Auto Repair Work Injuries
Fabrication Work Injuries
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Assembly Line Work Injuries
How Do I Get Workers Comp?
Work Comp or Unemployment?
Can I File Without a Lawyer?
Repeat Strain, Not One Injury
Damages for Pain and Suffering?
Can I Sue Company Doctor?
Notice Ability Return to Work
Ins. Co. Trying to Stop Comp
Notice Stopping Temp Comp
"Case Manager" on My Side?
Earning Power Assessments
Impairment Rating Evaluations
Supersedeas Requested? Huh?
What is a Fair Settlement?
What is "Heart and Lung" Act?
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Tim Kennedy is certified as a specialist in the practice of Workers' Compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Section on Workers' Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
SERVING ALL OF PA FROM SUBURBAN PHILADELPHIA AND REGIONAL SATELLITE OFFICES
The Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act provides for complete wage replacement (at your full salary, but without overtime), plus medical expenses, for broad classes of Pennsylvania employees. The attorneys of the Law Offices of Timothy Kennedy are dedicated to helping you secure your rights under the Act and helping you maximize your lump sum recovery for long-term or "permanent" injuries by coordinating your Heart and Lung Act benefits with your Workers' Compensation Rights and any pension interests. Call us. Let us explain why we can do so much more for you than the "union lawyers."
Categories of PA workers covered under the Heart and Lung Act Include the following:
- State Police
- Liquor Control Board Enforcement Officers
- Liquor Control Board Investigators
- Parole Agents
- Correction Employees with Principal Duties of Care, Custody and Control of Inmates
- Psychiatric Security Aides Employed by the Department of Public Welfare
- Psychiatric Security Aides Employed by the Department of Corrections
- Drug Enforcement Agents
- All Policemen (County, City, Borough, Town or Township)
- All Firemen (County, City, Borough, Town or Township)
- All Park Guards (County, City, Borough, Town or Township)
- Deputy Sheriffs
- Members of the Delaware River Port Authority Police
- Special Agents of the Office of Attorney General
90 S.Newtown Street Rd,
Newtown Square PA 19073
1700 Market Street
Philadelphia PA 19103
A Pennsylvania employee in a job category covered under the Heart and Lung Act who suffers an injury while performing an official duty in that employment may be eligible for Heart & Lung Act benefits.
Assuming you are in a job category covered by the Act, the initial question of eligibility will focus on four questions. First, whether your injury occurred while you were performing an official duty. Second, whether the resulting disability is temporary or permanent. Only temporary disabilities will be covered, so don't let your employer harm your rights by having you to identify your injury or your resulting restrictions as "permanent". Third, does the injury temporarily prevent you from performing any essential functions of your job. Fourth and finally: will your employer take steps to temporarily restructure your employment to accommodate your limitations. Note that some collective bargaining agreements (union contracts) or other circumstances may limit the employer's right to compel you to work in light duty.
Most employers with workers in covered job categories will require that when you have an "official duty" injury you must make an injury report, usually on a prepared form. Often this is the same form used under the Workers' Compensation Act for reporting job-related injuries. If you feel you meet the Heart and Lung Act criteria, you may also be asked to include a statement detailing your position as to how the injury related to the performance of your official duties, why you believe the injury is temporary, and how it would keep you from performing an essential function (or several essential functions) of your job. Your employer may investigate the matter and/or seek statements from co-workers who have knowledge of any of these matters.
Your employer will review these statements administratively and should be expected to issue a written report after a reasonable investigation, with copies to you and to appropriate officials responsible for your employment status. This report should be kept confidential other than those needing to see it.
If the responsible administrator determines that you are eligible for Heart and Lung Act benefits, those benefits should be awarded beginning on the first work day following the start of the disability.
If the employer takes the position at this stage that you are not entitled to benefits, the employer's position should be explained in their report. The same report should also give you notice of your appeal rights, and tell you how and to whom you may make this appeal.
Your appeal will generally need to be made in writing, and should be delivered within the time frame set forth in your employer's appeal instructions. If you delay such an appeal, you may prejudice your rights.
When you appeal, your employer or the party to whom the appeal was directed should take steps to arrange a due process proceeding. This may take any of several forms, but should generally be a meeting or hearing conforming to certain legal procedural guidelines. Some employers will make these guidelines clear to you prior to the proceeding, others may not. Often, you may have very little guidance other than the time and place of the proceeding.
Unless the union lawyer is me, you can pretty much guess I am going to say "no."
Here's why: The "union lawyer" will often be the most junior attorney at the law firm who either had an "in" with the union representatives at some high level (meaning the firm and the attorney may or may not be competent at other than schmoozing the union reps), or the firm who offered the union representatives a deal for bulk representation of union members at the cheapest rate. The cheapest rate will mean, yep, the most junior attorney available. Not only that, but I have had clients report that their union-designated attorney for a Heart and Lung hearing can sometimes be very seriously compromised: they decline to offer a solid argument or line of support to advance a particular client's claim only because they have a volume of cases with the same employer. I have specifically had clients tell me their union-designated attorney refused to make an argument important to their case only because the union attorney feared how it would impact the tribunal's decisions in their other cases immediately following. Meanwhile, the employer and the union lawyers often schedule a large number of Heart and Lung Act hearings for the same date, and take them one after another, like a cattle call. Taking the union lawyer's help in a matter like this can then be much like accepting a public defender in a criminal case. Each case gets only minimal attention from the attorney, last minute and rushed. Further, the strong temptation, especially for a junior attorney handling multiple matters in bulk, is to treat all of the cases in the same cookie-cutter manner.
