Philadelphia, PA (Law Firm Newswire) November 30, 2018 - Just recently on Court Radio, Dean Weitzman, managing partner of MyPhillyLawyer, and workers’ compensation attorney, Jeffrey S. Gross, Esq., discussed misconceptions labourers have about workers’ compensation and how using medical marijuana may result in an injury claim being denied.
Getting hurt on the job is a worker’s worst nightmare. How are the bills going to be paid? Are the injuries bad enough to mean being permanently out of work? What happens if the claim is denied? Is there an appeal process?
The most important thing that any worker needs to know about workers’ compensation is that it can only be accessed if the injured employee actually notifies the employer. “An injured worker has, by law, 120 days to give notice to the employer of an accident, but it is best to ‘immediately’ notify them,” explained Jeffrey S. Gross, a workers’ compensation attorney with Gross & Kenny LLP. Not saying anything right away tends to create credibility issues if an accident/incident is reported later and the worker could run the risk of having a claim denied.
Pennsylvania is a no fault workers’ compensation state, which means that workers’ compensation applies when an individual cannot perform the essential functions of his or her job. It also applies, with some exceptions, even if the worker involved in the accident was at fault. “An example would be if a worker violates a workplace rule, like they must wear a hair net while working on an assembly line, and they are injured when the hair gets caught in the machinery, they may ‘not’ get benefits,” outlined Gross.
“How does medical marijuana affect workers’ compensation claims?” asked Dean Weitzman.
Marijuana is still considered to be an illicit drug and thus it is a good idea if a worker does “not” do drugs before going to work (while at work) or within any time frame within which he or she could be tested should they have an accident.
Says Gross: “The rule is if an individual is tested within 24 hours of an injury and found to have an illicit drug in their system, the claim is denied. Furthermore, it is then up to the plaintiff to prove it was something that was prescribed for them. That process could take up to a year or longer.” If a plaintiff/injured worker is hurt badly enough that they need workers’ compensation to pay medical bills, waiting for a year to get that money is going to cause undue financial hardship.
Court Radio is a weekly call in legal talk show. Attorney Dean Weitzman answers legal questions, at no charge to the listener, every Sunday morning and also talks about sidebar topics and his own experiences with various cases he has handled.
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