UPS Workers’ Compensation Claims in Pennsylvania
The United Parcel Service, or UPS as most people know it, is a package and document delivery service. The company was founded in Seattle in 1907. Since then UPS has expanded to become a leader in business logistics and supply-chain management. Today the company is recognized as one of the largest delivery services in the world, with a market capitalization of nearly $65 billion. Currently, the employs nearly 450,000 employees internationally, with approximately 360,000 in the United States.
Working for UPS is not without its risks, regardless of an employee’s position. Each year, thousands of UPS employees are injured on the job. These injuries range in seriousness from minor to debilitating. Employees who have been involving in UPS workplace accident may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for UPS Employees
The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation program offers benefits to workers who are hurt on the job. Employees are eligible for Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits if they are involved in an accident while at work or if they were exposed to working conditions that resulted in an occupational illness or disease.
Most UPS workers face serious dangers daily. For example, UPS employees may sustain any of the following injuries:
- A concussion after a slip-and-fall accident,
- Leg, back or neck injuries because of a slip-and-fall accident.
- A back injury from lifting or unloading items to or from a vehicle,
- Head trauma because of a Pennsylvania motor vehicle collision.
UPS work injuries may take months to heal, even with the proper medical treatment. The purpose of a workers’ compensation claim is to provide injured workers a means to recover physically and financially, helping them get back to work as soon as possible. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits cover an injured employee’s lost wages and medical expenses for treatment related to their injury.
In the tragic case that a UPS workplace accident leaves an employee permanently disabled, the worker may be eligible to obtain additional compensation. Workers’ compensation also provides partial benefits to those who are not able to return to their position but can still work. For example, in this situation, workers’ compensation benefits may include the cost of vocational training.
The process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits after a UPS work injury is not straightforward. The assistance of an attorney who is experienced in these matters is invaluable. Anyone injured on the job must report the injury immediately and file a claim. If any of the workers’ compensation-imposed deadlines are missed, a worker’s claim may be automatically denied without the opportunity for further review. An experienced Erie and Meadville workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure injured employees’ rights are protected and that they are treated fairly.
While the nuances of workers’ compensation laws vary by state, the one thing they have in common is that injured workers receive benefits to help them recover from a work-related accident. Importantly, the accident does not have to be serious to qualify for workers’ compensation. Even minor injuries qualify. And because the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system, injured workers do not need to prove that UPS was at fault for their injuries. Even those employees who were partially responsible for their own injuries may be entitled to benefits.
When it comes to pursing a workers’ compensation claim after a UPS workplace injury, the process can seem overwhelming. At the Erie and Meadville workers’ compensation law firm of Melaragno, Placidi & Parini, we help UPS workers get their life back to normal after an accident by assisting with the workers’ compensation process. Our skilled team of attorneys has decades of collective experience handling all types of workplace injury claims, including those for UPS employees.
Obtaining Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Benefits after a UPS On-the-Job Accident
Generally, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits cover an injured employee’s lost wages and medical expenses. This includes the total cost of all visits to the doctor, as well as all tests, medications and transportation to and from doctors’ appointments. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits also typically compensate the employee for about 66 percent of their weekly wages while they are recovering. Workers’ compensation rules differ from state to state, and Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws have several unique aspects, making the process more difficult in some situations.
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits do not cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. However, in certain circumstances an injured UPS employee may be able to pursue a Pennsylvania personal injury claim against the third party who was responsible for their injuries. Accident victims may be entitled to non-economic damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
The rules require an employee file a claim with the company within a designated period after their injury. Employees may also need to provide UPS with all relevant medical documentation. However, even when employees follow these guidelines employers will deny a workers’ compensation claim. In these situations, the assistance of an experienced Erie workers’ compensation lawyer can be invaluable.
Common Types of UPS Workplace Injuries
UPS employees face a variety of hazards every day they go to work. Of course, the specific risks an employee confronts will depend on their specific position. However, below are some of the more common employee injuries we frequently see:
Ankle Injuries: An ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls to the side or twists awkwardly, forcing the ankle joint to shift. It is easy to twist an ankle when tripping, slipping or stepping on an uneven surface. Ankle injuries may cause the ankle ligaments to stretch or tear. Usually, with the right treatment, a worker can fully recover in a few weeks. However, serious ankle injuries could take several months to completely heal and require an employee keep most of their weight off the affected ankle.
Knee Injuries: A knee injury can be debilitating, and often results in restricted movement and the inability to carry heavy objects. Knee injuries frequently occur in situations such as:
- Falling from and breaking the fall using the knees
- Hitting a knee on a sharp object after losing one’s balance
- Falling on a knee or knees after tripping on an object or hazardous condition
- Slipping and falling while carrying a product
Back Injuries: Many UPS employees are at risk of suffering a serious back injury while on the job. However, those workers who are responsible for stocking, loading and delivery packages are especially at risk. Most back injuries are the result of twisting or overextending the spine while pushing, pulling or lifting. A few of the more common work-related back injuries include:
- Fractured vertebrae
- Lower back strain
- Herniated, slipped/bulging discs
- Spinal cord damage
- Pinched nerves
Because there are no federal regulations regarding lifting on the job, UPS is responsible for addressing these concerns in the company’s safety guidelines and procedures.
What to Do Following a UPS Workplace Injury
UPS employees may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits after any type of on-the-job injury. However, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system is complex, and applicants must strictly follow all procedural requirements to ensure they are eligible for benefits. For example, an injured worker should:
- Immediately notify their supervisor verbally and in writing to ensure that the injury is properly documented;
- Document the accident and the injury in as much detail as possible for the accident report, including the names and contact information of any witnesses that may have seen the incident;
- Notify UPS of any other witnesses to the accident;
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor; and
- Ensure that the doctor orders the correct tests to diagnose the injury and come up with a treatment plan.
It is crucial for UPS employees who have been injured on the job to seek medical care immediately or, if the injury is serious, call for an ambulance. Employees must proceed with caution, as broken or fractured vertebra or nerve damage must be treated with great care as not to cause further problems. It is also imperative to keep a precise record the accident as well as all subsequent steps to seek a prompt medical evaluation and treatment. Injured workers should also keep all receipts relating to the incident and keep UPS management up to date on how long they are expected to be off work. The more information an employer has, the less reason there is to deny a claim.
Speak to a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania UPS workplace accident, contact the dedicated injury advocates at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini. At Melaragno, Placidi & Parini, our team of attorneys is committed to helping you and your family overcome the challenges that arise after a workplace injury. We handle all types of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. Our lawyers have been selected as Top 10 Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, which is a testament to our exceptional and outstanding client service. As part of our promise to you, we will spend as long as it takes to help you understand the process and determine if you have the right to file a lawsuit to compensate you for your injuries. From there we will provide you with reasoned counsel on how to proceed to obtain the compensation you need and deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (814) 459-5557.