Close
Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers / Workers’ Comp Attorney

Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers / Workers’ Comp Attorney

Table of Contents

    Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation is governed by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. This statute is based on a loss of earning power principle. Many injured workers are entitled to 2/3 of their pre-injury average weekly wage, in addition to medical benefits. For low wage earners, they receive 90% of their pre-injury average weekly wage. And, there is a maximum comp rate for each year- for 2022 it’s $1,205 per week. Other benefits such as specific loss are available for amputations, or loss of use for all practical intents and purposes, and disfigurement of the head, face, or neck, if it is permanent, unsightly, and not usually incident to the employment. Death benefits are available in the nature of weekly compensation benefits and burial expenses. A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer can help you prepare a case and file for compensation according to the PA Workers’ Comp Act.

    Elements for a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Philadelphia

    To have a viable claim in Pennsylvania, you need to

    • Be an employee,
    • Have a Resultant Disability
    • Be Injured,
    • In the Course and Scope of Employment, and

    If you are an independent contractor, then the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act does not apply. There are many cases where there is a dispute as to whether a person is an “employee” or an “independent contractor”. While there are many factors that the Workers’ Compensation Judges will analyze in making this determination, one of the key factors is who has the control over the type and manner of the work being performed. The more control the person has, the more likely the person is an independent contractor- and vice versa. Contact a certified workers’ comp attorney in Pennsylvania to see if you have a viable claim.

    Jurisdiction

    Any injury occurring in Pennsylvania falls within the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. However, even if the injury didn’t occur in Pennsylvania, the Act may still apply. An example of this is the employment is principally localized in Pennsylvania. An agreement that provides exclusive jurisdiction shall be in another state is not enforceable. Discuss with a workers’ comp lawyer to understand how jurisdiction applies in your case.

    Notice Must be Established

    Once an injured worker is injured on the job, whether from a traumatic (sudden) injury or from repetitive work activities (i.e., repetitive typing), the worker should give notice as soon as possible to the employer as to what was injured, when, and how. Notice is a critical element for a viable Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation claim and if it’s not given within 120 days, then the claim fails no matter what.

    Once notice of a work injury is given, the employer or insurer or third party administrator (which is like an insurer but it doesn’t spend its own money) must investigate the claim and issue one of three documents within 21 days- a Notice of Compensation Payable, a Notice of Denial, or a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable. The employer/insurer/TPA can accept wage loss and medical benefits, or medical only which means they admit a work injury took place but don’t admit that it’s disabling.

    Medical Treatment After an Injury Occurs

    An injured worker must be out for 7 days or more to trigger a wage loss claim. In the beginning of a case, the Employer usually has a list of panel doctors and the worker treats there for 90 days. There are ways around this so it’s important to speak to a Certified Pennsylvania Work Comp Lawyer about whether you can treat with a physician outside the panel.

    Panel doctors are trained to minimize an injured worker’s injuries. They are working for the employers and tend to label injuries “contusions” or “sprains” and “strains”. Once the 90 days is up, an injured worker in Pennsylvania can treat with any provider. There are often disagreements between the physicians in terms of what the diagnoses are, and what they are related to. It is important to keep the workers’ compensation attorney in the loop. Injured workers should always tell all physicians their complete history regarding any injuries or treatment to the affected body party.

    Medical Evidence is the Key

    Having a good Workers comp attorney is very important. You cannot win a PA Work Comp case without a doctor on your side who can unequivocally state within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that your injuries are work-related and causing a loss of earning power. Absolute certainty is not required. The standard is “reasonable medical certainty.” Some physicians do not discuss causation (what caused what) in their reports so the injured worker’s attorney will have to request a report addressing the issue. You will want your workers’ compensation attorney to carefully review your medical records to determine if your doctors support the work-relatedness of your condition.

    Duration of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Philadelphia

    A claim can be accepted via Notice of Compensation Payable or a Supplemental Agreement, a Stipulation, or a Court Order. Once you are on Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits, you can theoretically (although it’s quite unusual in reality) be on the benefits for a lifetime. However, in most cases, an injured worker is at some point deemed “partially disabled” which has a 500 week cap on the wage loss benefits. Partial status can arise from a determination that the injured worker has an earning power, or when a worker is actually working, but earning less than pre-injury wages.

