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How To Use This Section Of Our Wesbite

If you have a question about Workers Compensation or Social Security, you’ve come to the right place.

We have answered hundreds of questions our clients have asked us over the years right on this site.

Just look to the right and you’ll see a section that says “Have A Question?”. Just type your question in the box and click Search.

If we have an answer and other information related to your question on this site, it will show on the screen for you.

If we do not have your answer, it’s okay. Just pick up the phone and call us at 877-291-9675.

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$165,000.00 Settlement for Neck Injury

A Union employee from Hershey, PA, working for Hershey Entertainment & Resort, sustained a work injury described as a neck strain / sprain in March 2014, which the insurance carrier, Sedgwick, accepted. The injured worker had been working light duty part time under restrictions imposed by her doctor. We filed a Reinstatement Petition in September 2015 because the injured worker was unable to work due to her work injury and her doctor had removed her from work. We then filed a Review Petition to have the injured workers’ description of injury expanded to include the IME physician’s findings and also headaches, restrictions of the esophagus, a cervical scar, dysphagia and brain injury causing cognitive problems. The case ultimately settled for $165,000 via a compromise and release agreement.

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The Notice of Compensation Payable (the “NCP”) is the single most important document is the entire Pennsylvania (PA) Workers Compensation system because:
1. No claim is officially recognized, absent a Judge’s decision, unless and until an NCP is issued. An injured worker could have a WC Claim number and the workers’ compensation carrier may be paying for all medical treatment for the injury; however, if three years goes by and the Notice of Compensation has not been issued, the injured worker may be out of luck with no legal recourse. Generally, payment of medical expenses does NOT admit there was a work injury! No NCP, means no official claim, which means no legal protection for the injured worker.
2. The Notice of Compensation Payable contains a Description of Injury filled out by the insurance adjuster early in that claim. Insurance Adjusters deliberately fill out the description of injury to benefit the insurance company by limiting liability. Example: Jane Smith is injured on January 1, 2012. The injury is to her entire left upper extremity as shown in the medical records. The WC Insurance Adjuster fills out the Notice of Compensation Payable Description of Injury as “ Wrist/elbow strain” Jane is getting paid workers comp and her medical bills are being paid. Jane therefore doesn’t pay any attention to the misleading Description of Injury. Four years later, Jane needs serious surgery repair the rotator cuff tear to her shoulder and will miss months of work. All the doctors agree that the shoulder injury results from the work accident. Jane may be out of luck since the Description of Injury in the Notice of Compensation only recognized a wrist injury. The Insurance Company will deny that they have to pay for the shoulder surgery or for lost wages while she recovers form the surgery and attends physical therapy. At best, Jane may have to go through a year of litigation. If she waits too long, she has no recourse no matter that the surgery is related to the work injury.

QUESTION: You mean to tell me that even though I have been paid Workers Comp and my doctors have had their bills paid, I may not have legal protection through WC because one piece of paper wasn’t filled out correctly? ANSWER: Yes, it happens all the time. This type of court case occurs every day. The above fact situation is exactly what this lawyer was arguing in WC Court in Lancaster, PA yesterday. I will quote what the WC defense attorney told me: “ Dr X ( the defense medical expert for hire) is going to say that the shoulder injury doesn’t result from the work injury. I don’t care what the treating doctor thinks, I can make it really rough for your client. And by the way, her job is going to try and fire her despite her 25 years service because she is missing time from work for an injury not recognized by the NCP.”

There are three different types of this important Notice of Compensation Payable form:

1. The Notice of Compensation Payable: This is issued by the workers’ comp insurance company within 21 days of the first day off work unless the claim is denied in writing. An insurance company violates the law if they don’t accept or deny a claim within 21 days of the first day of disability. REMEMBER that a claim is ONLY accepted through means of a Notice of Compensation Payable although in a minority of cases, a carrier will use an Agreement for Compensation form. An NCP is an open ended document; WC must be paid until the case is closed by Judge’s Order, or Notice Stopping Compensation based on a Return to Work, by Supplemental Agreement signed by the injured worker, or by a settlement approved by a workers’ compensation judge.
2. A Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable: The accepts liability for 90 days after which time the document converts into a regular NCP or is denied. If PROPERLY denied, the case has never been accepted and the injured worker must file a Claim Petition within 3 years of the date of injury.
3. A Medical-Only Notice of Compensation Payable. This means that the insurance company is ONLY agreeing to pay medical bills “on their face related to the Description of Injury on the Notice of Compensation Payable”. If the injured workers wants wage loss workers comp benefits, a Petition must be filed within three years of the date of injury unless an amended NCP is issued.

Here are the steps injured workers in Pennsylvania WC cases must take to protect their rights:
1. If no NCP is issued, a Claim Petition must be filed within three years of the date of injury
2. If a TNCP is issued, the injured worker should get appropriate legal advice; there are complicated rules which apply here. Any Denial must follow certain rules, for example, a Denial must be issued within 5 days of the last WC check issued. A Petition for Reinstatement or Claim Petition may need to be filed.
3. The Description of Injury contained in any Notice of Compensation should a) describe all body parts injured and b) contain the correct medical diagnosis. For example, “ruptured cervical disc at C5/C6” is better than “neck strain” if the injured worker wants neck surgery and the wage loss/disability therefrom paid for by WC. As a general rule of thumb, a Petition to Review the Description of Injury should be filed within three years of the Date of Injury. This time limit may not apply in all cases.

If you find any of this confusing, give us a call and we will advise you at no cost. The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.
Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
1-877-291-9675

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Matthew was by far the best attorney anyone could ask for. He answered my calls every single time. Never was there any complications, concerns or worries. Matthew was upfront, honest, polite,and generally concerned about my well being. The company we sued was arrogant and tried everything to discourage me, Matthew was right there supporting me when I wanted to give. If I were ever injured again I would call him instantly. We even stayed in touch after our hearing. Best thing I ever did was call. Please do so, you won’t be dissatisfied. By the way I had carpal tunnel and cleared $60,000 after their share.

