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Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation- Description Of Injury- Why Does It Matter?

In a Pennsylvania Work Comp case, the employer/insurer usually issues a Notice of Compensation Payable when they accept the fact that a work injury took place. On this key, controlling document, there is a place in the upper left hand corner to list “body parts affected” and “type of injury”.  In the vast majority of cases, the insurers will list the most benign diagnoses- such as a “lumbar strain/sprain” or “contusion”.  There are several reasons for this. First, the NCP must be issued (although many times it comes later) within 21 days from when the injured worker gave notice of his/her work injury. In this early stage, the medical treatment hasn’t been very well developed. Also, the injured worker usually treats with the Employer’s Panel Doctors- who tend to minimize the nature of the injuries, naturally. In addition, since the insurer issues the NCP unilaterally, they are not going to put themselves on the hook for serious injuries- although in some cases, where the nature of the injury is clear- such as a fractured bone after a fall- they will.  Because most people have some degree of arthritis, the insurers hope that a doctor will label the work injury a “contusion” or “sprain/strain” while pinning the causal connection of the injury after a few months to this underlying condition.

So, if you have been injured at work, what should you do if the insurer minimizes the nature of your injury? Talk with an experienced Pennsylvania Workmans Comp Lawyer. If your medical bills and wage loss benefits are being paid appropriately, I tend to let the description stand. However, if medical bills or wage loss isn’t being paid, I will file a Petition to Review to challenge the description of the work-related diagnoses. Or, if the insurer files a Petition to Terminate, Modify, or Suspend– efforts to reduce their liability-then I will counter with my Petition to Review at that time.

Why is the description of the work injury important? There are a host of reasons. First, you don’t need unpaid medical bills and credit problem which can result when the insurer refuses to pay medical bills for a work-related back surgery- with them claiming the injury was a mere strain or sprain. Secondly, the value of your case for settlement purposes may be affected by the description of the work injury.  For example, if your chronic low back pain has caused a psychological condition such as anxiety or depression, you may want to file a Petition to Review to add these diagnoses, to enhance the value of the case for settlement purposes and/or to have medical coverage for ongoing treatment if no other source of insurance exists.

How do I win a Petition to Review? Talk to your PA Work Comp Lawyer. But generally, the lawyer will take the injured worker’s testimony in addition to testimony from the treating doctor. The insurer will almost always set up an Independent Medical Exam to see if the IME doctor agrees with the allegations. If the doctors disagree with each other- which is quite common- the litigation can take up to a year depending on many factors. (ie, what Judge gets assigned the case, coordinating schedules for doctors’ depositions, delays, etc).

In summary, the description of a PA Work Injury is a critical part of a PA Work Comp case. Don’t let your employer or insurance company dictate what injury is deemed work-related. Get a legal analysis from a Pennsylvania Work Comp Lawyer to determine if and when you should proceed with a challenge to the description of injury.

For more info about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, call Attorney Michael Cardamone directly at 215-206-9068 7 days a week or email Michael@cardamonelaw.com.

 

 

Awards & Recognitions

Pennsylvania Workmans Comp Attorney
Philadelphia Workmans Comp Lawyer

Cardamone Law Has Negotiated Some of the Largest Workers’ Comp Settlements in Pennsylvania

$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury
& Hundreds More Cases
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury
& Hundreds More Cases

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"Cardomone law is absolutely fantastic! They are very responsive and helpful and they will fight to get you what you deserve. Shirley is also very helpful whenever you have any questions! Best Law Firm around!"

- C. Edwards
Google Reviews
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"Cardamone Law Firm were very helpful to me since day one. Michael and Shirley are very dedicated to my case giving me updates, answering my questions, being honest with my case, and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case. Thank you so much for your service and dedication and helping me to achieve not only your case but to guide and refer me in other needs too! You guys are the best law firm friendly and dedicated. I will recommend to anyone."

- A. Ortiz
Google Reviews
"Michael won my workers comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim."

"Exceptional firm. Highly recommend this law firm. Michael won my Workers Comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim. Him and his staff were always at my reach for legal and emotional support. Am so happy I hire them. Thanks Michael and Ms. Shirley."

- Carlos P.
Google Reviews
"[They] did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time."

"I recently had a work related injury and was receiving Workers' Compensation (medical benefits only). Soon after I was fired, so I contacted Paul Silver at Cardamone Law Firm who did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time. Paul and his assistant Shirley always responded to any questions I had about the case in a very short amount of time. Thank you for helping me with this difficult case."

- Robin C.
Google Reviews
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"Cardamone Law was great with helping my husband with his Workers Comp issues. Mike and Shirley were the best with letting us know what was going on every step of the way. Highly recommend."

- Danielle P.
Google Reviews
"Mike Cardamone is amazing"

"Mike Cardamone is amazing. He is "hands down" one of the best lawyers I've ever had the privilege of knowing. He is very kind, understanding, knowledgeable in his field, always very thorough and helpful. He was extremely professional and someone who truly cares about his clients. I felt completely at ease with him. He was a pleasure to work with, explained everything in detail, as well as answered all my questions with knowledge and care. If you want someone you can trust, who communicates every step of the way, will fight for you and make sure you win your case, he is it! I will refer all my family and friends to him. Thank you so much Mike, for everything. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication in helping me."

- Allie M.
Google Reviews
Without a doubt YOU are the best!!!

"Without a doubt YOU are the best!!! Every person who is in the horrible position of being injured at work should have someone as kind, compassionate and knowledgeable as you on their side. You never once made me feel like I was one of a hundred other clients. I always knew you had my back! You answered calls and emails at all hours. You fought every fight for me so I only had to worry about getting well. Behind your nice, calm face there’s a pit bull ready to take on any employer or judge. I can never thank you enough."

- L. Edall
Google Reviews
"Best Workers' Comp Lawyer!"

"Michael is simply the best! He was there for me from day 1 till the end, and we won the case!! He is always available to help. I had a gazillion questions and he would answer them one by one. He's a great lawyer and I feel lucky to have found him online from reading other outstanding reviews about him. Believe me, they're true!"

- Faith B.
Google Reviews
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"Great attorney, handled case quickly and efficiently. I would recommend him and would use him again. He was always available to answer any questions we had. Thank you, Mr. Cardamone."

- H. Anderson
Google Reviews