West Chester Worker Compensation Benefits
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West Chester Workers' Compensation Benefits Lawyer
If you’ve been injured on the job, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. Our experienced West Chester workers’ compensation benefits lawyer can assist you with your claim, handling the paperwork, reviewing medical records, and advocating for your rights in case of a benefits denial.
Recovering Various Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in West Chester
Our dedicated team of workers’ compensation lawyers handles claims encompassing the following benefits:
Medical Care: As an injured worker, you can receive necessary medical treatment from a healthcare provider within your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance network. Your employer should provide you with a list of approved medical facilities where you can obtain treatment.
Temporary Disability: If your injury prevents you from working for more than seven days, you are entitled to temporary disability benefits. These benefits provide compensation for the entire duration of your inability to work while you recover from your injury.
Permanent Disability: In cases where your injury is severe and prevents you from returning to work entirely, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. Even if you have reached maximum medical recovery, you might still be unable to resume your prior employment. Permanent disability benefits can provide you with financial support, taking into account any loss of limb function or impairment.
Lifetime Income Replacement: Although New York State workers’ compensation laws do not explicitly use the term “lifetime income replacement,” employees with catastrophic injuries can receive indefinite benefits referred to as temporary total disability benefits (TTD) if their conditions do not improve. To qualify for these benefits, it is essential to provide medical evidence demonstrating that the injury prevents you from performing your previous work or any other substantial work opportunities in the national economy.
West Chester Worker Compensation Practice Areas
Catastrophic injuries can include:
- Severe paralysis
- Head or brain injuries
- Severe burns
- Industrial blindness
- Debilitating conditions. Vocational Rehabilitation: If your injury hinders your ability to perform your pre-accident job, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. This program equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to find alternative employment in a different field when your previous employer cannot provide suitable opportunities. As defined in Section 15(3)(n) of the West Chester Workers’ Compensation Law, vocational rehabilitation services encompass various provisions aimed at compensating workers with disabilities and enabling them to engage in gainful employment. Our vocational rehabilitation services may include:
- On-the-job training for new roles and responsibilities
- Vocational evaluations
- Career counseling
- Job placement assistance, including resume building and interview coaching
- Transferable skills analysis and job testing
- Labor market surveys
- Refresher courses
- Educational programs
- Consulting with potential employers regarding job accommodations and modifications
- Education and tuition assistance for retraining Vocational services are crucial for injured employees unable to continue their previous line of work. Your employer should provide these services at no cost to you.
When evaluating your damages, your personal injury attorney will consider the following factors to determine a fair settlement:
Our ultimate goal is to secure a settlement or verdict that enhances your quality of life and provides for future treatment. Therefore, we will diligently pursue the maximum appropriate compensation through negotiations or trial.
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Calculation of Workers' Compensation Benefits by a West Chester Workers' Compensation Lawyer
When determining workers’ compensation benefits in West Chester, the starting point is the “average weekly wage” (AWW). The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board applies a sliding scale based on the severity and categorization of the injury, aiming to provide compensation close to your potential earnings without the injury.
The AWW is calculated based on your average wage over the last 13 weeks preceding the workplace accident. This calculation includes your basic salary/wage, allowances (such as clothing, lodging, meals), tips, and year-end bonuses.
Calculation of Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If your injury results in total disability, you are entitled to Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. These benefits amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, capped at $675 per week according to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board Benefits Information. You can receive TTD benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks from the date of the injury, except in cases of catastrophic injuries.
You do not have to be completely disabled to meet the threshold for TTD. The law considers whether the impairment significantly reduces your ability to work. Even if you can perform light work but your employer cannot provide a suitable position, you may still qualify for TTD benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
If you have an impairment but are still able to work to some extent, you may be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits. TPD compensates you for the difference between the wages you expected to earn per week based on your work before the injury and the wages you can currently earn. TPD benefits amount to two-thirds of this difference, with a cap of $450 per week. You can receive TPD benefits for a maximum of 350 weeks.