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A Union employee from Steelton, PA, sustained a work injury described as a low back aggravation of pre-existing DDD L1 – L4 in May 2011 which the insurance carrier, ESIS, accepted and weekly checks were paid until after the December 2015 settlement was reached. The case ultimately settled for a lump sum cash payment of $296,000.00. Including the settlement, the injured worker received over $747,000.00 in benefits. For a free, no obligation review of the value of your case, feel free to contact us.
The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.
Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
1-877-291-9675

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$209,895.68 Workers’ Comp Settlement

$209,895.68 settlement
An employee from Harrisburg, PA, working as a sales representative for Comcast, sustained a work injury described as a right side of face contusion in June 2014 which the insurance carrier, Liberty Mutual, accepted and began paying weekly wage loss benefits. We filed a Review Petition to have the accepted description of injury be amended. The case ultimately settled for $209,895.68 via a compromise and release. For a free, no obligation review of the value of your case, feel free to contact us.
The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.
Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
1-877-291-9675

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Corrections Officer Wins $142,500.00 Settlement

A union employee from  Thompsontown, PA,  working as a sergeant corrections officer at a prison, sustained a work-related injury in December 2013, which the insurance carrier, Inservco Insurance Services, accepted as a left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear.  In March 2015, the insurance carrier issued a Notice of Suspension indicating that the injured worker returned to work at earnings equal or greater to his time-of-injury earnings and we filed an Employee Challenge Petition.  In reality, the injured worker had never ever received any compensation alleging administrative leave pay negated the obligation to pay compensation.  Since administrative leave pay was less then the time of injury A.W.W. we sought workers’ compensation wage loss benefits. The insurance carrier then filed a Suspension Petition alleging that the injured worker had returned to work at regular wages and was not entitled to partial disability benefits for his work injury.  Then, in further litigation, we filed a Penalty Petition for the insurance carrier’s failure to pay the injured worker his wage loss benefits which were due to him.  Then the insurance carrier filed a Review Petition alleging that the injured worker’s disability from the knee was no longer work related.  The injured worker had returned to work working modified duty and we then filed a Review Petition seeking to have him paid partial wage loss benefits due to him for the time periods he worked the modified duty job and for the time he was off work and paid only administrative leave. We won the employee and challenge and past due and ongoing compensation was awarded and paid.  While the rest of the petitions were being actively litigated, the case ultimately settled for a lump sum of $142,500.00 for future benefits via a compromise and release with an additional three months of physical therapy after the date of the settlement hearing.

 

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An employee from Lewisburg, PA, working as a lead man for a home construction company, sustained a work injury in  June 2012 which the insurance carrier, Manufacturers Alliance Insurance Co., accepted as a lumbar strain. We filed a Review Petition to have the accepted description of injury be changed from lumbar strain to traumatic left sacroilitis.  We also filed a Penalty Petition because the insurance carrier failed to pay for related medical bills and had also failed to accept or deny the claim within twenty-one days.  The Review and Penalty Petitions were later resolved when the parties entered into a Stipulation and the description of injury was amended as requested.  The employee continued to receive wage loss benefits.   Subsequently, we obtained a settlement of $110,000 via a compromise and release. 

For a free case evaluation as to what your case is worth, feel free to contact us at 1-877-291-9675.

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.

Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
1-877-291-9675

 

 

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On September 18, 2015 Commonwealth Court rendered a decision in Protz v WCAB Derry Area School District), whereas the Court found the language in Section 306(a)(2) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to a non-governmental entity. More specifically, the Court was referencing the language in the Act that stated impairment ratings are to be done under the most recent edition of the AMA guidelines. According to the Commonwealth Court the General Assembly in this section has failed to prescribe any intelligible standards to guide the AMA’s determination regarding the methodology to be used in grading impairments. Section 306 (a) (2) is devoid of any articulations of public policy governing the AMA, and of adequate standards to guide and restrain the AMA’s exercise of delegated determinations by which physicians and WCJ’s would be bound beyond the 4th edition of the AMA guidelines.

In light of said Decision, injured workers that have an I.R.E. rating less than 50% under any guide other than the 4th edition should file a Review Petition requesting that the IRE be vacated and requesting disability status should be reverted back to total disability pending an impairment recalculation being performed based upon the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment 4th Edition. 

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.

Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
1-877-291-9675

 

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A truck driver, sustained a work injury described as a left upper extremity fracture with radiculopathy in June 2014, which the insurance carrier, CCMSI, accepted.  The insurance carrier issued a Notification of Suspension alleging that the injured worker had returned to work at earnings equal to or greater than his time-of-injury earnings and we filed an Employee Challenge Petition regarding the suspension.  The case ultimately settled for a lump sum of $150,000 via a compromise and release.  We have represented 100’s of truck drivers and dock workers and know the industry very well. 

An employee who suffers a work injury is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, the employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance and you are entitled to prompt payment of medical bills related to the work injury, along with compensation for loss of income and/or loss of use of hearing, vision, and most extremities. An injured worker is entitled to these benefits regardless of who is at fault for the injury and regardless of any pre-existing condition. A Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney at calhoon & associates can help determine if you are entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits or receiving inadequate benefits by the workers’ compensation insurance company or employer. Call calhoon & associates at (877) 291-9675 for a FREE, confidential and prompt consultation with one of our attorneys with a proven track record of success. To order your free Book “Seven Deadly Sins That Can Destroy Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Case”, go to www.workinjuryinpa.com and fill out the complimentary free book request or you can order it through Amazon.com.

 

 

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Matt Kaminsky was amazing he worked above and beyond

Matt Kaminsky was hired when my workmen’s comp. claim was denied.  Matt was amazing he worked above and beyond to get me a settlement that I deserved, and medical bills paid.  I would recommend him for anyone that has been told their medical bills will not be paid because their injury did not happen at work. Melissa, Dauphin, PA

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$223,000.00 Settlement of Lumbar Herniation

An employee from Dillsburg, PA, working as a Harrisburg-area territory manager for Arbor Pharmaceuticals, sustained a work injury described as a low back herniation. We filed a Claim Petition for the injured worker because the insurance carrier, Twin City Fire Insurance Co., had denied his claim. The insurance carrier had the injured worker attend an independent medical examination and the IME physician reported that the injured worker had sustained a work-related lumbar disc herniation at L4-5 and aggravation of pre-existing L4-5 disc herniation.  While the case was being actively litigated, the case ultimately settled for $223,000 via a compromise and release.

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and those seeking Social Security Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.

 

 

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$132,000.00 Settlement for Fork Lift Operator

A fork lift operator, for Johnson Controls, from Orbisonia, PA, suffered a work injury  in May 2013, which the insurance carrier, Underwriters Safety & Claims, accepted as a cervical strain.  We filed a Penalty Petition because the insurance carrier had failed to timely pay the injured worker his wage loss benefits.  The insurance carrier had the injured worker attend an independent medical examination and the IME physician reported that he had sustained a traumatic disc herniation at C3-4.  The employee continued to receive wage loss benefit until the case ultimately settled for $132,500 via a compromise and release.

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and those seeking Social Security Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.

 

 

 

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$112,500 Settlement for Herniated Disc Injury

An employee from Orrstown, PA, working as a desktop support specialist for Chambersburg Hospital, sustained a L5-S1 herniated disc injury in January 2011,  which the insurance carrier, Inservco Insurance Services, accepted.  The insurance carrier filed a Suspension Petition alleging that the injured worker was offered work which fell within her physical capabilities.  While the case was being actively litigated, the case ultimately settled for $112,500 via a compromise and release.

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and those seeking Social Security Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.

 

 

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$197,780 Settlement for Lumbar Disc Herniation

An employee from Milroy, PA, working for Trinity Packaging, sustained a work injury in July 2010, which the insurance carrier, PMA Companies, accepted as a “L5-S1 disc herniation (superimposed on pre-existing spondylolisthesis).”  The case ultimately settled for $197,780 via a compromise and release.  Including the settlement, the injured worker received $255,145.36 in wage loss benefits and $183,328.43 in medical benefits for his work injury.

