Pittsburgh Attorney Fred Soilis discusses Factors to Consider when Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
PITTSBURGH, October 6, 2020 / PRNewswire / – If an employee is injured at work, they should be eligible for employee compensation. However, filing an employee compensation claim is a complex and confusing process and many claimants struggle to deal with it on their own. Lawyer Fred Soilis by Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman in Pittsburgh recently shared some insight into factors injured workers should consider when hiring an employee compensation lawyer:
Question: What are some of the reasons an injured worker would need an employee compensation lawyer?
Fred: One of the main reasons is the complexity typically associated with these types of claims. Without the experience and familiarity that comes from employee claims, you could put yourself at risk because you don’t know what the other side is going to do. There are also certain time parameters that must be met and consequences if they are not met. Many claims float when things are not handled properly and that is the last thing an injured worker wants.
Here is an example of what I am talking about. If you are injured in the workplace, you must ensure that the injury is well described, the correct body parts are listed, etc. Often times, employers and insurers do not want to accept a theory of deterioration (that is, there is already a condition deteriorating) because these types of injuries are more serious. They prefer to describe an injury in more general terms. A misclassified claim could mean that you are not getting the correct compensation, not receiving benefits for the correct amount of time, and experiencing similar problems.
In any situation, it never hurts to at least consult a lawyer so that you are informed of your legal rights. Talking to an attorney will help you understand where your lawsuit might be, what steps are required to get it properly handled, and other important details.
Question: What if a claim has already been denied? Is It Too Late For An Injured Worker To Receive Benefits?
Fred: No, not at all. A denial simply means that the employer and the insurance company denied the claim for one or more different reasons. Some reasons (for rejection) are legitimate, but many are not. If a worker has been denied a claim, it is not too late, but at this point they will almost certainly need a lawyer to receive benefits.
Question: What questions should an injured worker ask a lawyer he wants to hire?
Fred: You’re going to want to find out what kind of website they have and what kind of content they have that backs up what the lawyer is going to tell them about their experience and the frequency of their work. There are some attorneys out there who deal with employee compensation, but you want an experienced attorney who makes these claims day in and day out so they understand exactly what it is about.
It is also important that the lawyer has a good working relationship with the client. You should be comfortable with the attorney you are working with and should be able to trust your attorney to handle your claim successfully and to communicate with you frequently throughout the process.
It is important that an attorney has experience not only handling such claims, but also claims with that particular employer and insurance company. This means that they have a deep understanding of how the process works and are able to effectively communicate this process to the injured worker. An injured worker needs to know when they will be receiving benefits and they need an attorney who is able to move the process forward and keep them fully informed throughout the process.
Question: Under what circumstances (if any) would it be possible to sue an employer for workplace injury Pennsylvania?
Fred: Pennsylvania is a no-fault condition, and by that I mean that the conduct of an injured worker (without specific circumstances) cannot be used against him to deny workers compensation. For example, if an injured worker tore their ACL because they tripped over a cord on the floor, the employer cannot use fault as a basis for denying the claim. As long as the employee performs his work in the context of his employment, this is the decisive factor. In return for the no-fault system, an employee cannot sue their employer for harm, such as pain and suffering, or damage to a spouse (as a result of the injury), as in a personal injury lawsuit.
Question: What about third party negligence? Is it possible to sue an outside party if they are responsible for an injury or death in the workplace?
Fred: Yeah. If a third party causes an injury in the workplace, the injured worker can sue that party for damages. This could be the manufacturer of a defective product, e.g. For example, a subcontractor who fails to cover a hole an employee falls into, the driver of a vehicle that collides with and injures an employee, or a number of other scenarios.
Question: What other advice would you give to an injured worker seeking an employee claim?
Fred: The biggest piece of advice I would give is that anyone you consult should explain the process appropriately and be open about anything – whether it is positive or negative for your case. It is of no use to just telling the worker what they want to hear because you don’t want to paint a rosy picture that doesn’t exist.
An injured employee must be ready to raise any issues their employer will raise – be it a pre-existing injury, previous medical treatment on the same body part, or whatever the case may be. It is very important that the injured worker understands any issues that may affect their entitlement so that they are fully prepared to address them.
About Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman
Caroselli Beachler & Coleman, LLC is an award-winning PittsburghPersonal injury law firm that has successfully represented countless injury victims in Pennsylvania, West Virginiaand everywhere The United States. They have served the local communities in the field for nearly five decades and have built a solid reputation as a results-driven company that works tirelessly to receive maximum compensation on behalf of their customers. You can reach your office at 412-567-1232 or toll-free at 866-466-5789.
SOURCE Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman