If I been out on disability in the state of Pennsylvania and my doctor says I can return to a light duty can my job say no.

Asked in Bloomsburg, PA , on Sep 7, 2021

I am a nurse In a nursing home in the state of Pennsylvania who caught covid-19 and I have had some severe complications from it. My doctor said I can return to work on a light duty basis but my job has told me I must return without being on light duty or I am fired even though workers who get injured on the job can work light duty till fit to return to full duty status.

Answered on Sep 8, 2021

These Covid cases are very difficult. If you have long-term complications, you may want to be sure that they’ve actually accepted the injury in the first place. Often times there will be a temporary acceptance followed by a denial. If you’re currently out of work, now may be the best time to fight this out. You should really talk to a workers comp attorney who has dealt with these Covid claims, if there a long term issues, there could be a lot to lose by not pushing the issue. Good luck.

If I reschedule a panel Dr appt and employer wants me to go do they close my case?

Asked in Reading, PA , on Jun 9, 2016

I had a panel Dr appt yesterday and also had my first physical therapy appt and I was too sore and in pain which is normal after first session I called and reschedule for Friday because I knew I wouldn’t make it today and I took my muscle relaxers last night and today in the morning this pill makes me drowsy,sleepy and lightheaded my employer is obligating me to go today as they went and schedule me today without my consent I called manager and said I could not make it today and explained why they still want me to go and said if I didn’t go they can deny my case I am still under the first month someone please help me

Answered on Jun 13, 2016

The WC insurance company will take advantage of injured workers for as long as they can get away with it. Often they will tell you exactly who to treat with even in the first 90 days, which is inappropriate. You should have a list of provider, many of whom are bad option, but list nonetheless. There are several ways to get to other providers even during the 90 day period. If you feel you have a serious injury, the time is now to get advise from an attorney. They will be looking to cut off your claim with as little responsibility as possible – by calling it a sprain or a flesh wound and/or by bringing you back to early so they can send a suspension notice (if you get one of these get help asap). Often time PT causes injuries or makes people worse during the panel period. This will be a related injury but you need to handle it appropriately. I would say hire an attorney, if you are getting benefits now you would not be paying a fee unless they win in some way. Also the consults are free so there is little to lose. Good luck.

Can I quit my current job while being on lite duty on workers comp?

Asked in Lancaster, PA , on Feb 9, 2016

I’m on workers comp in Pa, my company moved me to a plant 30 mins away from my home (I’m usually at the one 10 mins away from home) because I’m still on lite duty. I don’t like the drive at all and they changed my hours. My question is can i quit this job while being under my docs care and get another job? Can someone hire me under these circumstances? What would be my options?

Answered on Feb 15, 2016

You should definitely not quit, that could compromise your WC claim. If the drive is physically painful or creating symptoms that may be a basis for you to request additional accommodations. You may also have protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I would not make any moves without talking to an attorney first, as someone else no doubt mentioned, consults are free for this type of case. You may have a large case than you anticipate and quiting would definitely compromise that. Good luck.

Can you collect workmen's comp and unemployment at the same time

Asked in Reading, PA , on Oct 16, 2015

I was hurt on the job, was seen by the doctor and was sent back to work with restrictions. The company wouldn’t give me light duty work and I was not allowed to go back to work. I have been off work going on three weeks. Was just told that I qualify for Workmens comp. Since I was available for work and company refused to make work available could I collect unemployment for those weeks or until I start getting Workmens comp. My unemployment payments are much higher than workmens comp payments too.

Answered on Oct 19, 2015

I agree with the other attorneys who have commented, the insurer usually wants you to receive UC because they receive the money back as a credit. There are many inequities built into how these claims are handled so you should be conscious of injuries that are not described correctly (herniation called a sprain, missing finger called a flesh wound), a WC nurse following you at appointments and panel doctors who do not seem to be treating you. I would recommend that anyone who is hurt at work talk to a WC attorney. There is too much going on in the background not to have the issues addressed. The consult is free and most attorneys in this field are very easy to work with. Good luck.

Can you sue workers compensation insurance company?

Asked in Berwick, PA , on Aug 10, 2015

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that they gave me a hard time since day one. It’s now over 2 yrs since injury and had to go thru my health insurance to find the cause of the pain but is directly related to the injury. Plenty more to add.

Answered on Aug 11, 2015

As the remainder of attorneys mentioned, a workers compensation claim is a suit against the insurer. There are occasions when an insurer might be sued directly, the last I recall with for a fabricated for cause termination that led to a defamation claim. I am not sure what would be available in you case given the limited facts. WC insurers are the worst, I think everyone on this site understands just how hard these insurers are to deal with – insult to injury. Good luck.

Workers Compensation and scars of the face and neck

Asked in Pottstown, PA , on Jul 22, 2015

Question concerns wether or not workers compensation will automatically pay additional monies for lacerations to the face or neck? I recently had to have surgery to my neck and I have a scar above the shirt line. Yesterday my son suffered a pretty long laceration on his nose (surgeon lost count of stitches), which like myself, is a result of a work related injury.
I’m wondering if there is such a compensation for scars, and is this something that is automatically paid, or is this something that must be handled by an attorney?

