Do I Need A Witness To My Injury To Win A Work Comp Case In Pennsylvania?

No. There is no witness requirement. But credibility is always an issue so the Judge must determine that what you are testifying to as the cause of your condition is credible. Moreover, your doctor must also find your history to be credible. In repetitive injury cases, there really would not be a witness anyway as the injury happens over a course of time.

 

Of course, there are other requirements that must be proven to have a successful Pennsylvania Work Comp Claim:

-Must be Employed

-Must give Notice within 120 days

-Injury

-In the Course and Scope of Employment

-With a Resultant Disability

-Related Thereto

 

However, does having a witness hurt a case? Of course not. But it is fairly rare that I present a witness in a work comp case. It just isn’t necessary in most cases.

 

For more info about PA Work Comp Law, call experienced Philly work injury lawyer, Michael W. Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or email mcardamone@krasno.com for a Free consult 7 days a week.

 

Work Injury Lawyer Philadelphia

Cardamone Wins Several Supersedeas Decisions For Injured Workers

Michael W. Cardamone, Esquire, has successfully defeated several area employers’ requests to reduce his clients’ wage loss benefits based on allegations that their earning power has been restored pursuant to the opinions of independent medical examiners. Michael, however, presented affidavit testimony from his clients, and medical records from his clients’ treating physicians, establishing that his clients have not sufficiently recovered to perform either their pre-injury job or an allegedly available modified job.

By defeating the Supersedeas requests, Michael has enabled his clients to continue receiving their indemnity checks as the cases proceed on to the merits- where the full evidentiary record is developed. This is critical because the cases can take up to a year for the final Decision to be rendered. If Supersedeas is granted, many injured employees lose their houses because their checks stop, or get reduced.

When you have questions about Supersedeas and Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Law, call an experienced PA Work Comp Attorney.

215-206-9068 or email mcardamone@krasno.com

Pennsylvania Work Place Injury Attorney

How Can The Doctors In My Case Disagree So Much?

Because they are in a business- it’s called medicine.

The insurance company doctors are paid to see things the insurance company’s way, and the treating doctors have incentive to treat patients.

No one can see pain. And while an MRI or EMG may show abnormalities, the doctors have wiggle room to opine that such findings are pre-existing or degenerative, and not related to a work activity.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again- medicine is just as much an art as it is a science.

It is not uncommon to have a treating physician find a patient to be disabled while an insurance company doctor says the person is “fully recovered”. This is a large part of why we have so much litigation in personal injury law and workers’ compensation. The injured worker usually calls me in a scenario like this- completely baffled. They just want to feel better and get back to work, but they are also set back by the anger and emotional trauma from the absurdly different medical opinions.

 

There are plenty of good doctors. However, there are some real jokers out there too- looking to make money with no regard to common sense- or medicine. And this occurs on both sides of the proverbial fence.

If you want me to review your case and whether your doctor is advocating for you, but more importantly, giving you the treatment you need, I am happy to review your medical records. Having studied medical records for 12 years in Pennsylvania Work Comp cases, and having deposed doctors approximately 500 times, I have learned how to quickly sort through the medical aspect of a case .

 

Call Experienced PA Workmens Comp Lawyer, Michael W. Cardamone, for a Free consult 215-206-9068 or email mcardamone@krasno.com

 

 

Does An Injured Worker In Pennsylvania Have To Give Notice Of His Injury To The Employer?

Yes. Within 120 days of the work injury. The time for giving notice, however, does not begin to run until the employee knows, or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should know, of the existence of the injury and its possible relationship to his or her employment. Reasonable diligence is an objective standard (not subjective) per Sell. v. WCAB (LPN Eng’g), 771 A.2d 1246 (Pa. 2001).

 

The mere filing of a Claim Petition will serve as notice, but it has to be served on the Employer.

 

If the notice requirement is not met, there is no viable case. It is important for injured workers to know that being vague doesn’t help. For example, if you tell your employer that you have some work-related “problems”, this won’t suffice. You need a reasonably precise description of the injury. A good example of a specific communication is: “I hurt my low back lifting that heavy box”.

 

I have a pending case where notice is an issue. The Employer is contending that the employee failed to advise them that her back injury was caused by her work activities. The injured worker contends that she left three messages for the supervisor which went ignored. The issue will ultimately be decided by the Judge who has to determine which witness is more credible.