Our Guarantee to All Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Clients

 

We believe that all clients deserve fair and respectful treatment when seeking legal advice about their case. This is our guarantee to you, the client.

 

You have the right to:

 

  • Prompt attention any time you email or call.
  • Hear the truth about your case.
  • Have everything explained to you in a way that is plain, clear and easy to understand.
  • Regular updates on your case when requested.
  • A fair fee for our work.
  • Competent representation from your attorney and our team.
  • Respect in your dealings with your attorney and our team.
  • Have the final say in decisions on your case.

 

All attorneys operate under a code of ethics that holds us to a higher standard. In that code of ethics is the idea that your attorney is obligated to keep everything you tell or show them confidential. This is called attorney-client privilege, and it includes all interactions with your attorney and our staff.

If You Are Involved in a Work-Related Accident, Call Our Experienced Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Attorneys

If you would like to speak personally to us about your Pennsylvania or Harrisburg work-related accident, injury, or benefits, please fill out our confidential online contact form or call Calhoon & Associates toll-free at 1-877-291-WORK (or 9675). Whether you wish to begin the claims process, or are encountering problems and concerns while on workers’ compensation, Calhoon & Associates will fight to obtain the benefits you are entitled to receive, guide you in the right direction,  and obtain a fair settlement if that is in your best interest.  There is no fee for us answering your questions or advising you of your rights so you head in the right direction.

 

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$170,250 Settlement for Left Tibia Pilon Fracture

An employee from Conestoga, PA, working on a dairy farm for sustained a work injury described as a left tibia pilon fracture in January 2011, which the insurance carrier, Westfield National Insurance Co., accepted. When the injured worker retained us in 2013, we filed a Review Petition because the insurance carrier failed to pay the injured worker partial disability benefits due to him over a two year period of time.  A Stipulation was later entered into in which the insurance carrier agreed to amend the description of injury to include “status-post left tibia open reduction-internal fixation” which the injured worker underwent in August 2013 and the insurance carrier paid the injured worker over $5,000 in partial disability benefits that were owed to him.  The injured worker continued to receive temporary total disability benefits until the case ultimately settled for $170,250.00 for a full Compromise and Release. 

 

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An employee from Central PA sustained a work injury described as a fractured right femur and crush injury to the left leg in May 2012, which the insurance carrier, American Zurich Insurance Company, accepted. We filed a Review Petition because the insurance carrier illegally suspended the injured worker’s compensation benefits. A below-knee amputation was subsequently performed.  The employee continued to receive wage loss benefits while his case was being litigated.  The case ultimately settled for $212,000 in wage loss and specific loss benefits via a compromise and release. Although the injured worker resolved the wage loss and specific loss benefits of his claim, his medical benefits continue to be paid by the insurance carrier.   Including the settlement, the injured worker received $328,543.55 in wage loss benefits and $589,214.50 in medical benefits to date, so far, for his work injury. The lump sum settlement will allow his Social Security Disability benefits to increase.

 

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$145,000.00 Settlement for Iron Worker

An iron worker, sustained a work-related injury in October 2011, which the insurance carrier, Argonaut Insurance Co., accepted as a low back strain. We filed a Reinstatement Petition .  The insurance carrier then filed a Termination Petition alleging the injured worker could return to unrestricted work and that he was fully recovered from his work injury.  We then filed a Penalty Petition because the insurance carrier had illegally stopped paying the injured worker his TTD wage loss benefits. While the claim was being actively litigated,  the case ultimately settled for a lump sum of $145,000 via a compromise and release. 

 

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$125,000 Settlement for Low Back Injury

An office worker from  Harrisburg, working at Pinnacle Health Hospital, sustained a work-related injury in February 2010, which the insurance carrier, Inservco Insurance Services, accepted as a “lumbar/sacral strain with spasm.”  The insurance carrier filed a Termination Petition alleging the injured worker could return to work without restrictions and was fully recovered from the work injury.  We filed a Review Petition due to the fact that the insurance carrier was paying the incorrect amount of partial and total disability benefits to the injured worker.  We also filed a Review Petition seeking amendment of the description of injury to more accurately reflect the injured worker’s back injury.  While in litigation, the case ultimately settled for a lump sum of $125,000.00 via a compromise and release. 

 

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$130,000.00 Settlement for Knee Injury

An employee, working as a regional trainer at a medical facility, sustained a work-related injury in September 2012, which the insurance carrier, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, accepted as a left knee strain /sprain.  We filed a Utilization Review regarding prospective medication management from a pain management physician to obtain pre approval of the treatment. The case ultimately settled for $130,000 via a compromise and release.

 

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An employee from Lancaster, PA, working as a custodian for a school in Hershey, PA, sustained a work-related injury to his cervical and lumbar back in February 2014, which the insurance carrier, Highmark Casualty Insurance Company, denied.  We filed a Claim Petition  for the injured worker. The insurance carrier had the injured worker attend an independent medical examination.  The IME physician reported that the injured worker sustained an aggravation of pre existing spinal stenosis at C5-C7 with myelopathy. The case ultimately settled for a lump sum of $100,000.00 via a compromise and release.  As part of the settlement, the insurance carrier also paid $10,202.04 to the employer to cover the cost of 18 months of the injured worker’s COBRA insurance coverage. 

 

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$108,000.00 Settlement for Truck Driver for Blot Clot

An employee from  State College, PA, working as a truck driver, sustained a work-related injury described as DVT, deep venous thrombosis,  (blood clot) in his groin in June 2014, which the insurance carrier, Gallagher Bassett, denied.  We filed a Claim Petition and the insurance carrier disputed that the employee sustained a compensable work injury and case ultimately settled for a lump sum of $108,000.00.

 

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A truck driver employee from Industry, PA,  sustained a work-related right wrist fracture in June 2013, which the insurance carrier accepted. The case ultimately settled for $132,000 via a compromise and release after about a year of receiving TTD benefits thru workers’ compensation.

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$140,000 Settlement for Work Related Hip Injury

An employee from  the Lancaster, PA area, while working as a sales consultant for a car dealership, sustained a work-related injury in February 2014, which the insurance carrier, Eastern Alliance, accepted as a right hip strain.  We filed a Review Petition seeking amendment of the description of injury to include a fractured sacrum and labial tear of the right hip and post-traumatic osteoarthritis requiring a right hip replacement.  The future benefits were ultimately settled for a lump sum of $140,000.00 via a compromise and release.

 

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$115,000.00 Settlement for Machine Operator

An employee from  West Hazleton, PA, working as a machine operator, sustained a work-related injury in September 2012, which the insurance carrier, Memic Indemnity Company, accepted as a head injury.  The injured worker had fallen from a ladder and struck her head suffering a concussion.   The insurance carrier filed a Termination Petition seeking to stop payment of weekly compensation checks and medical expenses and we filed a Penalty Petition for carrier’s failure to pay for work-related medical bills.  While the case was in litigation, the case ultimately settled for $115,000 via a compromise and release.