Answered on Jul 22, 2015

Unfortunately, in my experience, nothing is automatic with the insurance companies. I just had a client who waited to long after a neck surgery (cervical discectomy) and was paid the disability but not the scarring. It is usually a fight. Some people use a rule of thumb that you may be paid 10 weeks for each inch of scarring, but often times you can do better by pointing to comparative cases that have already been decided – there are 100’s of them. Good luck to you both, don’t let the insurance company off the hook, they have an obligation and you should push for what you deserve.

Can I still get a lump sum settlement from workers Comp if I quit my job while I'm on workers Comp?

Asked in Tunkhannock, PA , on Jul 15, 2015

I live in Pennsylvania and I’ve worked for the same company for 20 years, but I started having issues with my foot and I’ve had two surgeries and still have the same issues. My husband was offered a job out of state and took it but than after starting his job out there he didn’t like the area and came back. Before he left I told my employer I wouldn’t be back, but before we did anything I asked my insurance adjuster if it would affect my claim if I moved and she said it wouldn’t. I’ve been told by my doctor I can’t go back to doing the same kind of work I was doing, but I can do office type work which I have no experience. I’ve only done Manuel labor for the last 20 years. I just want to know if I can get a lump sum settlement. Thanks for your time.

Answered on Jul 17, 2015

It sounds like you have not yet quit the job, if that is the case, you should be talking to an attorney about settlement options. Quitting generally hurts a case unless it is because of work related reasons (but even still it is an unnecessary fight). It also sounds like you have been on compensation for at least a year or two as well, which is about the time most insurance companies get serious about removing you from benefits. The fact that you may be able to do sedentary / office type work could give them an opportunity. It’s hard to tell where you are at in the claim from the information above, but one example is if you had a recent IME they could use the restrictions to set up a labor market survey and attempt to reduce your weekly check by the amount they claim you could earn if you took a job that is within your capacity (usually something you do not want, like a telemarketing job etc). If you do not adequately prepare for these types of scenarios it could hurt you claim as well. As an aside, I hope you are not continuing to treat with the panel providers, you can move on to another provider after the first 90 days, which is usually in your interests. The long and short of it is, you always have a chance for a properly done settlement but a resignation could reduce the amount you ultimately receive. Good luck.

Why my workers comp checks stop coming after the last visit I had with my doctor

Asked in Norristown, PA , on Jun 23, 2015

I have been under medical treatment for more than 2 years my job terminated me 3 months after the accident , before 3 weeks ago I had the last appointment with my doctor where he discharged me with modified duty and after that workers comp stop sending the checks

Answered on Jun 23, 2015

I agree with Tim, they are likely holding you over a barrel. The insurance company will often starve people to get the result that they want. It is a violation of the act and can be punished by a WC judge with the filing of a penalty petition. You were likely at an IME and they are gathering information to file to stop you benefits, though you may have a fight looming, they cannot just stop your benefits in advance of a judge’s determination. Quick note of concern – you didn’t receive any LIBC forms asking about your other income recently? That could be an issue that could create concerns for an automatic temporary suspension.

Can i be laid off because of Carpal Tunnel?

Asked in Hazleton, PA , on Feb 13, 2015

I started working at a warehouse 2 months ago, and a week ago i have been feeling pain on my hand, i self diagnosed myself with Carpal tunnel based on the symptoms, my jobs told me to get a Doctor’s letter clearing me for work until then i can’t come back to work, (but i feel like they are trying to lay me off, because a doctor will clear me for work, but with restrictions, can my work place lay me off or fire me even with a doctor’s letter that clears me for work with restrictions? because they claim that Carpal tunnel happened before i worked there, but i have proof from my last doctor’s visit which was a month before i started to work there, that shows i never once reported any pain or symptoms to my hand before, and this started to happen a month after i started to work there.

Answered on Feb 14, 2015

I agree with Chris, this is a very difficult position to be in especially if you have some conflicting goals. Often times the employer is not eager to bring back an injured employer, often they have financial incentives to part ways with workers early in a claim. Compensation for a work injury tends to bottle neck into a process and the perfect/proper world handling gets clouded in the claims management process. Sometimes an injured worker gets more than they otherwise would be entitled, sometimes if is shamefully less. Either way, this is a tough place to be because the injurer/employer is viewing you as an adversary who can cost them money. You should get the guidance you clearly need now, most people in this field consult for free so there is not much of a risk. As an aside, I hope it is not the Amazon warehouse, they are very difficult to deal with. Good luck.

Does worker's comp pay for the ambulance that took a person to the hospital when they were injured?

Asked in Warminster, PA , on Jan 7, 2015

My wife is a teacher in Bucks County, PA. She fell down steps inside the school and broke a few bones in her foot. An ambulance took her to the hospital but now we are getting hassled about paying the $1000 ambulance bill. Shouldn’t worker’s comp cover that if they have been covering everything else?

Answered on Jan 8, 2015

Cause and effect injury, you would think they would have a hard time looking themselves in the mirror to deny that one. The insurer will often insistent on the formality of receiving several proper form and some companies just aren’t good at that aspect of their work. I am guessing that is part of it. Pushing it to the adjuster and the WC insurer is absolutely appropriate. Good luck.