Philadelphia Workers Compensation Lawyers & Personal Injury Attorneys
How can a Lawyer Help with My Legal Challenges?
For over 70 years, we have built a reputation as lawyers who fight to protect the rights of men and women, both in and out of the workplace. Acting as vigorous counsel for workers and their families, unions, and employee benefit plans, Freedman & Lorry, P.C. represents workers in virtually every field. We advocate for disabled workers and victims of work-related accidents, as well as victims injured in motor vehicle accidents, and have extensive experience in Defense Base Act (DBA) litigation.
Our firm is also committed to providing the highest quality representation in personal injury, family law, Workers’ Compensation, criminal defense, and general practice litigation. No matter which legal matter someone is facing, they should not proceed alone. Having a qualified lawyer can be invaluable to obtaining a successful outcome.
How Do I Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ Compensation is an insurance policy that must be carried by businesses to protect their employees. The policy can be self-paid, but most companies will use an insurance company to handle all Workers’ Compensation claims. The insurance policy should be used to file claims any time a worker is injured on the job. If the company does not carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, it can be cited or fined by the state.
Because Workers’ Compensation is required under state law, businesses must post information about how their employees can use its Workers’ Compensation insurance. There must be an internal reporting procedure established by the business and a chain of command that is easy to follow. For example, a worker on a construction site should report injuries to their manager or foreman as soon as they occur.
Workers’ Compensation claims are paid for by the insurance policy. A manager will submit the information and the insurance company will then process the claim. The worker will receive all the benefits to which they are entitled. In certain cases, the insurance company will determine that the worker does not qualify, and a lawyer must get involved to help the injured worker obtain coverage.
Workers’ Compensation benefits include payment for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and partial payment of the worker’s salary. The worker’s salary is paid at 66 and two-thirds percent of their regular rate. This benefit ensures that the victim can recover without worrying about how much money they are losing.
Businesses must post a list of doctors in the network of their Workers’ Compensation insurance provider. Workers need to know who to visit when injured and they should seek immediate medical attention. It never helps to wait for an injury to heal; this is why all injuries must be reported. Receiving immediate medical care is the only safe way to recover. Workers can get back to work when they are cleared by a doctor, and the families of workers who suffer fatal injuries on the job can receive death benefits.
Because Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault program, it must be handled with great care. The worker cannot be accused of wrongdoing unless they are clearly violating the law, and employers must carry this insurance regardless of the risk of injury. Although some jobs, such as construction, garbage collection, and truck driving are dangerous, a small office also needs Workers’ Compensation insurance. Someone might experience a minor injury, but they are still entitled to Workers’ Compensation.
Very few people are exempt from Workers’ Compensation, including executives, housekeepers, and independent contractors. All employees should be apprised of their rights when they begin their jobs so that they know the hierarchy or chain of command to follow when reporting injuries. A Workers’ Compensation lawyer should be hired if it is not clear if coverage has been provided properly, if the victim was sent back to work too early, or if the worker was barred from reporting their injuries.
How are Personal Injury Cases Handled?
Building a reputation in the field of personal injury requires a steady hand and consistent client service. A personal injury lawyer can review injuries that occurred outside the workplace, and the family or victim can recover the appropriate compensation for each case. The highest quality representation is required when anyone has been hurt through no fault of their own. Insurance companies will try to settle for a modest amount of money, or defendants might say that they had nothing to do with the accident. Corporations may have been negligent, or the case might involve third-party liability that spreads to multiple entities. Hiring a personal injury lawyer saves money and time for everyone and allows injury victims to recover comfortably.
How Do I Know if I Should File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Personal injury cases are defined as injuries that occurred through no fault of the victim. These cases might occur in several situations, including the following:
Slip and fall accidents: These cases take on several forms, depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, an office building with a marble entryway could cause a visitor to slip and fall. The resulting injuries could be quite severe, and the building owner or manager could be held liable for those injuries because the floor was not cleaned properly, or signage was not used after cleaning was completed. The sidewalk in a township or park could host a severe accident involving ice, snow, or rain. If the park, road, or sidewalk was not maintained properly, the municipality can be held accountable for its negligence.
