Were you or a loved one seriously injured during a plumbing job? You may be confused about what comes next:

  • Do I qualify for Workers' Comp?
  • Is my employer required to provide insurance?
  • What if I'm an independent contractor?
  • Do I need help from a lawyer?

Work injuries can get complicated for plumbers and other industrial workers. We know how to help.

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At Monheit Law, we are proud to represent all types of workers and fight for fair compensation after an injury.

— Michael Monheit, Esq.

These days, most people probably take modern indoor plumbing for granted. In reality, it's a luxury which humans have enjoyed for only a small fraction of our history. We depend on plumbers to outfit our homes, offices, and businesses with well-functioning systems, and to handle the dirty work when something goes wrong.

Unsurprisingly, plumbing can be a pretty dangerous and challenging job. Every day, these brave workers are exposed to a wide range of hazards which can cause serious illnesses and injuries. When an injury prevents a plumber from returning to work, it's important that he doesn't have to worry about money until he can get back on his feet.

Do Plumbers Qualify For Workers' Comp?

In the state of Pennsylvania, virtually all employees qualify for benefits under the Workers' Compensation Act. However, sometimes the definition of "employee" can get a bit murky. Plumbers, roofers, carpenters, and other industrial tradesmen are often classified as independent contractors, rather than employees.

If you're an employee and you get injured during work and end up missing time, you qualify for coverage. But the claims process can often be complex, and your employer or his insurance carrier may look for reasons to deny coverage.

Independent contractors are not covered by Workers' Comp insurance unless they have purchased their own. However, some business owners use this classification as a way to get out of paying for Workers' Comp insurance. If you're working steady hours, have a schedule, and are taking orders from a boss or supervisor, you may be a victim of this dishonest classification.

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Do Many WC Claims Get Denied?

Yes, it's quite common for a claim to be denied on the first attempt. This is mainly because many injured workers either get confused by the complex claims plumber fixing a sinkprocess or place too much faith in their employer and the insurance system.

The Workers' Compensation Board requires detailed evidence in order to approve a claim. You must make sure everything is submitted accurately and by strict deadlines. When you submit your claim, your employer's insurance carrier will have representatives looking for any reason to deny a claim in order to limit liability. Their job is to deny workers the coverage they deserve so that the insurance company can make more money.

This is why it's usually necessary to have your own legal counsel on your side. Our experienced and aggressive work injury lawyers know the games employers and insurance companies play and how the Workers' Comp system functions. We can anticipate roadblocks before they happen, and come prepared with the evidence necessary to move past them.

Having qualified legal counsel is the best way to get a claim approved the first time, or to get through the appeals process quickly and painlessly.

What Do I Need In Order File A Claim?

If you want the best chance of winning your claim, it's important to follow these steps:

Get Medical Care

When you get injured on the job, clearly the first concern should be addressing the need for medical attention. This is crucial for limiting the damage and for helping you begin recovering as soon as possible. It's also a vital first step in beginning to document your injury. Your employer could require you to see a company doctor during the 90 days following your injury, but they must provide at least 6 healthcare options.

File An Injury Report

Next, you should notify your employer and file an injury report the first chance you get. Pennsylvania suggests within 21 days, but after 120 days you may lose the ability to file a claim. It's much better to notify them the same day if possible in order to get compensation sooner and prevent complications.

Ask For Medical Records

Within 48 hours of receiving medical care, contact your doctor and ask for an initial injury report. This is a very important step, as it will provide medical evidence for the severity of your injuries.

Make Sure Your Employer Reported The Injury

It's up to your employer to report the injury to the Workers' Comp Board. Contact them and make sure they have done so.

Request Insurance Statement

Contact your employer's insurance carrier and request a written statement of your rights. This will be useful for your lawyer when planning for your case.

What If I'm An Independent Contractor?

Even if you're an independent contractor, you could still qualify for other forms of compensation.

If your employer has been fraudulently labeling employees as independent contractors, he could potentially be held liable for injury expenses.

If you were injured due to unsafe conditions on the property you were working on, the property owner could be held liable in a personal injury claim. If the injury happened on a construction site and was caused by another negligent worker employed by someone else, you could also have ground for a personal injury claim.

Work injury cases with independent contractors are especially complicated. Google can tell you some things, but it's usually necessary to meet with a work injury lawyer to determine the best plan of action for your personal circumstances.

Plumbing Hazards & Injuriesplumber's work bench

It should be no surprise that plumbers are exposed to some of the most hazardous working conditions around. Contractor Magazine has identified the top ten most common plumber safety hazards as:

  • Stress
  • Noise pollution causing hearing loss
  • Eye injuries
  • Working year-round in extreme temperatures
  • Hand tool injuries
  • Inhaling or touching mold
  • Fire and electrical hazards
  • Injuries from heavy lifting and repetitive motion
  • Slips and falls
  • Exposure to waste and toxic substances

Do I Need A Lawyer?

In such a high-risk injury, it's crucial that workers are provided with appropriate coverage when something goes wrong. If you believe you have been wrongfully denied your right to Workers' Compensation, the determined work injury lawyers at Monheit Law can help you. We are prepared to take on employers, insurance carriers, and negligent third parties in order to secure the compensation injured plumbers deserve.

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