Interview: Top 7 Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Last week, I sat down with Jeffrey Pribanic, one of four brothers who make up part of Pribanic & Pribanic’s award-winning team of attorneys, to talk about the top workers’ compensation FAQs.
Jeffrey Pribanic discusses FAQs about Workers’ Compensation in this exclusive interview. © Joshua B. Pribanic
MT: “What does workers’ compensation provide for an injured worker?”
Jeffrey: “It allows an injured worker for pretty much any work related injury to collect medical benefits associated with their work injury and wage benefits – a portion of your average weekly wage – on an ongoing basis if that injury prevents you from working.
“In today’s day and age, the maximum amount of time a person can receive wage benefits is about twelve years.”
MT: “What is the most common workers’ compensation issue you deal with?”
Jeffrey: “Most of my clients have been hurt at work, they’ve filed a claim with the insurance carrier for the employer, and they’re denied. There are a lot of wrongful denials by insurance companies, which is why you need a good lawyer who handles workers’ compensation cases routinely.”
MT: “How long have you been litigating these cases?”
Jeffrey: “I’ve been handling worker’s compensation cases for 26 years.”
MT: “Why do employers deny injured worker’s their benefits?”
Jeffrey: “It’s all about the money. Employers are concerned about their profit, or bottom line, and the more workers’ compensation claims a company has, the more its insurance rates go up. A company will deny a claim, hoping the individual gets over it or turns it into their private insurer, which is not the proper thing to do.”
MT: “If I’m injured on the job, what do I need to know?”
Jeffrey: “There is a statue of limitations for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania. One of the things that most people don’t know is that there is also a 120 day notice provision – you have 120 days to notify your employer that you’ve sustained a work injury. If you fail to do so, you’re out of luck.
“As long as you provided notice, you have up to three years to prosecute a claim, seek wage benefits, and seek medical benefits.”
MT: “When do you need a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim?”
Jeffrey: “The first reason you need a lawyer is if you’ve been denied.
“Another reason is if you’ve been receiving worker’s compensation benefits and reached a point in your treatment where doctors conclude that you’re at “maximum medical improvement” and won’t get any better, and you still can’t go back to your job. Then, you’ll need a lawyer to secure a worker’s compensation settlement with your employer, and most people are entitled to a fair and substantial amount of money.”
MT: “How likely would I be to win my workers’ compensation case?”
Jeffrey: “The vast majority of cases that I prosecute are successful.”