I often talk with people who look at me like they have never heard of workers’ compensation. They probably haven’t. I sure didn’t- until I graduated law school and began working for a firm that handled claims for injured workers. My dad was a lawyer. He was involved in disputes over land, water, real estate, zoning, and similar environmental issues. He never hurt his back working as a lawyer, and neither did anyone else I knew growing up.
But work injuries often happen to so called “white collar” workers. I have clients who worked in pharmaceuticals who have tripped over computer wires and permanently damaged their backs. I represented a CFO who became disabled when co-workers’ perfumes and colognes triggered asthmatic attacks such that he could not be exposed to working with others.
The typical image that comes to mind when people think of workers’ comp is a warehouse worker lifting a heavy box and hurting his back, or a construction worker falling from a roof. But work injuries do not discriminate.
And, if a worker does not have short or long term disability, he or she can find themselves quite reliant on the wage loss and medical benefits that workers’ compensation provides.
Comcast and Peco don’t care if you can’t work. They will keep sending the bills. Your landlord may cut you a break for a few days, but the eviction notice will come eventually if the rent isn’t paid.
So, don’t be so quick to think it can’t happen to you. It can. And luckily, we have a safety net to help keep the money flowing (assuming your case is accepted, or won in litigation) until you get your earning power back.
Michael W. Cardamone
PA Work Comp Lawyer