A contractor working at Sunoco Logistics was fatally injured after an accident at the company’s Marcus Hook location in March of this year. The Delaware County, Pennsylvania site is going through a transition phase from refining petroleum products to ultimately managing liquid natural gas products. That construction process is ongoing and likely the cause of the accident, but the specifics of this devastating incident have not yet been revealed.
Unfortunately, cases like this happen all too often. As someone who has been injured or as a family member to someone who has been injured, it can be difficult to grapple with the idea that an accident like this may have been preventable.
For more information about this case, please read the article in the Daily Times.
The Facts Behind Workers’ Compensation Injuries
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, more than 4,500 employees are killed on the job every year. On an annual basis, upwards of 4.1 million employees sustain some kind of job-related injury or illness. These accidents have serious repercussions for the victim, who might require intensive medical care for recovery.
An individual who has suffered an on-the-job injury or illness could be entitled to medical care, compensation for permanent impairments, and temporary disability payments under workers’ compensation insurance provided by your employer. It’s important to report your work injury as soon as possible to your employer to initiate the process.
Laws Surrounding Workers’ Compensation
If you have been hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware, it’s important to be informed about your rights and to take action regarding the situation quickly. The majority of all illnesses and injuries caused by a work-related condition or accident are covered under the umbrella of workers’ compensation laws in these states.
Injuries that are not covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Those self-inflicted on purpose
- Injuries from a co-worker personally attacking you
- Injuries sustained from your own illegal drug use or intoxication
- Injuries from an attack not related to your job
- Injuries sustained due to breaking the law
What Legal Recourse Do Victims Have? Next Steps Following a Work Accident
If you have been hurt on the job, you need to report the injury to your supervisor or employer right away. Failing to report the injury could jeopardize your ability to get workers’ compensation benefits. Get medical attention as well to discuss your treatment options with your doctor.
Keep in mind that your employer cannot discriminate against you or retaliate against you because you have mentioned possibly filing a workers’ compensation claim or if you have already filed a claim.
Once you have reported the injury to your employer, follow their protocol for meeting with a physician and any additional reporting requirements mentioned to you by your employer. Following procedure and keeping documentation of your doctor’s visits can be important in the event that you experience some kind of challenge with your workers’ compensation claim.
When Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If you filed your work injury report with your employer, there are some situations where you could benefit from additional legal advice from an experienced attorney. Here are some situations where it’s in your best interest to retain an attorney for the protection of your rights:
- The settlement offer does not cover all of the medical bills or lost wages associated with your injury
- Your claim is denied by your employer
- You are eligible for Social Security disability benefits (your settlement may need to be structured in a particular way to protect these benefits)
- There is a potential third party claim associated with your work injury
- Your employer retaliates against you after you file a claim for your work injury
When a claim is denied or another of the above situations impacts you, the other party might be counting on your lack of action. Take your situation seriously and call Donaghue & Labrum for a consultation at 610-565-9120. Our attorneys are fully qualified to represent you and will go the extra mile to get you the compensation you deserve.