Work-Related Fatalities Surge In Pennsylvania

Work-Related Fatalities Surge In Pennsylvania

Over the past year, work-related deaths rose nearly 30% in central Pennsylvania, prompting calls from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for employers to take action to ensure that the workplace is safe and free of hazards. While the central part of the state has seen increases, so has the Philadelphia metro region of the state. In a 2018 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, fatalities involving contact with objects and equipment were 12% higher than the national average for accidents of this nature. Despite this, our workers’ compensation lawyer Philadelphia PA victims turn to from WIEAND LAW FIRM LLC, can attest that there are several ways work-related accidents occur, including:

  • Motor Vehicle Collisions
  • Exposure to Hazardous Materials
  • Being Struck by Objects
  • Slips and Falls
  • Workplace Violence
  • Overexertion, Stress-Related Injuries
  • And More

Victims of these accidents have a right to seek workers’ compensation, a system designed with mutual benefits for employees and employers. These benefits are often imperative for victims to recover after an accident. A most recent change was made in 2022 to Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act which will be advantageous to injured workers and includes a 6.6% increase to the average weekly wages injured workers are eligible to receive following an accident. As a result, this raises the maximum workers’ compensation weekly wage from $1,081 (in 2020) to $1,205. In addition to receiving a portion of lost wages, when an employee is injured on the job, they can gain access to benefits that cover:

  • Medical Expenses
  • A Portion of Lost Wages
  • Job Retraining Programs
  • Disability Benefits
  • Death Benefits

In exchange for these benefits, employees typically waive their right to pursue legal action in the form of a lawsuit against their employer- thus protecting companies from financial ruin that can follow from constant litigation. However, despite this, there are several other aspects of these accidents that victims should consider. The process can be incredibly complicated, and victims may experience difficulty obtaining much-needed benefits. Facing workplace retaliation, claims denials, and benefits that don’t always cover losses can be excruciating for victims. Victims must consider legal representation from an experienced Philadelphia, PA workers’ compensation lawyer. It’s also important to note that in some situations, victims may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits while also pursuing a third-party claim. Third-party claims allow victims to seek damages for other negligent parties, such as drivers, product manufacturers, and subcontractors who may have been responsible for the accident. 

While no one should have to undergo the losses that coincide with work-related accidents, they are all too familiar. Employers should take action to develop protocols and training programs that are aimed at ensuring a healthy environment that mitigates risk to their employers. Work-related injury prevention benefits both employer and employee because, when injuries occur, all involved experience some form of loss. Victims are left to face physical pain and financial loss while businesses experience impacts on production, low morale, and even fines from OSHA for non-compliance. If you were recently injured while performing your job functions, seeking a lawyer from WIEAND LAW FIRM LLC will be imperative to understanding steps moving forward after the accident. 

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