 

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What Is A Work Related Rotator Cuff Injury?

The shoulder has the widest range of motion of all the joints in the body. It is a collective set of muscles and tendons that make up the stabilizing unit of the shoulder making it very prone to injury.  Most injuries to the shoulder joint occur when the arm is moved repeatedly over the head.  Chronic irritation of the shoulder can cause inflammation, bursitis, damage to tendons and tears and the risk of injury increases with age.  An acute injury to the shoulder can result in a partial or complete rotator cuff tear.  People who tend to have work injuries to their shoulders typically include construction workers, painters and carpenters, and anyone who repetitively has to lift their arms overhead and who do heavy lifting over a prolonged period of time.

 

Rotator cuff injuries cause a dull ache in the shoulder which often worsens when a person tries to sleep on the injured shoulder and is accompanied by arm weakness.  An injury to the rotator cuff can also cause limited range of motion in the shoulder.  Without treatment, rotator cuff injuries can lead to permanent stiffness or weakness of the shoulder and may result in progressive degeneration.  While resting is necessary for recovery, keeping the shoulder immobilized for a prolonged time can cause a frozen shoulder. Although some injuries heal on their own with the reducing of activities and taking anti-inflammatory medication, further treatment can include physical therapy, steroid injections, rotator cuff repair surgery, and can also include a partial or total shoulder replacement.

 

If your job duties require you to repetitively lift your arms above shoulder level and you have a shoulder injury, sometimes modifying your work habits can help alleviate the condition.  You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you have sustained a rotator cuff injury. Delayed treatment can cause you to develop adhesive capsulitis.  The chance of developing adhesive capsulitis can be minimal with prompt diagnosis and medical treatment.

 

If you have sustained a rotator cuff injury at work you may have to miss time from work and may have to undergo surgery.  If the injury is severe enough, you may be unable to return to work without restrictions.  You will likely be restricted from lifting overhead for life. This can have a tremendous impact on future earnings for which PA workers’ compensation has to compensate you for up to 11.6 years. Your physician may advise you not to use your shoulder once you have sustained an injury because it can cause your shoulder to worsen.  If you have to undergo surgery, you may require several months to recover from your work injury.  You may never regain your full strength and may continue to have pain, weakness, stiffness and limited range of motion.

 

If you have a sustained a rotator cuff work injury, please call Calhoon and Associates at 717-695-4722 to discuss your claim. Litigation may be necessary and you should make sure you receive the benefits due and owing to you, such as wage loss benefits if you miss time from work and payment of your medical bills.

 

 

 

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$150,000 Settlement for Rotator Cuff Injury

An employee from Hummelstown, PA, working as a foreman / fence installer for Tyson Fence Company, sustained a right shoulder rotator cuff work-related injury in February 2008, which the insurance carrier, Excelsior Insurance Company, accepted.  We filed a Review Petition to have the description of injury be amended to include the injury to the employee’s cervical discs.  The employee continued to receive wage loss benefits while his case was being litigated.  The case ultimately settled for $150,000 via a compromise and release.  Including the settlement, the injured worker received $241,839.23 in wage loss benefits and $66,272.19 in medical benefits for the work injury.

 

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$205,000 Settlement for Work Related Low Back Injury

An employee from  Shamokin, PA, working as a lab technician for a hospital, sustained a work-related injury in October 2010, which the insurance carrier, Eastern Alliance, accepted as lumbar spine radiculopathy.  The  insurance carrier filed a Modification Petition alleging that work was generally available within the employee’s restrictions and while the labor market survey was being actively litigated,  the case ultimately settled for a lump sum of $205,000.00 via a compromise and release. Before the workers’ compensation settlement, the injured worker received $305,972.11 in wage loss benefits and $78,849.61 in medical benefits.

 

 

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$150,000 Settlement for Knee Injury

 A carpenter in Sunbury, PA, sustained a work-related injury in December 2011, which the insurance carrier, State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF), accepted as a left knee fracture.  We filed a  Review Medical Treatment and/or Billing Petition because the insurance carrier failed to pay for work-related medical bills.  The employee received wage loss benefits from the time the injury occurred  until, while in active litigation, the claim ultimately settled for $150,000.00

 

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Workers’ Comp Settlement for Roofer for $305,000.00

Joe was working as a roofer when he fell from a roof sustaining a traumatic brain injury with a skull fracture, cognitive defects, dysphagia, multiple facial bone fractures in July 2012.  The workers’ compensation insurance carriers claimed Joe was working for an independent contractor working for the roofing company where he was working when he fell.   We filed a Claim Petition and Joe underwent an independent medical examination in December 2014 and the IME physician reported that the employee had significant deficit due to the complete loss of vision of his right eye and due to his memory and cognitive dysfunction. The claim ultimately settled for a lump sum of $305,000.

 

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What is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a common disorder which occurs due to cumulative trauma and is most prevalent in women.  The disorder occurs when the tendons around the base of thumb become irritated or constricted.  Any activities that result in forceful repetitive sustained thumb abduction can cause this disorder to develop. There are many workplace activities that can cause this disorder to develop including opening of jars, making wide grasps to use pliers and lifting an object as you would pick up a child repetitively.  This disorder can be a direct result of acute trauma but not commonly.

Symptoms of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis include pain on the thumb side of the wrist, swelling and catching can occur while moving the thumb. Symptoms also include discomfort when the wrist is turned, when anything is grasped or when making a fist. The pain can also run up the forearm or down into the thumb and there may be a small knot that can be felt on the thumb side of the wrist.

 

Initial treatment for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis includes thumb immobilization, anti-inflammatories and cortisone injections.  If the symptoms are very severe, surgery can often help.  A De Quervain’s Release is used to relieve symptoms associated with the constriction of the tendons and is a minor procedure.  Relief is typically permanent but sometimes when aggravating activities such as repetitive gripping and lifting, some symptoms may persist.

If your job duties require repetitive hand movements, you should pay particular attention to your hand positions and your tasks should be completed with your hands in a neutral position, you should avoid wide grasping and repetitive triggering with your thumb and fingers.  People who are diagnosed with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis tend to have jobs that involve repetitive wrist motions such as carpenters, office workers and musicians.  If you have been diagnosed with Dr Quervain’s Tenosynovitis in the past, your work duties may cause an aggravation of the condition.

 

If you have an accepted workers’ compensation injury, you should review the Notice of Compensation Payable to make sure that the accepted description of injury includes all injuries you may have sustained.  If you believe you may have De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, you should seek the opinion of a medical provider.  Your medical provider should be willing to support that the De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is related to your work-related condition.  If you believe you have a sustained a De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis work injury, please call Calhoon and Associates to discuss your claim. In either event, litigation may be necessary to have the claim accepted,  the description of injury be amended, or to make sure you receive the workers’ compensation benefits due and owing to you, such as wage loss benefits if you miss time from work and payment of your medical bills.