    “Independent” Medical Exam

    An insurer/employer/TPA can request an Independent Medical Exam every six months and these physicians are usually quite biased and tend to disagree with the treating doctors’ opinions. This often causes litigation in the nature of a Petition to Terminate in which a fully recovery is alleged, a Petition to Suspend in which a full pre injury earning power is alleged, or a Petition to Modify in which an earning power is alleged that is less than pre-injury. Also the Independent Medical Exams can result in a challenge to the medical benefits and lead to a Utilization Review which is a challenge as to whether treatment is reasonable and necessary. Another very common Petition is a Petition to Review which challenges which diagnoses are work-related. As you probably know, the insurers will always try to pin a diagnosis on a “pre-existing” condition. However, under the PA Work Comp Act, an aggravation of a pre-existing condition is a work injury. Many people do not realize this. For example, if you injured your back a year ago outside of work, but made it worse by heavy lifting at work, then the aggravation is a work injury under the law- assuming a Judge finds the doctor’s opinion to be credible. You should always consult with an experienced Work Comp Attorney before attending an Independent Medical Exam under the Pennsylvania Work Comp Act.

    Pennsylvania work comp settlements

    In most cases, the insurer/employer/TPA will wish to settle a Pennsylvania Work Comp case. A settlement of all issues and benefits is called a Compromise and Release Agreement. It is often referred to as a global settlement. The normal terms for a Compromise and Release Agreement are a lump sum payment and medical benefits until the date of the Compromise and Release hearing, and then a clean break meaning no more benefits. In many cases, a resignation from employment is required by the employers. In some cases, the parties bargain for a period of ongoing indemnity (wage loss) checks and a period of ongoing medical benefits, but the majority of cases result in a one time lump sum deal. Many factors determine the amount of a PA Work Comp Settlement. No two cases are the same. Many factors must be addressed when a settlement is discussed, such as the effect on any short or long term disability benefits, unemployment compensation, social security benefits, and any employment discrimination (ie, EEOC) matters.

    Litigation

    Litigation is common in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases. Litigation means a petition is filed and heard by a Workers’ Compensation Judge. There are many types of petitions including a Claim Petition (when a claim has been denied), a Petition to Terminate, Suspend, Modify, etc. Litigation can take up to a year or more depending on many factors. Under the Special Rules of Administrative Procedure in Pennsylvania Work Comp cases, each side has 90 days to secure their medical evidence. As such, there is a six month period of evidence. Some witnesses, usually lay, will testify at a hearing and others at a deposition. The medical depositions of the experts is most frequently done in the doctors’ offices, not in court before the presiding Judge. Some Judges will have multiple hearings and other Judges will just have one hearing for a petition. They each have their own style. At the end of litigation, the attorneys are asked to submit written arguments called “Briefs” outlining their respective positions. The Judge will issue a written Decision to the parties anywhere from a month to several months later depending on their schedules and other factors.

    Hiring a lawyer

    The most important thing for injured workers to realize is that having the benefit of counsel will increase the probability of a favorable outcome- and sometimes dramatically. Insurance companies aren’t on your side- even if they seem friendly for a while. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible in each and every case. It is strongly recommended that every injured worker retain a Certified Workers’ Comp Attorney to maximize their entitlement to benefits. Pennsylvania Work Comp Law has become quite complicated and letting the insurance company dictate your course is not a wise decision. They have attorneys giving them advice- and so should you. Fees in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases are contingent and usually 20% of the wage loss benefits.

    We Are Rare! All We Do Is Help Injured Workers!

    Attention! We are a rare firm that ONLY handles Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases for injured workers. The vast majority of law firms on TV and billboards claiming to be Pennsylvania Workmen’s Comp Law Firms, handle personal injury and/or social security disability cases, or more. Not at Cardamone Law! And we don’t pass your files around to five lawyers for every hearing. Attorneys Cardamone and Silver are heavy hitting, highly experienced PA Workers Compensation Lawyers with over 60 years combined experience- and they map out a case strategy for each case, using their vast experience. In fact, they teach other lawyers about Pennsylvania Workman’s Compensation Law.

    Moreover, Attorneys Cardamone and Silver have over 60 years combined experience and review each case together. We don’t hand off your file to a rookie who is trying to learn the ropes. We all need to start somewhere and we respect rookies, but we won’t give you one on your case! At many of the large workers’ comp firms, your file will be handled by a different lawyer at each hearing or event (deposition, mediation, etc). Not with Cardamone Law!

    Also, we are financially leveraged to compete with any defense firm, and we routinely defeat the state’s largest employers.

    At Cardamone Law, we have a high winning percentage. We know how to position a case for success and while we can never guarantee any results, we will tell you what percentage chance we think we have of winning your case. And the numbers are usually quite high.

    We are known to be aggressive with getting every penny possible in a case. Other firms may leave money on the table and accept the first or second offer. We fight tooth and nail until we have every penny for our clients.

    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

    Client Testimonials

    "Best Law Firm around!"

    "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
    "Michael and Shirley are very dedicated...and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case"

    "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
    "Highly recommend."

    "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
    "Great Attorney"

    "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