Reciprocating SawIf you have suffered an injury at work that has left you disabled (and unable to work), even if that disability is only temporary, it is undeniably a stressful time for you. You may reasonably be concerned about continuing your career and continuing to earn an income. An award of workers’ compensation benefits may be an important aid. You workers’ compensation case, then, is obviously very important to you, so make certain you have an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney on your side.

There are many things that go into a successful workers’ compensation claim hearing, and with which your worker’s compensation attorney can help. Take the case of Steen. Steen was a skilled craftsman who performed carpentry, flooring, and plumbing work for his employer. One day, while using a sawzall with a six-inch blade to cut floor joists, the blade pinched, jumped, and hit the worker’s right knee. Although Steen originally addressed the wound with a first aid kit, he later began experiencing great pain and eventually ended up in the hospital, where he underwent surgery on the knee.

The craftsman filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. In many workers’ compensation cases, much of the evidence that the judge will have with which to decide your claim will come from doctors – both yours and those retained by the employer. Achieving a successful result can often depend on getting medical evidence that is sufficient…and sufficiently persuasive.

police carWhen you suffer an injury at work, it is stressful and unsettling. You may be concerned about your future income if your injury has left you unable to work. It is important to understand that there are options out there. Your workplace injury may entitle you to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Some people may be entitled to select “Heart and Lung Act” benefits instead of workers’ compensation. Still others may be allowed by the law both to obtain Heart and Lung benefits and also an award of damages from a civil lawsuit. Each different avenue for getting the financial recovery you need will depend on the specific facts of your case. Make sure you know what all of your options are by talking to an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney.

One example of how this works was the case of E.T. E.T. was a police officer for the City of Philadelphia. While on duty one day in May 2009, she suffered serious injuries in a vehicle accident. The employee accepted what’s known as “Heart and Lung Act” benefits in lieu of workers’ compensation benefits. The employer paid her almost $15,800 in Heart and Lung salary continuance benefits and an additional $8,300 in medical benefits.

Along the way, E.T. decided to sue the people responsible for the auto accident that injured her. The case went to arbitration and the arbitrator awarded E.T. $71,000 in damages. After E.T. won her arbitration, her employer went back to the workers’ compensation judge and asked for reimbursement.

gavelGoing through the process of seeking Social Security disability benefits can seem hopelessly overwhelming. With so many forms and supporting documents and other requirements, it may seem like an impossible hill to climb. The reality is, though, that your case may be far from hopeless. Even if you have a strong case, you may need the skill and experience of a knowledgeable Pennsylvania disability attorney to get you where you need to be and receive the benefits you deserve.

A Pittsburgh area woman’s recent case provided some important reminders about how to take on a disability case. D.B. alleged that she suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations that left her unable to work. D.B. sought treatment from a psychiatrist in Cranberry Township. She also visited a counselor.

When the time came for her hearing, she, through her legal counsel, offered evidence of the various hallucinations. She also presented testimony from both her psychiatrist and her counselor. Despite all this evidence, the administrative law judge ruled against her, denying her benefits entirely.

paving rollerUnfortunately, fatal workplace accidents not only cause massive emotional harm to the loved ones left behind, they can sometimes also set off an entire series of legal consequences. Your time and energy is best spent on your family. Leave the legal concerns to the experienced professionals by retaining a skilled Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney.

An example of the multi-faceted set of legal consequences arising from a catastrophic workplace accident is the case of R.B., a 55-year-old mechanic from just east of Pittsburgh. One day, R.B. was performing maintenance on a paving roller when the machine lurched, pinning him underneath. The mechanic was crushed and died at the scene.

