorter for a little over a month I couldn’t walk and had the worst back pain I’ve ever experienced. After going to comps Dr and getting shots that weren’t helping my wife called a specialist who ordered a MRI. The results from that were that I had discitis in my lower back (a bacterial infection) the infection according to my Dr came from the hernia surgery. I missed my hearing for comp cause I got evicted and left the state and missed the hea

Answered on Nov 21, 2021

My goodness, what a strange result. I just handled a case with an infection like this that occurred as a result of a Toradol injection just after a minor back injury that led to a major operation. There are a number of administerial concerns I would raise – you have to give notice of a new work injury within 120 days of the occurrence or knowledge of the injury and you have to make a claim within 3 years. It is unclear the specific facts and you would want to talk to a WC attorney to flesh this out further. All cases turn on their individual facts, there will be questions raised about the delay, but that does not mean the claim will be foreclosed. It actually sounds like you have a case, you just need to find the right attorney and experts. Side note, things are not as hopeless as they may seem right now, get an attorney get the case handled, get your medical condition straightened out and you will be back to a better place in a reasonable amount of time. Good luck.

I acquired renal cancer at the time I was working in harsh conditions underground can the workplace be liable

Asked in Philadelphia, PA , on Nov 17, 2021

I lost a kidney I haven’t been the same ever since I get really bad infections I have low energy as well as pains an they don’t really understand at work it’s hard because I feel my life expectancy was cut short an I don’t feel comfortable working in those conditions anymore because iam scares of reaccurance Now it’s been about 8 month since surgery but I thought I’d recover an it’s not east working like this iam around chemicals daily Along with soil dirt silica insulation an who knows what Else I had cance but it was in one kidney an tests said it wasnt genetic

Answered on Nov 21, 2021

To honestly know if you have a workers compensation claim, the best thing to do would be to sit down or call (these days) and have a lengthy discussion about your work environment. Sometimes there are things that come up in that process that allows a claim to be made. I had an individual with cancer who worked with spray foam and it had toluene diisocyanate in it which is a carcinogen. There are any number of circumstances this can come up and with certain chemicals and professions there may even be a work related presumption. It really does take a deep dive in these cases and it is unclear without the help of medical experts and more facts if this is related to work. That said, I strongly encourage you to talk to an attorney immediately. You are required to provide notice within 120 days of learning you have a work related injury. If you medical records describe a doctor telling you about it or about your suspicions if could make it very difficult for you attorney. Talk to someone ASAP would be my suggestion.

What if I hit anothercar that was parked 2 weeks ago? They got paid 700 for damages and I was injured. I have to seek medical tr

Asked in Coatesville, PA , on Oct 24, 2021

A car was parked in back of me. I hit it by accident they had damage and I was injured. I didn’t go right away fir treatment because I got covid

Answered on Oct 25, 2021

It sounds like you were injured in a car accident at work, based on your posting. You may need to provide some additional details but if you were injured and you were working you should be able to recover WC benefits. Whether you were negligent, is not an issue in the WC context. You should contact someone who handles these matters and actually talk through it with them, that way you could provide additional needed facts. Good luck with the case and I hope you are feeling better with the COVID.