Philadelphia Work Injury Attorney
With millions of people living and working in greater Philadelphia, and a strong union presence throughout our state, workplace injuries are a serious issue in Philadelphia. Work injuries happen, not only in heavy industry and construction, but also in jobs involving a risk of car accidents, violent crime and other dangerous events. People injured at work, and the families of those killed, should usually be covered by workers’ compensation laws — but in practice, some employers will do anything to avoid paying because it will ultimately raise their insurance costs.
That’s why injured workers should speak to a Philadelphia work injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident, to protect their legal rights. Contact Rosenbaum & Associates today to discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate attorney during a free consultation.
Why Choose Rosenbaum & Associates?
- We have been fighting for injury victims in Pennsylvania for over 25 years.
- Our firm’s track record of success has given our firm national recognition.
- We take work injury cases on a contingency fee basis and will not charge legal fees unless we win.
Why Should You Hire a Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyer?
After a work injury, most Philadelphia workers should be able to claim compensation for medical bills and partial replacement wages through their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. However, this is not a simple process, and some employers intentionally make it difficult. Workers absolutely should still make their claims, but they should seriously consider hiring a Philadelphia work injury lawyer if they believe their employer is trying to discourage them from making a claim, or their claim is unfairly denied. Rosenbaum & Associates stands by workers throughout the claims and appeals process, making sure their rights are respected at every step.
What Are the Most Common Fatal Work Injuries in Philadelphia?
The most common injuries that could turn fatal include:
- Contusions & Crush injuries
- Lacerations & Punctures
- Bone Fractures
- Burn Injuries
Nationwide, a total of 4,679 fatal work injuries were reported in 2014, and of that, 175 were reported in Pennsylvania. While this may only be a fraction of the total, many of these could have been preventable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics further broke down fatal work injuries and categorized them to type of work related accident. A total of 74 fatal injuries were related to transportation issues like forklift accidents and 29 from contact with objects and equipment; together, these two major categories accounted for 59 percent of all workplace fatalities. Slip and fall accidents accrued 25 fatalities in Pennsylvania.
Workers’ compensation insurance normally bars injured workers from suing the employer. But workers are free to sue a third party, such as a contractor, an equipment manufacturer or an unsafe driver. They may also sue the employer if workers’ compensation appeals fail or if it illegally failed to carry insurance at all. This allows injured workers and their families to get fuller compensation.
Because a third-party claim is a separate legal action from workers’ compensation claims, the burden of proving fault falls on the injured worker. Most cases will hinge on the legal theory of negligence, which is a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care or doing something that another reasonably prudent person would not do in a similar situation. To demonstrate another party was negligent will require establishing the following elements:
Duty of Care
A duty of care must have existed between you and the defendant (at-fault party). For example, the owner of a property you are working on has a duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
Breach of Duty of Care
The defendant violated their duty of care—for example, a property owner failing to repair or warn you of a known hazard.
The defendant’s breach of care directly caused your injury, or in other words, you would not have been injured if the property owner had not breached their duty of care and either fixed or warned of the dangerous condition.
The final element is damages. You must have suffered financial or other losses, such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
Types of Damages Available
If you can successfully prove another individual or company is responsible for your work injury accident, the following types of compensation are commonly available:
- Medical Costs: With workers’ comp claims, you must go to a doctor selected by your employer to have medical coverage. When you file a third-party lawsuit, you can seek compensation for both present and future medical expenses related to treatment for your injury by your own physician.
- Lost Income: You have the right to pursue the full extent of your lost income and future lost earning capacity since workers’ comp only covers a portion.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and suffering or emotional distress caused by your injury, which a workers’ compensation claim does not provide.
- Punitive Damages: In some work injury lawsuits, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant was extremely reckless or malicious.
- Wrongful Death: Surviving family members of a work injury victim have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and obtain compensation for medical bills incurred related to the workplace accident, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages that the deceased person would have earned until their retirement, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and more.
Is There a Time Limit on Filing a Work Injury Claim?
Pennsylvania has laws in place, known as statutes of limitations, that limit the amount of time victims have to file a claim, which are as follows:
- Third-Party Work Injury Claims: You have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Wrongful Death: Surviving family members who have lost a loved one due to a work injury can file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the accident or date of death.
- Workers’ Compensation Claim: Injured workers must report an injury to their employers within 120 days of the accident and have three years to file a claim. However, there are some exceptions if the injury or an illness develops over time.
- Cases Against a Government Entity: If a work injury claim involves a city or state employee or a government agency, you must file a notice of your intent to sue within six months of the accident.
There are some exceptions to these time limits, but failing to meet these deadlines will bar you from recovering compensation.
Contact Our Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers
To learn more about claiming fair payments for a work injury or to tell us about your case, contact the Philadelphia law firm of Rosenbaum & Associates today for a free case evaluation. At Rosenbaum & Associates, our Philadelphia injury lawyer offers a free consultation, so potential clients can ask us about the strength and value of their cases with no further obligation or charge. You are always welcome to contact us online or call (215) 569-0200.