Workers’ Compensation

Injured on the job? We’ll help you pursue benefits to cover your medical bills and lost wages. We fight for the check you deserve.

What does workers’ comp cover?

What injuries and illnesses are covered by workers’ comp?
Will workers’ comp cover all my medical bills?
Will workers’ comp cover my time away from work?
What does workers’ comp NOT cover?
  • Accidents and injuries that happen at work, are considered work-related, or are caused by workplace conditions
  • Illnesses and infections resulting from a work-related accident or injury
  • Specific loss benefits
  • Occupational diseases, which are diseases caused by workplace conditions. For example: exposure to workplace dust or chemicals, resulting in a disease
  • Amputations — or loss of use for all practical purposes — of various body parts, as well as disfigurement of the head, face, or neck.
  • Death caused by a workplace injury is covered with benefits, payable to beneficiaries

It depends. Benefits can include medical care, prescriptions, some rehabilitative services, orthopedic appliances, disability compensation, and, in some instances, they will pay for one-time modifications to a home or vehicle.

Yes, workers’ compensation pays for lost time at work. If time away from work because of an injury or illness exceeds 7 days, a portion of normal wages are paid.

  • Self-inflicted injuries that occur on the job site
  • Injuries caused by your own intoxication or illegal drug use
  • Attacks by a third party for a reason not related to your job
  • Injuries resulting from unlawful behavior

What to do if you’re injured on the job

What do I need to do?
How quickly must I act?
What are the filing requirements?
Is my employer liable?
Common types of injury cases
My claim was denied. What can I do?
Why was my claim denied?

Protect yourself and maximize the workers’ compensation benefits available to you. Start here:

  1. Report your injury. In Pennsylvania, you have 120 days from the date of the incident to file a report.
  2. See an approved doctor. If all other requirements are present, you must be treated for the first 90 days with the doctor listed on your employer’s Approved Doctor List (often called a “panel list of doctors”). This list is available at your workplace. If there is no list, or you have questions, call Dugan & Associates.
  3. File a workers’ compensation injury claim. You have up to 3 years from the date of the injury to file a claim. If you have sustained an injury at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover wage loss, medical, and a specific loss such as a hand, finger or arm, disfigurement, or death.

Time limits and requirements apply to each step of an injured worker’s pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits. When you’re experiencing wage loss and medical bills you’re unable to pay, we want to get you the benefits that will help you cover those costs as soon as possible. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, contact us.

  • Following an injury, you have 120 days to report your injury to someone in a supervisory role. 
  • You must also use the panel doctors, determined by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance,  for the first 90 days of treatment if all other requirements are met.
  • Generally, you must file your claim within 3 years of the injury.

In workplace injury cases, fault does not matter and doesn’t affect your worker’s compensation claim. Generally, you cannot sue your own employer for negligence, or pain and suffering, in Pennsylvania. 

However, a workers’ compensation claim may lead to a lawsuit against a negligent third party such as a property owner. If we find that a different company or person is responsible for your injuries such as not keeping the work property in a safe condition, we can file a lawsuit for your complete damages, including pain and suffering and other components of your loss that can’t be recovered in a workers’ comp proceeding against a third party.

Head Injuries
Neck, Back and Shoulder Injuries
Hand and Wrist Injuries
Occupational Disease
Scars and Burns
Broken Bones
Ladder Falls
Scaffolding Incidents
Construction Site Injuries
Work-Related Car & Truck Accidents
Aggravation of Existing Conditions
Dust or Chemical Exposure
Muscle sprains
Ligament tears

When your claim is denied, your pursuit of justice isn’t over. Don’t let them add insult to injury.

Our attorneys can take steps to refute the basis of the denial and file a claim petition on your behalf. We know this system — we’ve successfully represented injured workers in Western PA for over 30 years. We’re here to answer your questions, navigate the process and make sure you know your rights every step of the way. Contact us.

Your employers could have legal grounds to deny your initial claim if:

  • A physician refuses to determine that the injury is disabling
  • The injury did not happen at work, or during the course of employment
  • The injured worker is an independent contractor, not an employee
  • The disabling injury is, in fact, a preexisting condition
  • There is a delay in processing the claim
  • There is a need for additional information about the accident, the injury, or both.

If you believe your claim was unfairly denied, contact us ASAP. We’ve been filing claim petitions for thousands of denied workers, and we can help you too.

Denied Claim?

My claim was denied. What can I do?
Why was my claim denied?

When your claim is denied, your pursuit of justice isn’t over. Don’t let them add insult to injury.

Our attorneys can take steps to refute the basis of the denial and file a claim petition on your behalf. We know this system — we’ve successfully represented injured workers in Western PA for over 30 years. We’re here to answer your questions, navigate the process and make sure you know your rights every step of the way.

Your employers could have legal grounds to deny your initial claim if:

  • A physician refuses to determine that the injury is disabling
  • The injury did not happen at work, or during the course of employment
  • The injured worker is an independent contractor, not an employee
  • The disabling injury is, in fact, a preexisting condition
  • There is a delay in processing the claim
  • There is a need for additional information about the accident, the injury, or both.

If you believe your claim was unfairly denied, contact us ASAP. We’ve been filed claim petitions for thousands of denied workers, and we can help you too.

Should I pursue a lump sum settlement?

A lump sum can seem like the key to getting back to a normal life quickly when you have piles of bills, frequent medical appointments, and endless phone calls. But it isn’t always your best option. Accepting a lump sum means you can’t pursue more money later, and unfortunately, the amount offered is often too low. 

When evaluating your situation, we may consider:

  • The extent of your disability, and past and future wage loss
  • Will ongoing medical treatment be necessary?
  • Could the injury cause a secondary condition?
  • Is the injured person eligible for Medicare or other benefits?
  • Does the injured person have additional sources of income?

We’ll help you determine if a lump sum settlement is your best option, and if, so we can help you negotiate for more money. Our goal is to get you as much as we can in your case if you want a settlement. 

Returning to work (Petitions, IME, IRE, VE)

I’m being asked to return to work, but I’m not ready.
Should a lawyer represent me during an IME, IRE or Vocational Interview?
Preparing for an IME or IRE

Sometimes, the workers’ comp insurance company’s doctor has a different opinion from your treating physician about when you can come back to your job. Knowing more about the process and what you will face can help ensure you are not being forced back into work before you are truly ready. Read about your rights here.

I’ve been notified that my benefits are at risk.

Did your insurance company notify you that they intend to stop, suspend or reduce your benefits? Don’t challenge them alone. 

We represent those people whose benefits the insurance company has attempted to terminate, modify or suspend:

We’ve represented thousands of injured workers whose benefits the insurance company has attempted to suspend, modify, or terminate because:

  • An insurance doctor clears you to return to work after an IME or IRE
  • Your employer offers you light or modified-duty employment, and you refuse the offer, or it pays you less than you were earning when you got hurt.
  • The workers’ comp insurer claims you’ve made a full recovery, but you haven’t
  • A utilization review request

We fight the insurance company by presenting the facts of your condition to maximize the chance your benefits will be recovered.

Yes. If you are asked to attend an IME (Insurance or Independent Medical Exam) or IRE (Impairment Rating Evaluation) you’ll need to discuss your rights with an attorney including whether the insurance company is even entitled to the exam, how to proceed, and a possible plan of action in response to an unfavorable result.

Yes. Having an attorney present during the vocational interview ensures your rights are protected. In most cases, the vocational expert is working on behalf of your employer, and isn’t there to protect your best interests. That means the assessment gathered at your interview can be used as evidence that your benefits should be modified or stopped.

If you’ve been asked to attend an IME, IRE or Vocational Interview, contact us ASAP. Our attorneys are equipped to assist you in challenging any opinion of your employer’s medical or vocational expert to show that:

  • Your physical condition isn’t suitable for the jobs the expert has identified for you.
  • The labor market survey developed by the vocational expert is inaccurate or inapplicable to your circumstances.
  • The earning power assessment made by the expert overstates your actual earning capacity.
  • The expert lacks the qualifications required to render a reliable opinion.

