Don’t confuse Workers Compensation with Personal Injury Settlements

One of the most common questions that workers’ compensation attorneys are asked is, “How much will I receive?” The answer is often surprising to those who ask. Perhaps one explanation is that they are thinking about some of the large personal injury settlements they heard about in the news.

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect both employees and employers. Most every employee must be covered from day one of employment. If an employee is injured on the job, no matter what the circumstances, that employee must be covered.

Settlements in personal injury cases are generally calculated based on a number of factors that may include the negligence of someone other than the injured party or shared fault; the severity of the injury, associated medical expenses, term of recovery or permanent injury, pain and suffering and more. Many factors are taken into account that may dramatically increase settlement amount.

A safety net, not permanent support

Workers‘ compensation settlements are calculated differently. In general terms, they cover related medical expenses for injuries sustained on the job and loss of wages (actually about 66 2/3% of your gross pay) during the recovery period. Sometimes a worker may receive a bit more or less depending upon the ability to return to work in even a partial capacity. Workers’ compensation benefits are considered short-term benefits, because they are designed to sustain injured workers—like a safety net or lifeline—for a period of time that will enable them to recover and return to work. That’s why a typical workers’ compensation settlement is based on an amount designed to sustain the injured worker over a two- to five-year period.

“Lump sum” isn’t like winning a lottery

In Pennsylvania, injured workers with a lasting impairment can negotiate a lump-sum settlement that includes recovery of unreimbursed medical expenses and other disputed amounts, instead of receiving weekly benefit payments—that means weekly checks will be replaced by one final payment. Once this kind of settlement is reached, the injured worker cannot receive additional benefits for the injury.

There are a number of factors that will impact the settlement amount in a workers’ compensation case. That’s why it is extremely important to speak with a qualified, experienced workers’ compensation attorney in order to receive the maximum amount to which you are entitled.

As mentioned earlier, workers’ compensation benefits are designed as temporary or short-term benefits. Inherently, that represents a smaller overall figure than a settlement calculated to provide compensation for a severe, permanent injury that will dramatically affect the injured party’s entire life as well as his or her ability to ever work again.

If you’ve been injured on the job, and can’t work, it doesn’t make sense to gamble with your future—especially if you have a family to provide for. Instead, speak with an experienced attorney at Martin Law who will help you determine the best course of action.

Personal Injury FAQ’s

Most people are not familiar with personal injury attorneys outside of what they see on television or in the movies: they have little understanding of how a personal injury attorney can help. But when you or someone you love has been injured, and the cause of their pain is someone else’s carelessness, you quickly realize that a personal injury lawyer can be your best resource for getting justice. A personal injury attorney represents those who have been hurt by the negligence of others, and whether that negligence takes the shape of an icy walkway, distracted driving, a surgical accident, a dog bite, or a pharmaceutical company releasing an unsafe drug onto the market, a personal injury lawyer is the person who will make the responsible party pay for the harm that they’ve done. Here are some of the questions that we get asked most frequently about filing a personal injury lawsuit:


What is Personal Injury: A personal injury is one that happens as a result of another person’s negligence or carelessness. There are many different types of personal injury lawsuits, including pharmaceutical negligence, medical or professional malpractice, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and all accidents and dog bite accidents, to name just a few.


How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Charge: Generally speaking, attorneys who handle personal injury cases work on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that if you choose to use them to represent you, you will not be charged any out-of-pocket fees and there will be no charge unless they win your case for you. If your case results in a settlement or a jury award, then their fee will be assessed as a percentage of the amount that you receive and will come out of that payment.


How Much is my Case Worth? It is inappropriate, unethical, and flat out wrong for an attorney to provide you with an assessment of the worth of your case without learning a great deal about it and doing a lot of investigating. Every case is different, and much depends upon the injury that you have suffered, the costs of your medical bills and the amount of impact that it has had on your life, including any lost wages or earning potential. Much will also be determined by whether you prefer to settle quickly out of court or whether it is necessary to pursue a trial. The best way to provide an assessment of whether you are eligible for compensation and what that compensation may be is to make an appointment with our office and discuss the case in detail.


Can’t I Just Take What the Insurance Company is Offering? It is important to remember that insurance companies are in business to hold on to their profits, so no matter how friendly an insurance company adjuster may seem, their goal is not to provide you with what you deserve, but to get out of the situation having paid as little as they can.


