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Friday & Cox LLC Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury and SSD/SSI Blog

Who must carry workers' compensation insurance in Pennsylvania?

The purpose of workers' compensation insurance is to provide financial assistance to workers who suffer an injury or illness due to work-related activities. This is the standard in Pennsylvania and all states throughout the country. According to Pennsylvania law, workers' compensation is mandatory for every employer who employs even as few as one employee who could suffer injuries either at the workplace, anywhere within the state, or in some cases, outside the state while working.

Employers may buy workers' compensation liability insurance from multiple places. First, employers may buy workers' compensation insurance from the Pennsylvania State Workers' Insurance fund. They may also buy it from an insurance company licensed in Pennsylvania. Finally, after obtaining an approval from Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry they could opt for self-insurance, either individually or as a group.

Industrial accidents can lead to workers' compensation claims

With the current use of fracking techniques to recover oil and gas in deep and previously untouchable underground formations, more and more jobs are being created in the petroleum industry. The recent discovery of a substantial shale gas deposit in Pennsylvania has only increased the number of good-paying jobs to Pennsylvanians in the oil and natural gas sector. Despite the often lucrative pay, however, some of these workplaces are more dangerous that those in many other industries. Industrial accidents are not uncommon on sites used to explore, drill and recover oil and gas, and workers can suffer serious and even life-threatening injuries.

The nature of the work itself is often hazardous, especially with round-the-clock use of drilling machinery, industrial solvents and combustible materials. Potential workplace injuries include crush injuries, cuts and bruises, serious burns and inhalation damage. Such injuries can have long-term effects on workers' quality of life as well as their ability to earn enough to support their families.

Accident in southern Pennsylvania coal mine kills worker

Mining is one of the most dangerous jobs that any worker can have, even after consideration that the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration and Pennsylvania Bureau of Mine Safety have taken a number of measures in order to ensure that workers in mines are protected under as many circumstances as possible. Still, every now and then, news media reports that a mine worker has sustained injuries or has been killed while working in a coal mine somewhere in the country, including Pennsylvania.

According to news reports, a 43-year-old worker was recently killed while performing his duties at an underground coal mine near Somerset in southwestern Pennsylvania. The county coroner's report stated that the victim died because of a injuries caused by blunt force to his chest. Apparently, the fatal mining accident occurred after the victim was trapped between a mine wall and a machine that continuously digs coal.

Defective Airbag MDL will not be heard in Pittsburgh

In a recent blog article I discussed the possibility of MDL (multi-district litigation) concerning injuries caused by defective product airbags might be headed to the Federal District Court located in Pittsburgh.  

Eligibility to claim workers' compensation in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act provides for medical expenses if any worker sustains a work related injury or illness and compensates for lost wages until the worker is fit to return to work. Also, in case of the death of a worker caused by a work-related injury or illness, their dependents are elibible to receive compensation. Compensation is either paid by a private insurance company with whom the employer is insured or by the State Workers' Insurance Fund for self-insured employers.

All employees, including seasonal and part-time employees, are covered under the act. Non-profit organizations, unincorporated businesses and businesses employing even a single worker need to abide by the requirements of the act. Federal civilian employees, railroad employees and ship and harbor employees are covered under other acts and have been exempted from the purview of this act. Other employees who are exempted include agricultural laborers, domestic help, volunteers and casual employees.

Injured workers can get disability benefits from feds and states

Workers with physical disabilities are part of the workforce in every state, including Pennsylvania. Some of those disabilities are long standing and do not prevent people from working. Sometimes, though, an individual can become disabled as a result of a workplace injury. If the disability prevents the worker from returning to the job even temporarily, he or she may be eligible for government benefits to live.

Every state has some form of a workers' compensation program that provides cash benefits and sometimes medical facilities to treat workers' injuries. Those with workplace disabilities may also be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance and other medical care benefits. The largest benefit program for people with disabilities is the Social Security Disability Insurance program. The next largest are the state workers' compensation programs.

Helping injured construction workers in Pennsylvania

Scaffolding falls and collapses are, unfortunately, an all too common type of construction accident in Pennsylvania. These types of cases can be extremely complex, but getting the right information about the available options can help injured workers through the legal process.

At Friday & Cox LLC, our workers' compensation lawyers have more than seven decades of combined experience and a record of results that speaks for itself. We have a long history of handling these cases and know exactly where to look to find opportunities to ensure that justice is served.

Time is ticking! How much time is left to file your lawsuit?

In every state there are statutes in place which provide a time limit for filing a lawsuit.  These time limits (in legalese called "Statute of Limitation") vary from state to state, and they also vary depending on the type of legal claim you are trying to raise (i.e. personal injury, medical malpractice, contract disputes to name but a few).  The clock starts ticking for the statute of limitation on the date your legal claim arises or accrues.  If you are injured in a car accident, for example, the statute of limitations clock would start ticking on the date of the accident.  There are a few exceptions that will permit a longer statute of limitations period.  If you try to file a lawsuit beyond the statute of limitations your case will be dismissed!

Preventing forklift accidents in Pennsylvania workplaces

Residents of Pennsylvania may have noticed the use of industrial trucks on various worksites to move and transport materials. Forklifts, rider trucks and platform lift trucks are often seen in use throughout the state. Some workers who operate this machinery or work near it are injured every year due to unsafe work conditions.

Statistics show that almost 20,000 workers are injured and around 100 workers killed in forklift accidents in the United States each year. Almost a quarter of these accidents happen when a forklift overturns. Sometimes a forklift falls between the loading dock and an unsecured trailer or falls when elevated on tines and pallets. Employees performing tasks near forklifts often suffer injuries after being hit by a forklift.

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