In the 18 years that I have practiced workers' compensation law at Edgar Snyder & Associates, I have received countless phone calls from clients who are frustrated with the work comp system. Long-time employees are treated poorly by their employers, they are blamed for injuries that are not their fault, and they are only looking to get the benefits they deserve.
In Pennsylvania, the workers' compensation system is stacked against the individual worker. For example, there is no cost-of-living adjustment to workers' compensation payments – in five years you will receive the same amount of money that you begin receiving at the time of your injury. Furthermore, injured employees are not informed of their rights. Many people do not know that in Pennsylvania an injured worker cannot sue for pain and suffering or for disruption of family life. He or she is only entitled to compensation for medical bills and to receive checks every one or two weeks. In other instances, workers are placed under surveillance and are harassed by employers and insurance companies. The PA workers' comp system is designed to slowly bleed injured workers to death financially.
Our team of work comp attorneys is here to guide our clients through this maze of legal issues. That is why I feel it's important to present this workers' compensation series with tips on what to do if you are hurt on-the-job in Pennsylvania. The topic of my next post will be Steps to Take If You've Just Been Injured.