One thing that a fatal workplace accident may trigger is the need to file a workers’ compensation claim. R.B.’s widow received more than $100,000 in workers’ compensation death benefits after the roller accident. Another thing that may be triggered by an accident like this is a civil lawsuit. Sometimes, the law may allow the pursuit of both workers’ compensation benefits and civil damages. In this case, the widow sued the roller’s manufacturer and another firm. The case settled with the manufacturer agreeing to pay $475,000 and the second defendant paying $425,000.

calendarIn any personal injury or wrongful death circumstance, one thing that is important to note is that different legal “causes of action” (in other words, legal bases for suing and obtaining compensation) may have different “statutes of limitations.” In a practical sense, this means that different claims may have different deadlines after which you are no longer allowed to seek compensation. These deadlines can be very strict and the potential negative impact (a total loss of the legal right to pursue your case) is so severe that it is always a good idea to begin taking action and consulting knowledgeable Pennsylvania injury counsel right away to ensure compliance with all statutes of limitation and no loss of any potential claims.

A recent case originating in Philadelphia demonstrated the importance of understanding these statutes of limitation. The case involved W.B., who was a resident at two health care facilities in Philadelphia for part of 2013. W.B. died on Sept. 3, 2013, and his death certificate listed the cause of death as “cerebral vascular accident” and hypertension. However, W.B. also suffered from multiple bedsores that allegedly got worse during his time at the two care facilities. D.B., who was the administrator of W.B.’s estate, sued the facilities on Sept. 2, 2015. The lawsuit asserted two claims of negligence, one claim of wrongful death and one survival claim.

When a loved one dies as a result of another person (or entity)’s negligence, the law in Pennsylvania may permit various different bases for suing and receiving compensation. There is a legal claim for wrongful death. That claim allows the deceased person’s family to recover damages that compensate them for the losses they suffered as a result of the deceased person’s premature death.

brake lightsIn real life, motor vehicle accident victims come from all walks of life and have all kinds of “back stories.” Sometimes, people make errors of judgment that precede their accidents. If you made some mistakes in the moments preceding your accident, does that mean you absolutely cannot get compensation for your injuries? No. Depending on the facts of your case, you may still be entitled to recovery. To learn more about your options within the legal system, talk to an experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorney.

A recent case from Berks County provides an example of a case in which both sides had some degree of negligence. The case began with John and Ashley heading home from a wedding reception that they had attended. While at the reception, both John and Ashley had consumed alcohol. During the drive home, another driver, Anthony, allegedly began tailgating John. John allegedly became angry and began “brake-checking” Anthony.

At a red light, John got out of his car and began approaching Anthony. Anthony tried to get away in his car, but, in the process, he hit John and dragged him roughly 100 feet. Once EMTs got to the scene, they allegedly found John combative and smelling of alcohol. Eventually, the police charged John with harassment, driving drunk, and driving on a suspended license.

Children's HospitalAnytime anyone decides to pursue an injury case in court, they hope to get a fair trial. Laws and rules of procedure are written to guarantee that the parties will receive a fair trial. This is true of the entire process, including parts that occur before the trial, such as jury selection. If your case was tainted by bias, including within the jury selection process, that may allow you to seek a new trial if your original trial ended in an unfavorable outcome. Whether your case is based on medical malpractice, an auto accident injury, premises liability, or something else, you should retain experienced Pennsylvania injury counsel to make sure that your rights are fully protected in your civil trial.

One recent case from western Pennsylvania was an example of a plaintiff successfully obtaining a new trial. The case involved Mendy’s four-year-old daughter, Jillian, who was in a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh to have reconstructive skull surgery. After the surgery, the hospital placed Jillian in an adult bed in the cardiac intensive care unit. At some point, Jillian fell and landed on her head. This fall allegedly caused two skull fractures and required a second surgery to correct. According to the mother’s lawsuit on behalf of the child, Jillian continued suffering from ongoing behavioral problems after the accident.