 

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$105,000.00 Settlement for Knee Injury

An employee from  Harrisburg, PA, working as a connections coordinator for a retirement community, sustained a work-related injury in October 2012, which the insurance carrier, PMA, accepted as a right knee contusion.  During prior litigation, we filed Review Petitions to amend the description of injury and a Stipulation was then entered into agreeing that the accepted injury would also include a torn meniscus in the right knee and right chronic achilles insertional tendonitis with aggravation of Haglund’s deformity.  The claim ultimately settled for a lump sum of $105,000.00 and for the payment of six months of medical benefits after approval of the settlement by a workers’ compensation judge.  From the time the injury occurred until right before the settlement, the injured worker received $145,818.09 in wage loss benefits and $48,489.11 in medical benefits.

 

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No. Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law requires you to attend an Independent Medical Examination ( actual name: employers or defense medical examination) if requested at a “reasonable time and place.” The “rule of thumb” is once every six months and not more than 45 minute drive but this is up to each Judge. 

The letter setting up an IME usually states that an injured worker must go get and bring any medical records or test results and bring them to the IME. This is simply not true. The WC Law does not say this. Just because someone tells you the moon is made of blue cheese does not mean that it is true.

You may or may not want to bring such records to an IME depending on what doctor is being used by the insurance company, the identity and reputation of the WC Judge(s) in your county of residence and other factors. This should be discussed with a WC Certified Specialist before the IME. 

 

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$245,000 Settlement

A union delivery driver sustained a work related injury in January 2013 which the insurance carrier, Liberty Mutual, originally accepted as strains, and with litigation, was expanded to include work related right shoulder rotator cuff tear, bicep tendon damage, degenerative disc disease at L5-S1 and status post-fusion at L5-S1 and ultimately settled for a lump sum of $245,000 via a Compromise and Release.  From the time the injury occurred until before the work comp settlement was reached, the injured worker received $357,284.56 in PA workers’ comp wage loss benefits and $77.533.98 in medical benefits.

 

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Under current law, the SSA considers workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits in a total benefit calculation and reduces a beneficiary’s SSDI benefits if the total benefit exceeds 80% of the their prior average earnings until  the time when the beneficiary reaches the age of 65 at which time they begin to receive their full SSDI benefits. For a full explanation of this calculation click here.

 

Under the new law which takes effect on December 19, 2015, those beneficiaries who are receiving a reduced SSDI benefit due to other earnings as listed above, shall continue to receive reduced SSDI benefits until they reach their full retirement age (even if beyond age 65) or until said worker’s compensation or other public disability payments become low enough to stop the reduction.  Once the beneficiary reaches their full retirement age, the benefits convert to full Social Security Retirement benefits. A beneficiary’s full retirement age is based on the year that they were born and for anyone born after 1960, that age is 67 years of age. This will save the Federal Government money as it lengthens the time Social Security benefits are reduced by workers’ compensation benefits.  With a settlement, that reduction can be drastically reduced.  Otherwise, the punishment, the reduction and  the tax continues and can never ne recouped.  Yes, you get taxed on the SSDI amount before the reduction.  So, you are paying taxes on money you never receive. In effect, you are paying taxes on your Pennsylvania (PA) workers’ compensation which is supposed to be tax free.   A lump-sum settlement can stop or reduce this Federal double dipping.

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Calhoon Team attorney Tom Cook will co-lead a seminar on Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Settlements at the annual Bureau of Workers Compensation Conference  in Hershey, PA in 2016. Tom will be presenting the topic along with an insurance company attorney and a wc insurance adjuster to approximately 600  interested people. . This will be the fourth year that Tom has been chosen to speak on WC topics at the annual Conference to very good reviews. Tom is the former Director of the PA Bureau of Workers Compensation, is a former adjunct Professor of WC Law at Widener and Temple Law Schools, has published a law review article on WC psychiatric claims for the Notre Dame Law Review,  is Certified as a Workers Compensation Specialist by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and has represented thousands of injured workers in WC claims for over three decades. The Calhoon Team is proud that Tom has been recognized as a leader in the field by his peers. Tom promises that the seminar will be interesting, controversial and informative. Contact the Bureau of Workers Compensation for reservations or email Tom Cook directly at: tcook@pa-workers-comp-lawyers.com. with questions.

 

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You can’t watch a TV show or drive down the road without seeing or hearing multiple ads for injury and workers’ comp attorneys. These ads always show lawyers zealously fighting insurance companies to get money for injured workers. So, if these attorneys are fighting so hard for injured claimants, why do they go to great lengths to prevent their clients from criticising the job they do? What are they hiding?

Any injured worker in a workers’ compensation case should carefully read the fine print of the Contract (“Fee Agreement”) the lawyer wants them to sign.  Sometimes these Fee Agreements contain a “Non-Disparagement Clause” which prohibits the injured worker from saying anything critical about the job  that the lawyer does. Some lawyers are suing former client’s for bad reviews left on internet sites.  These lawyers are now trying to prevent the reviews in the first place with the non-disparagement clauses. 

Let’s think about this for a minute. You mean that the lawyer posing on the billboard along a PA roadway, bus stop or bus with a dragon promising to go to the mat to fight for the rights of injured workers at the same time is preventing those same clients from talking in print about the service they end up getting? Right.

We as Americans enjoy the right of Free Speech. Why shouldn’t a client be able to truthfully say that their lawyer was lazy, late, didn’t return phone calls or emails and didn’t fight hard for them?

One reason is the economics of lawyer advertising.  Attorneys who advertise on TV and billboards can easily spend over a million dollars a year on this type of self promotion.  That attorney will have a monthly bill of $100,000 or more per year just to pay for TV ads. That means that  law firms have to process  A LOT of cases just to pay the AD BUDGET overhead.  Do you really think that the big shot lawyer on the billboard is actually going to represent you in your workers compensation case?  And do you think that  the lawyer on the billboard might want to prevent past clients from saying that they felt they were on a legal assembly line?

Studies have shown that lawyers are most frequently criticised for the following:

  • Not returning phone calls
  • Not returning emails
  • Not explaining the technical jargon of the law in understandable language
  • Not taking the time to explain the legal options to the client
  • Not taking the time to listen to what the client has to say

 

If you are hiring an attorney to represent you in a case; you want to hire an attorney who has several important qualities including one that has the time to treat your case as important. If you have the right to criticise your plumber or auto mechanic; why shouldn’t you have the right to truthfully criticise your attorney if  they don’t do what they say they are going to do. No attorney can guarantee that you will win your case. But they should give your case the attention it deserves and be taken to task if they don’t. There are many internet sites where client’s review lawyers like restaurants on yelp and goggle. The largest review site for client’s reviewing lawyers is www.avvo.com where, for example, Tom Cook and Ron Calhoon have over 70 positive reviews. 

 

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Mr. Cook had taken my case for workers comp in October 2013. I was completely satisfied with the way he has handled everything from beginning to the end. I found his direction beneficial in dealing with my case plus the fact that he also acknowledged me for wanting to learn about it and allowed me to ask any questions I may have during the entire process. Mr. Cook and his team was beyond anything I would have thought in a lawyer/firm and I’m thankful and truly grateful that everyone was patient and pleasant with me throughout my case.