How Much Time Do I Have to Decide to File a Claim? The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case in the state of Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the injury or accident, unless the case is being pursued against a government entity or municipality, in which case the time is shortened to just six months. An injury to a child is given greater leeway: these claims can be filed at any time up until they reach the age

Birth Injuries Can Last a Lifetime

Occasionally during the birth process, the baby may suffer a physical injury. Sometimes it is simply the result of being born. In other instances, the injury may be caused by the negligence of a medical professional attending to the birth. In either case, the injury is referred to as a “birth injury.”

Generally these injuries are more likely to occur during a difficult delivery, when the infant is too large for the birth canal or the fetus is in the wrong position within the uterus.

Birth injuries may involve damage to the baby’s head and brain, bone fractures, nerve and soft tissue damage and injury due to lack of oxygen (asphyxia). Some injuries are minor and quickly resolve themselves, but others have much more serious consequences. Birth injuries are among the leading causes of serious long-term health conditions.

There is a wide range of birth injuries. Among the list of conditions caused by birth injury that carry with them long-term effects, are:

  • Anesthetic Complications
  • Cardiac Complications
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia
  • Epidural Toxicity
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Forceps Injury
  • Fractures
  • Strep infections
  • Horner’s Syndrome
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
  • Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome (IRDS)
  • Klumpke’s Palsy
  • Meconium aspiration syndrome
  • Placental Abruption
  • Injuries related to prematurity
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Subjunctival Hemorrhage and Retinal Hemorrhage

Fortunately, medical technology has advanced to the point where it can provide critical information in advance of the birth to help avoid many types of injuries, provided it is utilized correctly and when it is warranted.

Sadly, many of the conditions mentioned—along with others—could be the result of medical negligence. Some of the types of medical errors associated with the injuries listed are:

  • Failure to anticipate birth complications
  • Failure to respond appropriately to bleeding;
  • Failure to observe or respond to umbilical cord entrapment
  • Failure to respond to fetal distress or irregularities in the fetal heartbeat
  • Delay in ordering a medically necessary cesarean section.

Babies can also be injured following their birth from poor care, delivered by a medical professional or staff.

It is critically important to be aware that birth injuries are not always immediately visible. Some delayed effects of birth injuries do not always reveal themselves until many years have passed.

If you believe that your child or someone you know is the victim of a birth injury due to medical error, it is extremely important to contact an experienced trial lawyer to evaluate the case. An experienced birth injury lawyer will review the injured baby’s medical records and will likely employ expert testimony from respected nurses, physicians or other medical professionals to present your case.

For medical malpractice claims in which a child is injured by a medical error, it is important to seek counsel from a qualified medical malpractice attorney—even if the injury took place many years earlier. The attorneys at Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. are here to help—a firm with experienced medical malpractice attorneys who will fight for an appropriate recovery for victims sustaining a birth injury.


Personal Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia

The Amtrak train crash that occurred back in May of this year killed eight people and injured more than 200. At the time of the incident, there was high praise for the quick actions of first responders and the care that was provided for all who were involved. But several months later, victims seeking compensation for their medical expenses and other damages are finding themselves challenged by a little-known law that is preventing them from receiving their full due: a congressionally mandated cap on liability for Amtrak accidents.

Though Amtrak has made clear that they will not contest any of the lawsuits that have been filed against them, that may be little consolation for the dozens who are filing negligence lawsuits in order to recoup what they have spent on medical bills, as well as the impact that the accident had on their life. When Congress reauthorized Amtrak in 1997 they did so with a $200 million limitation on liability for any single train accident. No accommodation or indexing was provided for inflation.

According to John C.P. Goldberg, a law professor at Harvard University, “When Congress enacted the cap, it made the judgment that victims of large-scale railroad crashes will be among those who have to bear the cost of keeping Amtrak up and running. It is very difficult to see why, in effect, some of the subsidy should come from the victims of train crashes rather than the public.”

The liability limitation has created problem in the past that have, as yet, remained unresolved. When a California commuter train crashed in 2008, the judge hearing cases on behalf of two dozen dead and over 100 injured victims tried to distribute an additional $64 million in total beyond the limitation in order to provide appropriate compensation. Judge Peter D. Lichtman’s attempt was thwarted, prompting him to write, “Impossible decisions had to be made. What was given to one victim had to be taken from another.”

Congress is currently wrestling with the possibility of increasing the current cap and adding an automatic five-year inflationary adjustment. But this will provide little consolation to those injured in the Philadelphia accident.

