Visitor Question

Compensation for Forklift Injury at Work…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Allentown, PA)

I had a work related injury on 8/15/10 while operating a high reach forklift. I herniated two discs and had SLAP tears in my shoulder (Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior). I also had

Anterior cervical discectomy and Fusion of the C5-C6 C6-C7 vertebrae. I’ve been out of work 5 months from my Fusion and I now have a 43mm plate and six screws.

My shoulder pain didn’t go away and I just had an MRI showing a Labral Slap Tear. I may need shoulder surgery now. My Doctor tells me I may not be able to do forklift work anymore.

My workman comp rate is $410.00 a week. Can I be fired for being off to long from work if I end up off 2-6 more months? It will be almost a year since my injury and the insurance company hasn’t made any offers. What do you think is a fair settlement for the wage I’m being paid from workers compensation?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Presently Pennsylvania is not a “right to work” state. Although your Governor Tom Corbett is doing all he can to have the Legislature pass new legislation (House Bills 50-53), which will make Pennsylvania a right to work state, as far as we know those Bills are still pending.

That means you normally can’t be fired without good cause and will have your union behind you handling your case and any appeals if they become necessary. Additionally, if you can show your employer terminated you or took action against you because you became injured at work or because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit for the wrongful termination.

Also helpful is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If your Employer has more than 50 employees she is subject to the Act. Although some people think the Act is only for family matters, such as pregnancies, in fact the FMLA applies to private-sector employers who employed 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

The Act covers “serious health problems” during the time of your employment. The Act would seem to cover you because you are the victim of a serious health condition and are unable to perform the “essential functions” of your job.

If your employment is covered by the FMLA, to be eligible for leave without termination of your employment you must also:

1) Have worked for your employer for a total of 12 months; and

2) Have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months.

From the facts you present it is not possible for us to accurately gauge your settlement amount because there are many other factors( which we have listed below) to be considered.

At least we can help you with the general calculations. In Pennsylvania if you are injured at work, two benefits are available to you under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act – a weekly disability check and payment of medical bills.

Your Average Weekly Wage (AWW) figure must include all of the following amounts received during the 12 months before you were hurt including: wages, vacation pay, tips, overtime, holiday pay, profit sharing, bonuses, incentive pay and sickness and accident benefits.

Calculating Workmans Compensation settlement amounts is a complex endeavor. To accurately calculate the amounts it would be in your best interest to visit with a skilled Workmans Compensation Attorney. Most will not charge for an initial consultation.

Learn more here: Compensation for Forklift Accidents

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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