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Very Smart lawyer.Ron Calhoon will answer any questions you have In a very timely manner by email or a phone call his staff is great also and just as responsive as Ron Calhoon. Being on workers compensation it is very stressful plus dealing with your injury it can be very unpleasant most of the time. When I hired Ron all the workers compensation harrasment from the insurance company I had been dealing with stopped.Ron and his team treated me with respect that Means alot to me and my family I strongly recomend Ron Calhoon you will be very pleased with him.from the start of my case to the end he kept me updated on what was going on. Ron and his staff handled my Social Security Disabillty case also i was awarded Disability in a very short time. Ron and his team won my workers comp case with a excellent settlement [$249,500.00] too. Ron was Very fast on settlement paperwork and getting me my settlement check. I Cant thank Calhoon and his staff enough. Gregory

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Congratulations to One of Our Scholarship Recipients

Dear Kids Chance and Calhoon & Associates Trusted Answers, Peace of Mind Scholarship,

My name is Brittany and I am a senior at Penn State Altoona. I have been applying for this scholarship since my first year of college and have been lucky enough to have been granted another scholarship from your program.

Since I was awarded this scholarship, I was able to pay for a good bit of my tuition and my books that I had to buy this semester for my classes. Being that it is my 4th year in college I have been lucky enough to meet all types of people and be involved in numerous groups. I am a member of Psychology club this year and am highly involved in that with clean ups, fundraisers, and much more. I am also the vice president of Psi Chi which is an honor society for the majors of Psychology at Penn State Altoona and it is also a national honor society. I have done some other volunteer work involving bake sales and babysitting.

What I want to succeed in life is to graduate college with my degree in Psychology which I will do as planned in May of this year. I plan to apply for graduate school around my hometown and go for my masters in counseling and hopefully get a job dealing with drugs and alcohol. I want to maybe work in the school district so that I can get involved with the kids and if they have a problem at school I can be there at their disposal. In a few years after that I want to see if I am financially able to open up my own practice and involve anyone with any problems with drugs and alcohol. This would involve me going back to school, and getting my PH.D. in counseling psychology or in a therapy of my choice.

I really do have to thank the people at Kids’ Chance for all the opportunities that I have been able to do and accomplish because of the scholarship I was granted. You all have helped me out so much when it comes to school. I can’t thank you enough.

Thank you so much for the opportunities and the support.

Thanks again,

Brittany W

Penn State Altoona

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The Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Labor & Industry has determined the statewide average weekly wage for injuries occurring on and after Jan. 1, 2015, shall be $951.00 per week. This means the maximum anyone can receive for a workers’ compensation check for a work injury is $951.00 per week.
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, most injured workers are entitled to indemnity (wage-loss) benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage for a work-related injury. However, there are minimum and maximum adjustments provided in the Act, and the benefit rate is set using the annual maximum in place at the time of injury. The maximum is based on the Department of Labor and Industry’s calculation of the statewide average weekly wage. For a FREE review to make sure your weekly compensation rate was correctly (often times it is under calculated) calculated (including overtime and bonuses), feel free to contact calhoon & associates, Central PA Workers’ Comp attorneys, at 1-877-291-9675 (work).

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Injured worker XD was employed by Comcast Corporation for over 20 years as a maintenance technician in Pennsylvania. This position required the injured worker to utilize ladders, bucket trucks or pole steps, along with heavy lifting, consistent standing, putting weight on his knees, and kneeling. Due to the repetitive nature of his work, in 2008 XD began having right knee problems. Over time, these right knee problems worsened, and the injured worker began having difficulty at work walking, carrying items, putting weight on his knees and climbing ladders. In 2010, the injured worker began experiencing left knee problems. At this time, he reported the work injury to his supervisor. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier is Liberty Mutual.

The injured worker hired Calhoon & Associates and we filed a Claim Petition for a bilateral knee condition caused by daily repetitive stress to his knees.

In support of his Petitions, the injured worker presented the testimony of his treating physician, Dr. David Baker. The Judge believed Dr. Baker that the injured workers’ job duties played a role in the development of his bilateral knee arthritis. Dr. Baker felt that the job was a substantial contributing factor and a risk factor to the development of XD’s knee arthritis. Dr. Baker also pointed to a Framingham Harvard Study that certain occupational exposures are risk factors for knee arthritis, such as people who work on their knees while lifting. Defendant Liberty Mutual presented the testimony of Dr. Scott King that the injured workers’ knee condition was not caused by work, which the Judge did not believe.

The Judge granted the injured workers’ Claim Petition for the February 9, 2013 work injury. The Judge found that the injured workers’ bilateral knee condition and need for knee replacements was caused by work as of February 9, 2013. The Judge determined that no wage loss benefits were payable as the injured worker did not miss work due to the work injury to the knees, but did order Defendant Liberty Mutual to pay medical bills, and costs of litigation.

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All litigated Pennsylvania workers’ compensation cases require mediation unless it is futile. The term futile can be interpreted in different ways by different Pennsylvania workers’ compensation judges. Some judges force all cases to go to mediation while other judges require mediation only if it has a chance of reaching a conclusion. Mediation of a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case means an attempt by both parties (the Pennsylvania injured worker and the insurance company). A mediation Pennsylvania workers’ compensate judge conducts this settlement discussion and is usually not the judge involved in the decision of the case. A mediating Pennsylvania workers’ compensation judge will actively work to promote a compromise settlement, but cannot force it. Only your attorney can tell you if the proposals make sense or are in your best interest. You are free to reject any settlement proposal. The negotiations are confidential (i.e., the judge that has your case will not know what went on in the mediation). Often times the offers made are not in your best interest and the carrier is just bottom fishing. If an agreement is reached to settle the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case, a compromise and release hearing must be held the judge assigned the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case.

Once a settlement agreement is reached to resolve a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case, a hearing must be held where the workers’ compensation judge has determine if the Pennsylvania injured worker understands the legal significance of what he/she is doing by settling his/her case. In other words, does the injured worker understand what rights they are giving up in return for the settlement, whether it be a lump-sum settlement or an annuity type situation with payments spread out over time. In order to understand what one is giving up, one has to understand their potential entitlements if there were no settlement. For example, how long can compensation last if there is no settlement? The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation judge does not have the power to reject a settlement if it is unfair or unwise. Thus, it is up to the Pennsylvania injured worker and his/her Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney to protect those interests. It is essential for every Pennsylvania injured worker to seek assistance from a qualified and dedicated Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney.

The road to protecting your rights under the law starts with Calhoon & Associates, P.C.

Why wait another day? Get answers now!

Call 877-291-9675 for a free consolation and free legal advice regarding your workers’ compensation case.