Launching A New Product – Oh Boy

So we started a new campaign on Thursday to a bunch of crickets. A new DIY home security product launched by another client of ours in one of the oddest business decisions I have ever witnessed by a legitimate company. Truly makes no sense as to why this was done. The only differentiator of this product is the 24/7 professional monitoring, which is included in all their plans.  Most of the competitors are from well known companies. Just Google “diy home security” and you will know exactly what I am talking about.

We are trying a 30k/month PPC campaign on Adwords, SEO is a slow go and no one wants to link a company with no content. Social media isn’t going to sell a thing, sad to say because we have some good ideas. They refused to do e-commerce, they refused to do affiliate marketing, and we have yet to launch our email campaign which might be our only hope at this point.

Where was the brand awareness? No where to be found…

Do 2nd Tier links Work?

So you get a good link on a decent news related site and then you create other links like this one that points to the tier 1 link. So you have a good piece of content and a quote from the CEO that gets severely edited down to almost nothing but you at the will of these guest bloggers who promise the world to the highest bidder.

Next you go back and forth throughout the editing process until you realize that you have zero say on what goes on.


Let’s see if we keep monkeying around with this post to see what happens? First there is this personal injury law firm who is up against the wall when it comes to links and the DIY Home Security client who has less brand recognition than this small law firm in center city Philadelphia. It makes no sense to me as to why this product even exists but it does.

and another medical malpractice law firm who had 2 agencies butcher their SEO since 2010. Rebuilding a healthy link profile is both challenging and time consuming. I would love to hear how people go about this.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys & Advertising

I don’t really get the sudden influx of attorney advertising on TV and radio anymore. Isn’t all about the web? How can I track besides asking if the TV spot is actually working? Brand awareness is really hard to gauge. Even if you do have brand awareness with the public on your side you can be dam sure that when it comes time  to hire an attorney (out of necessity) you are still going to visit their website and see if they suit your needs.

There has always been the ambulance chasers and now there are these workers’ compensation attorneys who feel the need to advertise like there is no tomorrow. All it takes is one firm and the rest follow. There was the back of the bus lawsuit and now the other guy is producing TV commercials that run day and night.  Add to that a PPC budget over $20k/month and you basically leave little to no room for the little guy. How does the solo practitioner survive?

Well first off they can hire a really good SEO who is well versed in local SEO because that is the small firms bread and butter. And it will be significantly easier if we are not talking a major metropolitan center but the suburbs where the bug guys are not. That is where to start with these workers’ compensation lawyers who are going up against the large firms in the big city.

Then these small firms and solo practitioners need to go out and shake hands and network like there is no tomorrow like the big guys are spending. You can generate your own brand awareness on your time, on your scale.

more on attorney digital marketing to come…


Pitching PPC To A Personal Injury Attorney Who Has Been Burned Before

Well that happened today. 5 agency types (probably only 2 were necessary) and one highly successful personal injury attorney in Philadelphia who only will take your case if you are permanently damaged and there is a 7 figure settlement in your future.

The biggest issue as always is money. But especially in this case where the attorney’s firm had been badly by someone who had no idea what they were doing. The last time this firm had an Adwords account was 2011. With a spend of only $22k over a 11 month period over $17k of it was wasted completely. In the meantime PPC has become insanely competitive with personal injury lawyers. This particular client is well known for their medical malpractice lawsuits. For better or worse I suppose. Don’t ask a doctor.

So now after spending $180k on traditional media, video, and new website we go in there asking for another $10-12k per month on Adwords. The problem is there are 2 firms in Philly spending nearly 10 TIMES that amount gobbling up all the clicks (and cases) within the medical malpractice practice area.

So what do we do? Go after super low volume keywords such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord, and birth injuries? Or can we go in another direction and partially meet some of the demand for medical malpractice queries.

August 3rd 2015 in Philadelphia

Cole Hamels was very average in his first start with the Rangers but that isn’t surprising to me, I was never a defender and if the outfielder and catcher we got from the Rangers work out it will be a great trade for the Phillies.

In business news we have a big pitch meeting for a large Adwords contract to a Philadelphia personal injury law firm. I’d love to read other pitch stories. Both horror stories and successful ones would be a great learning experience.

Still waiting for her to show up. Will it ever happen?

The other business is going very well. Will this family law client come thru and actually have a business plan in place? Somehow I get stuck with clients who like to fly by the seat of their pants. That usually doesn’t work out in business. Just a thought.