Construction accidents: These accidents are not always confined to construction workers. A construction worker is covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance when they are hurt on the work site. If a pedestrian or passerby is hurt by debris, tools, or falling objects, the construction company or property owner may be held liable for any injuries.
Car accidents: These cases may include a level of negligence that must be litigated in court. When the driver who caused the accident was negligent, enraged, intoxicated, or driving recklessly, they should be subjected to a claim for damages. If the vehicle that caused the accident is defective, the manufacturer may be held liable for damages.
Truck accidents: These cases include several levels of liability, including the truck driver, the trucking company, or the manufacturer of the vehicle. If the trucker was negligent or distracted, they can be sued for damages. The trucking company might not have maintained the truck properly or the manufacturer of the truck might have built a faulty vehicle. A leasing company might also be found liable for damages if it did not properly maintain or service vehicles that were then rented to a third party.
Motorcycle accidents: These cases can cause severe injuries, disability, and even death. Because motorcycles are difficult to see, they are often involved in accidents when car and truck drivers are not paying attention.
Pedestrian accidents: Those who are on the sidewalk can still be struck by cars and trucks. A large truck that is cutting a corner can ride up onto the sidewalk and injure pedestrians. Additionally, pedestrians often believe they are safe on rural or less-traveled roads, but a speeding vehicle may not see them. Even a pedestrian who is trying to jog across the road could be struck by a motorist who does not expect someone to be in the middle of the road.
What is the DBA?
The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a federal law that dictates how Workers’ Compensation is paid to employees who are working on or around military bases across the world. These workers are often contractors who are working on behalf of the military or a corporation that works with the military. The DBA provides compensation for workers who have been injured while on the job or in a remote location. This compensation is similar to compensation provided by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which provides payment for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and partial salary reimbursement.
This law, however, bars workers from suing for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. This law also does not assign fault to either the employer or the employee. If someone is hurt while working on a government contract or defense base, they are covered. Workers who file claims under the DBA may also experience severe hearing loss. Someone who is subjected to the constant noise of loud machines, planes, and even gunfire can file a claim. An audiologist can be engaged to test the victim, and the DBA will be used to obtain coverage for prolonged exposure.
What is the LHWCA?
The LHWCA is a federal law designed to provide compensation to anyone who works in ports or docks that provide support to the U.S. economy. These employees are not based on vessels, but they work with and around ships every day. These workers are often referred to as workers on navigable waters.
Because these jobs are quite dangerous, the U.S. government created a law that provides compensation to these workers specifically. The LHWCA is a no-fault government policy. Companies that manage ports and employ longshoremen must carry insurance that will pay for medical bills, rehabilitation, wages, and death benefits, regardless if a worker was at-fault. The law also protects employers from lawsuits brought by their employees. The insurance company takes on all liability by paying for injuries, rehabilitation, and/or death benefits.
Do I Qualify for Maritime Law Compensation?
Maritime law is still used to provide relief for injured seamen or sailors. When a sailor is injured at sea, they are allowed compensation for room and board, also known as maintenance and cure. Anyone who is injured at sea cannot work on the deck of a ship while they are recovering. Maritime law ensures that sailors recover peacefully.
The Jones Act requires shipping companies to maintain their vessels properly. The law also gives employees the right to sue their employers if the vessel was not staffed properly or made seaworthy. This is different from traditional Workers’ Compensation insurance, which sailors cannot access. Additionally, someone who performs maintenance on boats is not considered a seaman or sailor. This professional is known as a longshoreman or harbor worker, and they are covered under the LHWCA.
A Workers’ Compensation lawyer can distinguish which type of claim should be made in each case, as certain companies have not been negligent and are not subject to Jones Act claims. Even a refusal to provide for adequate maintenance and cure is sufficient for a claim.
How Will My Family Law Case Be Litigated?
Family law cases may include both divorce and another familial matter, such as child support or child custody. Family law cases can be tense, emotional, and fractious. Parents often disagree when they are divorcing, and child support or child custody can become a serious issue. Common family law cases include the following:
Divorce: When two people divorce, they must divide their assets and determine how to move forward. It can be simple for two people to divorce if they file for an uncontested divorce. At the same time, they may need a lawyer who can record all the documentation that is required. A lawyer will ensure that they prepare everything properly and set up a hearing date.