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If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits, you only have sixty (60) days from the date of denial to appeal. This appeal is a request for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Almost every state holds hearings for appeal. Once the appeal is filed, there is a wait time until your hearing is scheduled. On average, there is a 12.8 month wait time across the United States. In Pennsylvania, there are eight (8) Social Security disability hearing locations. Pennsylvania’s wait time is slower that the nationwide average at 14.9 months.

After the hearing, the judge will make a decision on your case. The national average for winning a Social Security disability claim is 44%. Pennsylvania’s average is 40%. The strength of your case depends on factors such as your medical evidence, your age, and previous work history. See the link below to compare these numbers to other states:

https://naidw.org/groups/viewdiscussion/1821-does-does-your-state-have-better-odds-for-getting-social-security-security-disability?groupid=111&utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork

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Do I Need A Lawyer For My PA Compensation Case?

“You don’t need a lawyer for this simple case”

A study by the Insurance Research Council (a nonprofit group funded by major insurance companies across the nation) found that the average total payout on claims that have an attorney is 4.8 times greater than those claims where the injured victim settled on his or her own.

Most insurance adjusters and all insurance companies are aware of this study. The adjuster knows that the biggest obstacle in achieving these two objectives is your obtaining of legal representation.

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts. . .

The Greeks and the Trojans had been waging war for ten years. Each had gods on its side, and each had lost its greatest hero, Achilles for the Greeks and Hector for the Trojans. The adversaries were evenly matched, and it seemed that the war would never end.

However, the Greeks had the clever Odysseus on their side. He devised a gigantic wooden horse that was left at the gates of the Trojans. They, thinking that it was a gift denoting surrender, cheerfully brought the horse within their walls. It was filled with Greek soldiers who sneaked out, engaged the enemy, and won the war.

I remember this tale when I observe the behavior of workers’ comp insurance adjusters, and you should too!

What is an insurance adjuster?

The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. This may not be obvious because the adjuster may have his own business representing a number of insurance companies. But whether his business card bears the name of a big insurance company or simply says, “Joe Dokes Services,” Joe is working for the insurance company.

The adjuster has been assigned to your case with two major objectives:

• Keep the costs low

• Get the injured worker so frustrated they accept a “low ball” settlement.

“I’m Here to Help”

The insurance adjuster will present himself to you as your new best friend. The adjuster could even be a member of your church or a coach of your child’s Little League. He or she will be supportive and seemingly concerned with your injury. Once the adjuster has established friendliness credentials, he or she will proceed to pursue the two objectives. He will:

• Encourage swift medical evaluation by sending you to the insurance company’s doctor. The problem is that the insurance company and the doctor know that “palliative” care, treating the symptoms rather than the underlying injury, will satisfy their responsibility to “do something” at the least cost.

• Ask you to sign an unrestricted medical authorization form. This gives the insurance company the green light to dig into your medical history in search of any prior injuries or conditions that could undermine your claim.

• Offer a lump-sum settlement that will most likely be far lower than typical for your injury.

But the adjusters are just doing their jobs, and you have to do yours. We can help.

Bring your list of questions when you come in for a free consultation. We will listen to your case, advise you on its merit, and help you to receive the benefits to which you are entitled. The road to protecting your rights under the law starts with Calhoon & Associates, P.C.

Today is the day you take back control!

Call Us Today: 877-291-9675

Serving injured workers throughout Pennsylvania.

FREE CONSULTATION • FREE CASE MANAGEMENT • NO RECOVERY, NO FEE

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Make appointments for free consultations, and take a list of questions and concerns with you.

Confirm that the attorney is indeed a specialist in workers’ compensation law and so certified by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (PA).

Ask directly. Ask if the attorney takes cases in other areas of the law. Ask how many workers’ compensation cases he handles in a year.

Understand the attorney’s experience in the workers’ compensation field. . .

He may be a specialist who is starting out with your case! Experience is important for two reasons:

• An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to accurately and expeditiously assess the merit of your claim, estimate its monetary value (important in maximizing benefits), and suggest the best strategy for pursuing the case, based on prior handling of hundreds of similar cases.

• Insurance companies are more apt to make larger settlement offers if they know that your attorney is aggressive and willing to take cases to trial.

Request references. . .

If an attorney says references are not necessary, scratch his or her name off your list. Has the attorney been selected as a Super Lawyer in the filed of workers’ compensation? Talk to former workers’ compensation clients before you move ahead. Check out the client reviews online at sites such as www.avvo.com.

Trust your instincts! Are they doing this to help you or to merely help themselves?

Do you like the attorney? Will you feel comfortable working with this person? Are they providing knowledge and explanations? Are they serving you and your family’s needs? Intent matters.

Bring your list of questions when you call in for a free consultation. We will listen to your case, advise you on its merit, and help you to receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

The road to protecting your rights under the law starts with Calhoon & Associates, P.C.

Why wait another day? Get answers now!

Call 877-291-9675 for a free consolation and free legal advice regarding your workers’ compensation case.

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Choose him to get the job done

Thomas has worked on my Social Security Case and a very difficult Workers Compensation Case. I have had the pleasure of him representing me for at least seven to eight years. He always kept me informed on any changes or what to expect on both cases. I trusted him with all my information and it was very relaxing to know that he was knowledgeable of all that needed to be. He also respond at anytime I have called him, and he kept me informed me at anytime. I really would advise clients to choose him to get the job done. He has the ambulation to take on a challenge and to concord it. I would do it all over again if I had to. I’m still involved with Thomas because he said once my client always my client. And until today I can count on him to do or be there for me and my difficult situations that ever arise in my life. Thank You Thomas for all your service. Barbara Harrisburg, PA

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In most cases when an injured worker gets a bill for their workers’ comp injury is a “Balance Bill.” A Balance Bill is when a medical provider charges the injury worker the difference between the provider’s charge and the amount paid by the insurance company. This practice is prohibited by the PA Workers Compensation Act, 34 Pa. Code Section 127.211 (a), titled “Balance Billing Prohibited,” which states:

A provider may not hold an employee liable for costs related to care or services rendered in connection with a compensable injury under the Act. A provider may not bill for, or otherwise attempt to recover from the employee, the difference between the provider’s charge and the amount pain by the insurer.

The problem with “Balance Billing” lies with how the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act was written. There is a gap in the law when it comes to Pennsylvania Medical Provider as compared to out-of-state medical providers.

Most Pennsylvania medical providers are aware of the law that prohibits them from balance billing. However, when you are dealing with an out-of-state medical provider they may not be aware because Workers Compensation laws vary widely from state to state.

An out-of-state medical provider may not be aware or disregard the PA Workers Compensation laws. To further complicate this, the Workers’ Comp Act doesn’t specifically state in the section referring to Out-of-State medical treatment that Balance Billing is prohibited from these providers.

The PA Workers Compensation Act, 34 Pa. Code Section 127.129, titled “Out-of-State medical treatment,” states in part that:
When you treat with out-of-state medical providers who are not licensed by the Commonwealth to provide health care services, the amount that the workers compensation insurance company shall pay for medical treatment is capped.

