Representing injured workers has been a way of life for me for 44 years. I started to practice law in 1974. I had no idea what kind of cases I would handle - they don't teach you that in law school!
Frank Pawlosky showed up one day. He worked for Rolling Rock cleaning the beer vats. The chemicals made his asthma get so bad that he had to stop working. I filed a claim for him. The Judge found that he was not entitled to Workers' Compensation since the chemicals did not cause his asthma, only aggravated it. I appealed. I lost. I appealed again. I lost. Ten years and three appeals later, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania agreed that Frank Pawlosky was injured at work and they awarded him disability benefits. Needless to say, I found my niche in the law.
Today, the climate for injured workers is not as favorable as it was in 1984. Harrisburg has taken away important rights. Our appellate courts are filled with judges who are not very sympathetic to the plight of the injured worker. Attorneys who advertise on TV give injured workers and the whole system a bad image.
At our law firm, we have persevered through the changes of the past 30+ years. We now have five other attorneys - Ron Fonner, Peter Gough, Michael Quatrini, Adam Quatrini, Michael Routch - who devote their time to representinginjured workers. We travel all around western and central Pennsylvania for injured workers - Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington, Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Mercer, Jefferson, Blair, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset, Cambria, and Bedford counties.
We always try to remember the devastating effects of a work injury on the individual and the family. Our primary goal is to obtain or keep our client's paycheck going and get their medical bills paid. And we go above and beyond to get our clients back on track.
We refer you to physicians to find alternative treatment or a doctor who can help you get your emotions back in sync. We make you aware of chronic pain support groups so that you can share your feelings with other people who are going through the same experiences as you. If the carrier won't pay for your medications, we will connect you with Workers' Comp RX, a mail order pharmacy that steps in to pay for your medications until we can straighten out the problem.
We talk about your finances with you - if necessary, Matthew Herron or Amy Buchanan can step in to discuss your options for debt relief, saving/budgeting, or bankruptcy. We point you to retraining - through the Community College, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), or technical schools.
We encourage you to explore starting your own business with help from the retired executives and entrepreneurs of SCORE at the Small Business Center of St. Vincent College.
If you were injured while driving a company car, we make sure our Personal Injury attorneys - Dennis Rafferty, Joyce Novotny-Prettiman, and Jessica Rafferty - get a fair recovery against the insurance company of the party who caused the accident. If a machine or some other product caused your injury, we bring in product liability attorneys to look at the situation.
If getting back into the workforce is not realistic, we invite you to consult with our Social Security attorneys - Tereasa Rerko, Brian Bronson , Michael Quatrini, and Adam Quatrini - so that you will have an alternative income if or when we settle your Workers' Compensation claim. If your workplace offered you Long-Term Disability coverage, Brian Bronson can seek out alternative compensation for your injuries.
If you are worried about writing your Will or giving your child a power of attorney to take care of your financial affairs, David DeRose and James Horchak are here to take care of that worry.
Our goal: to provide you with a Lifetime of Legal Care that will improve the quality of your life.
We have worked hard over the years to develop relationships with people we trust - people and organizations that we know will help us to help you. We are pleased to have these partners share their expertise with you.
We cannot guarantee you that your case will always come out the way we plan. We do pledge to you that we will fight hard for you and we will treat you with the respect and dignity that you deserve.