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An injury in your workplace, no matter how small, should not be ignored. The laws in Pennsylvania regarding workplace injuries are clear and they detail what must be done by both the employee and the employer to report the injury appropriately. However, sometimes employers react poorly to paying workers' comp claims and proceed to retaliate, harass, or discriminate against the injured employee.

If this is your situation or if you believe it could become your situation, your best and first step should be to contact an experienced workers' comp attorney in Philadelphia. Why? In the following, we'll outline everything your experienced workers' comp attorney can do for you, including thoroughly examining the workers' compensation due to you, defending your right to receive appropriate compensation, and relieving illegal harassment or discrimination directed at you.

is discrimination a result of your workplace injury

How Can an Experienced Workers' Comp Attorney Help You?

Exactly what will a workers' comp attorney do for you? First, your attorney will know and fully recognize how the workers' comp laws can work in your favor. The framework for your own case will be thoroughly discussed and examined to set the record straight with all parties. If your employer has made untruthful statements or claims against you, your attorney will understand the best way to respond and take the necessary steps to stop untruthful allegations.

An experienced workers' comp attorney will have a history of winning workers' comp lawsuits and a track record of experience. In addition to this background, your attorney will add the specific knowledge of your case to build a successful defense for your position, particularly if you are facing a lawsuit. Your workers' comp attorney will also position you to file a lawsuit against your employer, if needed, to win the appropriate compensation as a result of your injury.

Your Attorney Will Recognize Harassment, Threats, and Discrimination

Your workers' comp attorney will also recognize harassment, threats, and discrimination and deal with them legally to stop any of these actions. For example, if your employer has been illegally harassing you by issuing threats about your future employment with the company, your attorney will be able to explain which actions and threats fall into the definition of  “harassment.” From there, your attorney will contact your employer's attorney to fully explain your position and move toward filing a lawsuit if the harassment continues. No matter what the outcomes may be, fully communicate all the details of any harassment, threats, or discrimination directed at you to your attorney. Your attorney will stand up for your rights and defend your position. 

According to a recent survey conducted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 50% of Indian Americans in the US reported being discriminated against during 2019, with discrimination based on skin color identified as the most common form of bias.[1] This shockingly high percentage indicates that many people could be suffering discrimination from a bias that has nothing to do with their job performance or attitude toward their employer. Discrimination unleashed by an employer has no place in any situation, but to discriminate against an injured worker based on that worker's color is legally unacceptable. Your workers' comp attorney can fully address such an issue.

Your Attorney Will Set the Record Straight on Your Behalf

In addition to gathering the details of your workers' comp case and determining the extent to which you've suffered from discrimination or harassment, your attorney can set up depositions to set the record straight on your behalf. A legal deposition in Pennsylvania [2] will require your employer to attend a meeting with your attorney, your employer's attorney and a court reporter. During the meeting, your attorney will ask specific questions related to the reasons why the injury occurred, workplace conditions that may have contributed to the injury, and details your claims regarding discrimination or harassment. Your employer will have an opportunity to respond, however, all of the answers have to be given under oath and are admissible in a lawsuit. This is a critical step if your lawsuit may be potentially going to court.

Your Attorney Will Defend Your Right to Receive Appropriate Compensation

If you, as an injured employee, are unsure of what compensation you should legally receive as a result of an injury, you will want your workers' comp attorney to fully explore and defend your rights to receive an appropriate compensation amount. The appropriate amount may start with the Pennsylvania workers' comp rates and be increased based on the proof of your employer's discrimination against you while you were injured. The amount may also be increased if your employer knowingly ignored safety requirements in your work environment or allowed you to operate unsafe machinery, for example. There are numerous situations that your attorney will explore in determining the appropriate compensation for your case and the total will be presented to your employer's attorney for consideration. If an agreement on compensation cannot be reached by you, your attorney, your employer and your employer's attorney, a date may be set for the court to resolve the issue.

Your Attorney Will Evaluate Your Physical and Emotional Injuries

As unsettling as a workplace injury can be, the long-term results of harassment, threats, or discrimination may remain and be even more injurious to you emotionally than those of your physical injury. It is critical that you carefully consider the situation if you've been injured in your workplace. Think about the environment in which you were injured. Mentally go over safety precautions or procedures that were in place, or any that were missing. Determine whether or not you were required to wear protective covering and if you were wearing that covering when you were injured.

Think about those who were around you when the injury occurred. Did fellow employees observe anything out of place or unusual? Were unknown persons in the area? Was there any change to the workload and routine on the day you were injured? And, finally, consider what other employees heard your employer say in their presence. Perhaps others can corroborate your statements, which will strengthen your position. Each of these questions can stack up to help your attorney arrive at a compensation amount that reflects both the physical and emotional injuries you've suffered.

Your first step in the event of any workplace injury should be to find an experienced workers' comp attorney to guide you through the process. From there, you'll be able to  recover and rest while your attorney builds your case, evaluates a fair compensation amount, and delivers the facts to your employer that will support your right to the full compensation you deserve for your workplace injury.  

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