The medical fee cap is based off of the Medicare reimbursement rate applicable in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

This amount may not cover the full amount of the cost of treatment from the provider and the out-of-state medical provider sends you a balance bill. The Act doesn’t specifically state that this action is prohibited for an out-of-state medical provider. In addition the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation website’s FAQ warns; “If you seek treatment outside Pennsylvania, you may be subject to the risk of balance billing by the medical provider.”

Thus leading to the “gap”, in which out-of-state medical provider can attempt to collect the balance from an injured worker.
You should immediately take action when you get a bill from a medical provider for your compensable Pennsylvania workers compensation injury. Whether the bill is from an out-of-state medical provider or a Pennsylvania medical provider, this is the first sign that there may be a problem with your PA Workers’ Compensation Claim.

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and Social Security Disability applicants throughout Pennsylvania, including (but not limited to): Allentown, Altoona, Bellefonte, Bethlehem, Bloomsburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Easton, Enola, Fayetteville, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hazelton, Hollidaysburg, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lewisburg, Lewistown, McConnellsburg, Mechanicsburg, Mifflintown, Millersburg, Milton, New Bloomfield, Newport, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pottsville, Reading, Scranton, Shippensburg, State College, Sunbury, Uniontown, Washington, Wellsboro, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, York and all cities and towns in Adams County, Allegheny County, Berks County, Blair County, Bucks County, Centre County, Chester County, Clinton County, Columbia County, Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Fayette County, Franklin County, Fulton County, Huntingdon County, Juniata County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Mifflin County, Montgomery County, Northumberland County, Perry County, Philadelphia County, Schuylkill County, Tioga County, Union County, Washington County and York County, Pennsylvania.

Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
1-877-291-9675

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The short answer is Yes, but be cautious. There may be problems with paperwork and billing. Pennsylvania Workers Compensation law says any doctor that wants to get paid by the workers’ comp insurance carrier must file a Pennsylvania form called LIBC-9 and monthly thereafter plus an HCFA 1500 form, their bill and copies of office notes. Failure of the doctor to do this means that the Workers Comp Insurance Carrier does not have to pay the bill in most circumstances. Workers’ Compensation laws are completely different from state to state with different forms and procedures. Thus, an out-of-state doctor is not going to know how to follow the PA Workers Compensation rules and may be unwilling to learn. We can email him or her our book on how to get work related treatment bills paid and it contains all the forms they need. It is easy to see how there can be problems with billing and payments when an out-of-state doctor is treating a PA WC injury.
Pennsylvania law says that a doctor can’t hold an injured worker with a recognized PA Workers Compensation claim responsible for payment of Workers Comp related medical billing. Also, a doctor is not allowed to “balance bill” a claimant, ie, charge the injured worker the difference between the face amount of the bill and the lesser amount that Workers Comp pays under the PA fee schedule. This rule can be difficult to enforce against PA doctors and is even more difficult to enforce against an out-of-state doctor. Thus, PA injured workers with PA Workers Compensation claims who treat with out-of-state doctors may find themselves being held responsible for payment of work related medical bill.

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The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act was signed into law in 1915. Many people ask why and what was its purpose? There were two main reasons: 1) employees were beginning to sue employers for negligence and winning; and 2) social reformers thought something to be done to help injured families at a time when there was no welfare, unemployment or Social Security. The Workers’ Compensation Act was seen as a compromise deal. Workers’ Compensation was created to give the injured workers a prompt and non-technical source of benefits but injured workers gave up their right to sue over workplace negligence.
Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp has been changed many times over the past 100 years, sometimes in favor of injured workers and sometimes in favor of employers. In 1972, Pennsylvania modernized and liberalized its Workers Compensation law because it was too strict and too slow. Since the 1990’s, two major changes to the law favored employers in significant respects. Some of these changes significantly reduced the amount of Workers Compensation benefits paid to injured workers and for how long those benefits would be paid. Also, the practice has become hyper-technical.
Why did this happen? First, the rapid decline of Unions in Pennsylvania in the 1980s and 1990s meant there was no one with any clout speaking about and advocating for injured workers. Second, the legislators and so called “experts” came to view Workers Comp as an insurance payment system to be managed rather than a grand bargain between employers and employees; whereby injured workers gave up their right to sue employers over work place negligence. Pennsylvania Courts have generally upheld the bar against suing employers over workplace negligence.
In some states, the bar against suing employers over work place negligence is beginning to weaken. The Courts recognize that some states Workers Comp laws have become too restrictive and thus become unfair to injured workers. In essence the injured worker’s rights have been “managed” out of existence by bureaucrats who don’t know or don’t care about the tremendous savings reaped by employers who enjoy immunity from negligence-based lawsuits. This may start in happen in Pennsylvania as well. Stay tuned. In the meantime, workers’ compensation is the sole and exclusive remedy against one’s employer for damages caused by a work injury. That is why it is so important, to hire a great workers’ compensation attorney for any serious injury.
The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and Social Security Disability applicants throughout Pennsylvania, including (but not limited to): Allentown, Altoona, Bellefonte, Bethlehem, Bloomsburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Easton, Enola, Fayetteville, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hazelton, Hollidaysburg, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lewisburg, Lewistown, McConnellsburg, Mechanicsburg, Mifflintown, Millersburg, Milton, New Bloomfield, Newport, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pottsville, Reading, Scranton, Shippensburg, State College, Sunbury, Uniontown, Washington, Wellsboro, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, York and all cities and towns in Adams County, Allegheny County, Berks County, Blair County, Bucks County, Centre County, Chester County, Clinton County, Columbia County, Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Fayette County, Franklin County, Fulton County, Huntingdon County, Juniata County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Mifflin County, Montgomery County, Northumberland County, Perry County, Philadelphia County, Schuylkill County, Tioga County, Union County, Washington County and York County, Pennsylvania.

Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
1-877-291-9675

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GREAT NEWS: RECENT CHANGES MEAN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WAGE LOSS BENEFITS NO LONGER COUNT AS INCOME FOR MEDICAID

Medicaid is a public health insurance program provided by the state for individuals who meet certain income, resource and eligibility requirements. Specifically, an individual must be a resident of Pennsylvania, have qualified immigration status (if applicable), and meet the income and resource limits for medical assistance. Both children and adults can be eligible for Medicaid. More information on Medicaid benefits and eligibility requirements can be found at www.phlp.org.

To the benefit of Pennsylvania (PA) injured workers receiving workers’ compensation wage loss benefits, beginning in January, 2015, workers’ compensation wage loss benefits no longer count as income when applying for medical assistance benefits under Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Expansion Program.

Medicaid applications can be filed online at www.compass.state.pa.us or www.HealthCare.gov (may take longer), by calling (866) 550-4355, or by visiting your local County Assistance office.

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Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-695-4722
Toll Free: 877-291-WORK (9675)
Fax: 717-695-4988
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Calhoon & Associates
14 North Main Street
Chambersburg, PA 17201
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Office

Calhoon & Associates

2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-695-4722
Fax: 717-695-4988

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