Your employer must pay TPD benefits even if you find employment with another organization.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are based on the level of physical disability you experience and do not focus on earning capacity like other benefits. PPD benefits can be received even if you have never missed work or lost wages due to the incident. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board calculates PPD based on the percentage of impairment determined by an authorized doctor. Your earnings before the incident and the affected body part are considered in this calculation. PPD benefits are paid after exhausting TTD or TPD payments.
Lifetime Income Replacement Benefits
If your authorized physician does not allow you to return to work, your weekly benefits will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time of the injury. The average weekly wage is typically calculated based on the average of the past 13 weeks of active employment. For example, if your average weekly wage before the injury was $600, your TTD benefit check would amount to $400.
For non-catastrophic injuries, the maximum duration of TTD benefits is 400 weeks. However, if your injury is classified as catastrophic under Section 15(3)(x), you may be eligible for lifetime income benefits, lifetime medical benefits, and vocational rehabilitation services. The Workers’ Compensation Board determines the specific designation of a catastrophic injury and the associated benefits based on the extent of the injury and its impact on your ability to engage in gainful employment.
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Understanding the Waiting Period for Workers’ Compensation
The initial seven days following your incident are non-compensable, unless your injury lasts for a minimum of 21 consecutive days. If you remain unable to work for more than 21 consecutive days, you will receive benefits for those first seven missed workdays.
Ensure Compliance with Medical Treatment for Continued Benefits
To continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits, it is crucial to adhere to your doctor’s instructions and complete your treatment. Attend all appointments and promptly report any symptoms to your doctor. This will enable them to monitor your recovery and provide the necessary evidence to support your ongoing benefits. If your doctor advises you to return to work or perform light-duty tasks, it is essential to follow their instructions.
Appealing the Denial of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your employer’s insurer has denied your claim, our assistance is available. We will carefully review your initial claim, validate and supplement the evidence, and prepare you for the necessary hearing. Our team will guide you through the completion of form WC-14 Notice of Claim and represent you during the hearing process.
Filing a Third-Party Lawsuit
In some cases, you may be eligible to file a third-party liability lawsuit following a workplace accident. If your injury was caused by defective equipment or the negligence of a subcontractor, pursuing compensation through legal action is possible. By taking this route, you can seek additional compensation for pain and suffering. Our firm’s West Chester personal injury lawyer will handle the filing of your lawsuit.
Determining Liability in an West Chester Personal Injury Claim
Identifying all potential defendants who may be liable for a personal injury requires a thorough investigation. If someone else failed to exercise due care, they can be held responsible for the resulting injuries.
It’s essential to recognize that the person directly responsible for the accident may not be the sole party held liable. For instance, in a drunk driving auto accident, not only the intoxicated driver but also the individual who served alcohol to the visibly intoxicated person could be held responsible.
By carefully assessing the circumstances, an experienced personal injury attorney can determine the parties who may be held accountable in your specific case.
The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney in West Chester after an accident, the easier it will be to collect evidence.Having a clear understanding of the negligence laws in your state is crucial when pursuing a personal injury claim. Your attorney will play a crucial role in proving fault in your case. While some states follow “no-fault” laws, it’s important to note that New York does not fall into this category.
It’s important to understand that even if you bear some responsibility for the accident, you may still be eligible for compensation. It’s important to note that New York follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means that even if a plaintiff is deemed to be more than 50% at fault, they can still recover damages. The amount of compensation they receive will be reduced by their assigned percentage of fault.
Overview of the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
It’s natural to have concerns about what to expect during the claims process, but rest assured, our experienced lawyers are here to guide you. Here is an outline of the stages you can anticipate:
Filing Court Documents
The Discovery Process
Pre-Trial Litigation and Motions
Arrange Your Free Consultation in West Chester
Gabriel Legal Injury Lawyers specializes in personal injury cases, handling even the most complex matters. Our legal team is well-versed in the laws and knows how to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let us assist you in moving forward after this challenging time.