We can also assist in:

  • Showing whether an IRE or IME is timely or appropriate.
  • Creating a plan of of action to possibly rebut an IME or  IRE.

If you’ve already attended the interview and you disagree with the results, we can help you dispute the findings.

IMEs (Independent Medical Examination) and IREs (Impairment Rating Evaluation) are common in workers’ compensation cases when a permanent disability rating is a possibility. However, the doctor being brought in to conduct them isn’t always as neutral as it should be. Contact one of our law firm immediately to ensure you secure the benefits you deserve. When preparing for an evaluation, remember:

  • Arrive early. You will need time to fill out paperwork before the exam, and missing your appointment can put your benefits at risk. Leave no doubt by arriving 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • Know your medical history. Take time to review your medical records to avoid any inconsistencies between your word and the records your medical examiner will be referencing.
  • Bring a witness. If a dispute arises at a later date, a reputable third party my be helpful.
  • Be honest. Do not exaggerate your symptoms or the cause of your accident. Any inconsistencies in the account of your accident can call your credibility into question and put your benefits at risk.
  • Expect to be continually observed. The premises of your exam are likely under video surveillance, and your actions throughout the entire time you are on the examiner’s premises will be taken into consideration — not just what happens during your exam.

Have you lost a loved one to a workplace accident?

In fatal workplace accidents, our lawyers pursue family death benefits under the workers’ compensation system. At the same time, we’ll identify all potential defendants who might be held accountable for your family’s loss. 

If you choose to file a wrongful death claim, our attorneys will:

  • Investigate your case, and what happened 
  • Work exhaustively to determine who is responsible for the accident
  • Pursue the full compensation your family is entitled to
  • Work with experts to measure the financial impact of your loss: lost income, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, final medical expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of household services.
  • Pursue other potential defendants

There is no cost to contact us at 888-99-D-U-G-A-N or through our contact form. We are here to answer your questions and handle the hassles so you can focus on your family.

Testimonials

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Mitch and his team are nothing short of amazing! From start to finish they had my back, and didn’t stop fighting for me till I got what was rightfully mine! Thank you for giving me my life back

Jamie, Pittsburgh Workers’ Comp Case
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Your staff are wonderful and knowledgeable, amongst the most caring people I have talked with. Thank you for having the team that you have. Many blessings to all from my heart ❤

Pennie
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Thank-you to Mitch and his Associates for helping me in my time of need. Even [though] it was not a million dollar case, they treated it and me like it was. They always answered the phone and returned calls, if they didn’t have an answer right away they found that answer and call back fast.Thank-you again …. I would highly recommend.

Donna
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They made it so easy! Recommend them highly! I was getting no where on my own

Kimberly
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Dugan and Associates really came to bat for me. They were very responsive to my needs and always answered any questions I had. Mr. Dugan made the whole workmans compensation process bearable. I would recommend them for anyone.

Robert, Pittsburgh Workers’ Comp Case
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Mitch Dugan is a great workers comp layer. he knows how the system works and works to help you. I would use him over and over again.

Todd, Pittsburgh Workers’ Comp Case
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Mitch was the best.  I was going through much stress being hurt and basically unloved by my employer.  He was always there when I needed his help. He always called me back if he was in court.  He was humorous sometimes and that aleved alot of anxiety.  I was satisfied with his suggestions and guidance.  Very professional. He always was able to explain things to me and was very nice.   He also obtained a very nice settlement for me. Thank you Mitch.

Pat, Pittsburgh Workers’ Comp Case
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Hired one of those other firm’s, After 8 months of them doing nothing for me, I found and hired Dugan & Associates, Within the first week I had a workers comp judge and a comp hearing, My case settled a few months later, I would hire Mr dugan again and I highly advise you to use Mr Dugan’s firm, He will fight the insurance company for you and get you what you deserve

Rich, Pittsburgh Workers’ Comp Case
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Mr. Dugan & his team are great, everything Mr. Dugan went over with me was easy to follow & to the point, I know I could not have got the settlement I did without the help of Mr. Dugan & his team! I would recommend Dugan & Associates to anyone who is serious about getting the best settlement possible

Thomas

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