The case went to trial, and the jury voted, 10-2, in favor of the hospital. When you encounter a verdict that goes against you, the feeling is probably devastating. You should definitely recognize, though, that you may still have options. Your case may have presented various issues allowing for a successful appeal.

dentistFor many people, trips to the dentist are never fun. That is especially true if you are headed to the dentist’s office to get a root canal procedure. What could be worse than that, you might wonder. Well, one possibility is that your dentist commits malpractice on you while you are undergoing the root canal. While people’s fear of and aversion to dental visits is grist for many jokes, any type of malpractice is the exact opposite of a laughing matter. Whether you have been a victim of malpractice during a dental filling or open-heart surgery or anything in between, you should protect your rights fully and properly by relying on the representation of a skilled Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney.

Any malpractice case, whether the injuries you suffered as a result were merely painful or were totally life-altering, is serious. If your harm was substantial enough to motivate you to consider taking your provider to court, it is serious enough to retain knowledgeable counsel to handle your case. Medical malpractice actions involve many steps. Some of the most important ones may be involved in the pre-trial process, including the amassing of evidence. Included in that is the retaining of an expert witness (or witnesses). There are many other procedural elements that can trip up the uninformed.

Carol was a dental patient who alleged that she was injured due to her dentist’s malpractice during a root canal. Carol went forward in her case without a lawyer. As the case proceeded, the defense asked the judge to throw out the patient’s certificate of merit. (A certificate of merit is a mandatory filing in a malpractice case in which the injured person or her attorney declares that a professional in the field has concluded that the provider did not meet the required standard of care.)

cell towerCases that involve massive injuries often mean that the harm suffered is life-changing, which means an extended period (or even a lifetime) of lost wages and medical expenses. Securing a truly complete amount of compensation means obtaining an award for multiple different types of damages and may mean suing multiple parties. Giving the court all of the evidence needed to prove the full extent of your wide array of injuries is essential to getting all of the compensation you deserve. Additionally, being able to identify all of the defendants who should stand trial in your injury case is another key aspect of ensuring that you can recover the full amount that the court says you should receive. All of these things are areas in which the skill and experience of a knowledgeable Pennsylvania injury attorney may offer essential help to your case.

An example of a case involving multiple injuries and numerous types of harm was the accident suffered by Tommy. In the case, reported by LehighValleyLive.com, the worker was a man whose job involved installing telecommunications equipment on cell towers. While the man was working on a tower in the Allentown area on one June day, the ladder rung that was supporting him gave way. The man had received a safety harness and had tied himself off. Unfortunately, that rung didn’t hold either, and the man plummeted 50 feet to the ground below.

In Tommy’s case, he suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis, spine, arm, and legs as a result of his fall, according to the report. His injuries were so severe that he spent months in a coma. That almost inevitably meant that the amount of past medical expenses he incurred from his hospitalization was extremely large.

knee x-rayIf you have a medical condition that has left you unable to work, you may need the assistance of disability benefits. Receiving an award of benefits can greatly enhance the quality of life of the recipient. However, the legal processes of your claim for disability benefits can seem daunting. Giving yourself a strong chance of success often means having a detailed understanding of the law, as well as of the procedures and processes that go into putting together a winning case. Your disability claim is far too important to entrust to anyone other than an experienced Pennsylvania Social Security Disability attorney who knows how to give you a good chance to get the benefits you need.

Andrea was a woman from western Pennsylvania facing such a need for disability benefits. In her case, she was seeking an award of disability benefits due to her osteoarthritis in her knees, along with her back and shoulder pain. As part of the process, Andrea underwent a consultative exam in February 2014. That doctor concluded, at the end of his examination, that Andrea could “occasionally lift up to 20 pounds and carry up to 10; sit for two hours at a time and for three total; stand for 15 minutes at a time and for one hour total; walk for 15-20 minutes at a time and for one hour total.”

In reaching her conclusion, the administrative law judge in Andrea’s case relied upon part of the doctor’s opinions but discounted other opinions expressed by that doctor. The ALJ did not explain in her opinion why she accepted the conclusions she accepted and rejected the ones she rejected. Andrea was able to use this lack of explanation to secure a remand of her case after the ruling was an unfavorable one.