Do You See People Faking Injuries To Get Workers’ Compensation In Pennsylvania?

I have been handling Pennsylvania Work Comp cases for 13 years and I haven’t seen many fakers. This doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Of course they do. But it’s not as prevalent  as many people believe. In virtually every conversation I have with a new client, he/she mentions that they are aware of all the fakers. This perspective comes from the media- which reports the outrageous cases. The media doesn’t report about the other 99% of legitimate work-related injuries- the cases that we Claimants’ lawyers are fighting for in the trenches, day in and day out.

It is important to realize that we have many layers of protection against fraud in Pennsylvania Work Comp cases.  First, the injured worker treats with a licensed medical doctor- and usually a doctor hired by the Employer itself, for the first 90 days after an injury occurs. The doctor examines the injured workers and renders a diagnosis based on clinical findings, the history reported, and sometimes diagnostic studies which are largely objective in nature. (there is always some room for interpretation and disagreement between physicians depending on their backgrounds, training, prejudices, expertise, etc).  If a claim survives beyond the 90 day period, there is often an independent medical examination performed as well- which can be done every six months until a case is resolved, wherein a hand-picked doctor by the insurance company examines the injured worker, reviews the medical records, and writes a report as to the nature and extent of any work injury. Then, we have adjustors for the insurance companies examining the medical records both for 1) extent of disability and 2) causation (ie, was this a work injury?).  When cases go into litigation, we then have attorneys reviewing the records to make sure everything makes sense. On top of that, the records (and/or deposition from the doctors) are examined by a Pennsylvania Work Comp Judge.

Between the doctors, the adjustors, the lawyers, and the judges, it is very difficult for an injured worker to slide through the “system” with a completely made up condition. That being said, there is no doubt that people have varying abilities to deal with pain. Some people have incentive to stay out of work because they didn’t like their job, etc. But the same safeguards are in place to spot these people and to keep them honest.

I remind my clients that the vast majority of injured workers I see are not interested in sitting home depressed, getting needles plunged into their spines, waiting for an erratic work comp check, being spied on, going to court to testify, losing out on job skills, or having their significant other angry at them for bringing home less pay. Yes, there are always some lunatics out there who have motivation to lie, cheat, and steal. But most people are good, hard working, and straightforward- and they are not happy about being caught up in the constant stress of a workers’ compensation system that is set up not to provide injured workers with a life long income, but as a temporary safety net until their earning power is restored.

For more info about PA Work Injuries, call Pennsylvania Work Injury Attorney Michael W. Cardamone at 215-206-9068 for a free and prompt consult or email mcardamone@krasno.com

 

PA Work Comp Lawyer

 

 

 

 

Testimonial For PA Work Comp Lawyer Michael W. Cardamone

Here is a testimonial from a client of mine:
“Thank you so much, Michael, for all you’ve done to reach a fair resolution.  From my first phone call, your concern gave me the confidence I needed to keep pushing to have my injuries fixed.  Through every stage of the court process you were totally engaged. You were sharp, focused and showed real finesse when taking the medical deposition.  In hearings, you were always ready with details and explanations, and were cool “under fire,” always the gentleman.  Still, there is a toughness about you, a sense of righteousness that is spontaneous and genuine.  I am grateful you were in my corner.
Thank you for going the extra mile, for answering a multitude of emails and phone calls and for listening to my concerns.  I trusted you completely and you never let me down.
My only regret, Michael, is not hiring you sooner.”
A.B.

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law- Where Can I Find It?

Right here.

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=553004&mode=2

As you can see, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law is extensive and complex. If you have any questions, please contact me for a free consultation.215-206-9068 or mcardamone@krasno.com  7 Days a week! I represent injured workers across Pennsylvania.

PA Work Comp Lawyer

Are Pain And Suffering Damages Available In A Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Case?

No.  Pain and suffering is not part of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation.  If you sustain an injury at work in Pennsylvania, you are entitled to two- thirds of your wage loss and payment of medical bills (and specific loss benefits if you lose a limb, toe, finger, or suffer disfigurement).  Pain and suffering damages are not available because fault is not an issue in Pennsylvania Work Comp cases. (although injuries that are self inflicted or caused by intoxication aren’t compensable, naturally).

However, if your work injury was caused by a third party- ie, someone other than your Employer, then pain and suffering damages may be available for you in that third party suit, but not in the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation matter.

Consequently, when injured workers hear about large lump sum settlements in a Pennsylvania Work Comp case, the amount of the settlement factors in the loss of earning power and the agreed upon value of future medical treatment- but not pain and suffering. Because the settlements can be large, it is common for injured workers to believe that pain and suffering is part of the equation.

It is simply a trade off.  An injured worker in Pennsylvania only has to show he/she was injured in the course and scope of his/her employment- and so, in that respect, it is fairly easy to establish a work injury, but the Employers aren’t punished with pain and suffering damages because whose fault the injury was, isn’t relevant.

For more information about Pennsylvania Workplace Injury Law, call a proven lawyer fighting for injured workers in Pennsylvania- Michael Cardamone- at 215-206-9068 or email mcardamone@krasno.com. Free consults 7 days a week

Philadelphia Employment Injury Lawyer

If I Had A Pre-Existing Condition, Can I Still Get Workers’ Compensation In Pennsylvania If I Aggravated It A Work?

Yes.  An aggravation of a prior condition is still a work injury- so long as your doctor 1) is aware of the prior condition, 2) states that your work activity aggravated it, and 3) the Judge (if the claim isn’t accepted voluntarily) finds your doctor to be more credible than an opposing doctor such as a panel doctor for the employer or an independent medical examiner.

Please also remember that for the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act to apply, you must be an employee and not an independent contractor.

Like other claims, an aggravation can occur suddenly or as a result of repetitive work activities. With repetitive work activities, the date of injury is usually the last day of work- with the theory being that each day is a new aggravation and thus a new injury.

Aggravation claims tend to be even more vigorously defended than new injuries- as it’s obviously easier for a doctor to pin some blame on the prior condition. While clinical findings are always important, if your doctor can show a worsening diagnostically– on an MRI, X-Ray, CT Scan, etc- then the aggravation claim will be strengthened as it can be asserted that the worsening is proven objectively rather than solely in a subjective way.

The most common aggravation injury I see is for the lower back (lumbar spine). Many people have had back pain due to prior work injuries, car accidents, or simply degeneration due to the natural aging process. As always, it is very important to tell all physicians about your prior conditions so that they can juxtapose the records and formulate a credible opinion as to the work-relatedness of your current condition.

For more information about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, call or email PA Work Comp Lawyer Michael Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or email mcardamone@krasno.com for a free and prompt consult 7 days a week.

PA Workplace Injury Lawyer For Injured Workers