Meanwhile, the union heart and lung lawyers are likely to be the same lawyers who handle other legal matters for the union. They may be well versed in what we call "labor law", which governs interactions between unions and employers. It is equally likely they will not have practice concentrations in workers' compensation litigation, a highly specialized field that always overlaps with any properly handled Heart and Lung Act claim. Many union lawyers are merely "dabblers" in workers' compensation, and don't have a full or deep understanding of the interplay between Heart and Lung Act proceedings and workers' compensation. This is important because Heart and Lung Act benefits can and often are stopped on the basis that an injury is not "temporary." And because Heart and Lung benefits apply only to temporary disability, such claims cannot give rise to lump sum recovery for the kind of long-term exposure recognized in the workers' compensation forum, where "permanent" injuries are not only compensable, but very valuable.
When pursuing your rights under the Heart and Lung Act, it is wise to go outside the union and obtain representation from a lawyer handling both Heart and Lung Act rights and Workers' Compensation. Call us.
I had a serious work related injury. I hired Tim after speaking with him and feeling completely at ease with his professionalism and demeanor. My case became complicated over time. Throughout the process I always felt that Tim had my best interest in mind. With every phone call or email, Tim was very informative and proactive, always explaining things in a way I could understand. He worked hard for me in his dealings with my employers insurance company. He did this so much so, the insurance company actually fired their own attorneys in the middle of litigation. In the end, Tim was able to negotiate a substantial settlement, including taking the burden off of me of an excessive amount of unpaid medical bills. I would highly recommend Tim.
- B (Workers Compensation client)
I truly love, respect and appreciate Attorney Timothy James Kennedy for his highly professional, unselfish(going above and beyond), highly dedicated approach in working with me and my unfortunate circumstances and my unfortunate legal dilemma... and will with every opportunity be highly recommending his legal services to all family, friends and strangers found in-need of such services!
Attorney Timothy James Kennedy is not only a true professional, he is a loving, caring, sharing human being who not only cares about his cases and reputation, but cares also for the lives and the families of those he so-caringly and so humbly represents!
He will always be appreciated and will never - ever - be forgotten. I, on behalf of myself and my family, appreciate the fact that he was willing to stop by and become "The Good Samaritan" in our lives!
- Michael (Workers Compensation Client)
Timothy is a really great lawyer. He knows what to do, and how to handle really sticky situations. When I first came to him, I had very little to back me up, but we mainly him lol pulled through and got the job done with GREAT results. If I could back in time I would still pick him as a lawyer 1000 times more. He took his time, talk to me like I was a person and not a dollor sign, and made lawyer jargon understandable english for me. I truely felt comfortable with him handling my case, and I never doubted him since the very first meeting. I also like that he gives his personal direct number to get in contact with him whenever you may need him, and he always responds if not that same day, the very next. The only bad thing I would have to say is its a shame I would have legal trouble to work with him again lol.
-Trina (Workers Compensation Client)
Highly knowledgable in the law with excellent people skills..I highly recommend Mr. Kennedy.
- Workers Compensation Client
Mr. Kennedy was most informed concerning how to handle my workmans comp claim. Also, his staff was excellent in keeping me informed of negotiations. I can not say enough about Mr. Kennedy and his staff !!!
-Marvin (Workers Compensation Client)
When hiring a lawyer you need to be sure that they are knowledgeable,trustworthy,responsive and most of all have very strong confidence in their abilities to fight for your rights. Mr. Kennedy is one of the most confident people i know. He is determined and aggressive. I guess i can also say he is feared by others. Mr. Kennedy made me feel as we were friends by always keeping me informed and also asking me for my input as well as cared for my opinion. He told me that he would have no problem getting me the amount that i felt i deserved. He then said i will do better than that were gonna go high and mabey hit a homerun. When he called me with news of the final judgement i was shocked he said i not only hit a homerun for you, it was a grandslam. His work is so impressive he can be considered to be the best in PA.
-Jake (Workers Compensation Client)
Mr. Kennedy goes above and beyond to answer all questions and concerns and does so in an easy to understand manner. He worked very hard on my case as I'm sure he does on all of his cases. I am very pleased with the outcome of my case and would not hesitate to refer him to someone in need of his services. Thank you, Mr. Kennedy.
-Maria (Workers Compensation Client)
As these testimonials reflect, we work very hard to satisfy our clients and to ensure the best results in handling their claims. Call us now to let us explain how we can help you advance your rights and interests, so that you too can become a satisfied client.
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