Nearly every job in Pennsylvania poses risk of injury. Some of these risks are foreseeable and preventable while others are not. If an employee is injured in a workplace accident, then he or she may need compensation to help cover his or her lost wages and medical expenses. Workers’ compensation, provided by an employer’s insurance, is meant to help cover these costs. Yet, sometimes claims are denied and injured workers are left out to dry. For this reason, it is important Pennsylvania workers familiarize themselves with how and when workers’ compensation can be recovered.
To see an instance of workers’ compensation denial, one need only look to the injury of former Pittsburgh Steelers player Ainsley Battles. The defensive back tore his left hamstring during a game in 2004. When the Steelers refused to renew his contract the next year and no other teams would pick him up, Battles sought workers’ compensation. Yet, his claim was denied and the case eventually worked its way up to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The Court denied Battles’ request to hear the claim. The reasoning may behind the refusal to hear may be due to the fact that the Steelers paid for Battles’ surgery and rehabilitation as well as the full amount of his remaining contract and $50,000 in severance pay.
Typically, workers’ compensation can be recovered if an employee suffers an injury arising out of and while within the scope of his or her employment. Compensation from such a claim is meant to cover expenses until the worker can heal and get back to work. Yet, if a claim is denied, then an injured worker may want to seek legal assistance.
An experienced Bucks County attorney can sit with an injured worker to assess his or her case. If the decision is made to move forward in challenging the denial, then the attorney will develop the best legal arguments possible to support his or her client’s best interests.
When workers put their well-being on the line, employers and their insurers should be willing to take care of them when they suffer workplace injuries. An attorney may be able to force these companies’ hand when they refuse to do what is right for their employee.
Source: The Patriot-News, “Supreme Court refuses ex-Pittsburgh Steelers player’s appeal in injury case,” Matt Miller, Jan. 22, 2014