 

Communication is critical. If you were injured on the job, tell a supervisor immediately- and don’t simply state that your back hurts. Tell the supervisor that it hurts because of whatever work activity caused it. Be specific. Many injured workers are afraid to report a work-related injury because of a company’s culture which may have a chilling effect on workers- they fear retaliation or termination. However, an employer is not allowed to terminate an injured worker for reporting a work injury.

 

For more info about the Notice requirement under Pennsylvania Work Comp Law, call or email Michael W. Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or mcardamone@krasno.com

 

Philadelphia Work Injury Attorney

Cardamone Featured In Main Line Today Magazine

Michael W. Cardamone- a top PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer- Fighting For Injured Workers In Pennsylvania, appears in the August Issue of Main Line Today Magazine.

 

Michael also recently appeared in Philadelphia Magazine and Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star”, as voted by his peers, in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation.

 

Michael has represented injured workers for over a decade. He is available 7 days a week for free consults.

 

215-206-9068

 

Pennsylvania Work Injury Attorney

Experience Is Critical In Complicated RSD/CRPS Cases In Pennsylvania Work Comp

I have significant experience handling claims for people suffering from RSD. RSD- reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a chronic and painful condition marked, in part, by burning pain, excessive sweating, swelling, and sensitivity to touch. It is also called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

RSD can spread to different body parts. It can last a lifetime. Some people will improve and recover but many will not.

Doctors often disagree about many facets of RSD. However, it is a real condition with debilitating effects.

I am an experienced RSD lawyer and chronic regional pain syndrome lawyer.

When you need a lawyer with RSD experience and knowledge, call Michael Cardamone at 215-206-9068  or email mcardamone@krasno.com

Experienced Philly Accident Lawyer

Family Medical Leave Act (re-post from 2007 entry)

Many people have a vague familiarity with the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is an important and useful tool that many employees can take advantage of, and something that is often overlooked by employees. I wanted to share with you the basics of FMLA. Feel free to share this information with friends or family members. Most of us will have a need sometime in our lives to use this mechanism of protecting our job.

FMLA provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a calendar year, with job protection. All public employers of any size are covered under FMLA, and private employers with 50 or more employees. Employer must be “engaged in commerce or an industry or activity affecting commerce.” 29 U.S.C. Section 2611 (4) (A) (i). (very broad language used here)

What employees are eligible? Anyone who has worked at least 1250 hours during the preceding 12 months, and who has been employed for at least 1 year prior to the date leave is requested.

What types of leave are covered under FMLA? Birth of employee’s son or daughter; Placement of child for adoption or foster care; To care for close family member with “serious health condition”; If employee suffers from “serious health condition” which renders employee incapacitated from performance. For what constitutes a serious health condition, see below.

What type of notice must be given? If the leave is foreseeable, employee must give 30 days notice. If leave is not foreseeable, employee must provide notice “as soon as practicable” under the circumstances. Also, notice under FMLA does NOT have to be in writing, nor does it have to mention FMLA. This will surprise many people. Request only requires an employee to give notice of need for leave which may constitute FMLA eligibility. However, I advise my clients to make the request in writing and to mention FMLA. Why beat around the bush?

What are types of conditions that courts have upheld as being “serious health conditions”? Well, as you could have guessed, it must be serious- chicken pox, asthma, pregnancy related issues that impact ability to perform job function, etc. Indeed, this analysis is done on an ad hoc basis, and therefore depends on the individual circumstances.

What job is protected? The same or similar job you had prior to requesting the leave. To be more technical, “An equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment”.

Can an employer retaliate? No. Employer cannot “interfere with, restrain, or deny” employee’s right to exercise rights under FMLA.

If I receive workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury, can my employer also count my time out of work as FMLA time as well? Yes, if they provide you with written notice. This generally does not happen, but it may if certain requirements are met.

Is my job protected simply by my receipt of workers’ compensation benefits? No. And this is an important distinction between work comp leave and FMLA. If you are injured at work, the employer has no obligation to protect your job. However, with FMLA- assuming you meet the requirements, your job is protected. Now, an employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, but they can couch your firing in other terms- such as “lack of work”, “excessive absence”, etc. So, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for filing a work comp claim, but unless the employee has a contract that says otherwise, an employer can fire you for just about any other reason so long as it’s not in violation of public policy (ie, discriminatory).

I hope this summary has been helpful. Feel free to email me at mcardamone@krasno.com should you have any questions. Or call 215-206-9068

-Michael W. Cardamone, Esq.

PA Work Comp Lawyer