Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Workers' compensation and the retaining of an attorney

Pennsylvania workers injured on the job can often expect to miss more than seven days of work. It probably would surprise no one that the more severe the injury suffered by the worker, the more likely such a worker will contact an attorney concerning their workers' compensation claim.

The key to retaining an attorney often revolved around statutory language in the particular state where the injury has occurred. In certain states, only about 1 in 10 injured workers ever contacted an attorney. In other states, close to half of the injured workers contacted an attorney.

In certain cases, injured workers received statutory benefits without ever having an attorney involved. However, in instances where there was a lack of workplace trust or a fear that one's claims would be denied, injured workers were much more likely to contact an attorney concerning their claim.

When an employee feels threatened by the employer in some way (perhaps the threat of losing their job if they filed a claim), most such employees will retain an attorney to deal with their circumstances and help file their claim. Again, this would seem obvious, but it's a lesson that is missed by many employers.

Too often, employers fail to understand that they have the ability to make the claim process go more smoothly. They also seem to fail to understand that if they implemented certain safety measures such as supervision of training, distributing materials concerning safety, and communicated their concerns with workers, there would be a much greater chance that a workers' compensation claim could be settled amicably.

Source: Claims Journal, "Why Workers' Comp Claimants Hire Attorneys," by Denise Johnson, May 17, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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