Workers Compensation, Personal Injury, Social Security Disability and How to Protect Your Future
When employees are hurt on the job and are unable to work, their thoughts naturally turn to concerns about how they are going to pay their bills and support their families in the short term. In more serious cases, injured workers may also have to take into consideration how they will provide for themselves and their families in the long term. This is when the injured worker needs to start thinking about the interplay between workers compensation, personal injury, social security disability and how to protect your future.
Under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Law, injured workers in most cases cannot sue their employers, however, if the injured worker’s injuries were caused by the negligence of a third party, the injured worker may also have a personal injury claim, in addition to a workers compensation claim, against those responsible for causing their injuries. Therefore it is important to determine early on whether some other company or person is liable for the injuries you sustained in order to maximize you potential recovery. This is especially true when it comes to your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, since the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation system does not take those things into consideration when deciding what wage loss and medical benefits you may be entitled to. The only way you can be compensated for your non-monetary damages is to pursue a personal injury action against the parties responsible for your losses. In addition, the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation system will generally only compensate you for 2/3 of your average weekly wage while you are disabled because of a work related injury. In order to be compensated for 100% of your wage loss you must pursue a personal injury action against those responsible for your losses.
If, as a result of your work injury, you are no longer able to perform substantial gainful activity you may also need to think about applying for social security disability (SSDI). The Social Security Administration’s rules on eligibility are generally based on the age of the applicant, their medical restrictions and their past previous work. However, if you apply for SSDI and you have a workers compensation case and/or personal injury action pending, Social Security is going to want a piece of any settlement if they paid for medical bills, or may be required to pay for medical bills in the future.
In short, when injured on the job, the insurance companies and the government aren’t going to be looking out for you to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Only you can do that – with the help of good lawyers. Contact our office for a free consultation to speak to a skilled Attorney who can explain your rights with regard to personal injury Law, social security disability and Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law at 717-238-1657. Our team is ready to help you.