Child support and child custody: Both of these matters must be considered. Child support is calculated using a state-mandated formula, or it can be adjusted by a judge during a hearing. Parents must also create a child custody plan. If they cannot, the judge will create one for the family. Child support can be garnished from paychecks, paid through the court, or paid directly to the custodial parent. Child custody plans must include visitation allowed for both parents. One parent will serve as the custodial parent, which means that the children will live with them for most of the year. The other parent will have a visitation schedule that must be recorded with the court.
Adoptions: Adoptions are a serious matter; hiring a lawyer makes it easier for prospective parents to receive the services that they need. There is a good amount of paperwork to complete, and adoptive parents may need to deal with sealed records, a biological parent who does not wish to be known, or a biological parent who wants to be a part of the child’s life. Adoptions that occur across borders can be even more complicated. A lawyer can make the process as simple as possible. Adoption agencies have lawyers who generate rigid contracts for adoptive parents, and it helps if a lawyer reads these documents first. Prospective parents should never sign or pay anything without speaking to a lawyer.
Name change: This can be difficult for those who wish to change their first, middle, or last name. There may be criticism if someone is changing their name because of a messy divorce, and legal action may be required if a third party has gotten involved. Those who changed their gender identity or representation may need help changing their names, obtaining new birth certificates, and securing additional documentation that is held by the state or municipal government.
Paternity suits: When a woman believes that child support should be paid by the man that she believes to be the father of her child, she can file a paternity suit to force him to pay child support. A paternity suit may also be filed when a man believes he is not the father of a child for whom he has been held responsible. These cases can be very emotional, and it is best to have a lawyer act as a buffer while the suit is filed, and testing takes place.
Guardianships: These are needed when a child or adult needs to be under the care of someone other than themselves. Adults with disabilities may need a guardian to protect their interests, and a child may be appointed a guardian because their biological parents have not provided adequate care throughout their life or during a family law case.
A family law firm can provide assistance with any or all of these issues. Although clients hope that their cases will go smoothly, these cases may need to be settled or litigated in court. Working with a lawyer ensures that everyone’s rights are protected during the process.
Can I Request Assistance in Other Practice Areas?
The practice of law can be quite expansive, and additional practice areas include the following:
Fair debt collection. Debt collection can be complicated for businesses that want to close accounts. At the same time, debt collectors often act inappropriately when attempting to collect a debt. Debt collectors cannot call clients late at night; call clients at work; or threaten violence, physical, emotional, or financial harm. Debt collectors cannot misrepresent themselves, and they cannot tell debtors they committed a crime when that is not the case. If a debt collector is acting outside the bounds of the law, they should be held accountable for their actions.
Consumer law. Consumer law includes bankruptcies and attempts by creditors to collect debts from someone who is often not able to pay. A lawyer can guide the client through the bankruptcy process or file claims against creditors who violated the law. Abusive creditors can make life miserable, even when a client has attempted to resolve the matter, and those creditors should not be allowed to continue the abuse.
Criminal law. Criminal lawyers help those who have been accused of crimes or believe they have been improperly implicated. Although someone may not have committed a crime, they may be questioned by local authorities. Everyone in the U.S. has the right to have a lawyer present for any interview with law enforcement, and that lawyer should appear before questioning begins. This is true whether the person in question has been arrested or not.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Case?
It is in the best interests of accident victims, injured workers, and families to hire a lawyer who can solve problems that might arise as the case is litigated. Lawyers are trained investigators who can collect evidence and witness testimony in a case. A lawyer will handle all communication during the case, file a claim for damages, and litigate or settle the case. When a lawyer is involved, they can negotiate a settlement and speak with all interested parties. Because clients are not legal experts, they should always defer to their lawyer.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry P.C. Help Clients with a Range of Legal Matters
If you have questions about a legal matter, contact the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation and personal injury lawyers at Freedman & Lorry P.C. for assistance with your case. We are available to help clients in a variety of practice areas. Call us today at 866-369-6060 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.