1. If you are injured on the job, you should immediately report your injury to a supervisor or person of authority at your place of employment. If you are a Union member, you should also advise your Union Representative. You should notify your employer within 21 days of your injury or you could lose benefits until you do finally put your employer on notice. Be mindful that you must notify your employer no later than 120 days after your injury, or your claim will be time-barred under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
2. Once you report a work injury, your employer is required to notify its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Your employer and its insurance company then have 21 days to accept or deny your claim. You will be notified of the decision to accept or deny your claim via mail.
3. If you receive a Notice of Compensation Denial, you will have to file a Claim Petition and begin litigation to try to obtain benefits. At this point, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, if you have not already. If your claim is accepted, you will receive a Notice of Compensation Payable or a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable. A Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable means that you are entitled to temporary benefits for a period of 90 days while your employer continues their investigation to decide whether or not they will accept full liability for your work injury. Even if your claim is accepted and you receive benefits with no problem, it always recommended seeking legal advice. The workers’ compensation system is complex, and the insurance company could try to terminate or suspend your benefits at any time. Consulting with an attorney is also wise if you want to consider settling your claim in the future.
4. You are required to treat a medical provider from your employer’s panel of physicians for the first 90 days following a work injury. If no panel exists, you can treat with a provider of your choosing from the beginning of your workers’ compensation claim.
5. Workers’ compensation provides benefits for wage loss and medical care related to your work injury. When you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you ultimately give up your right to sue your employer for pain and suffering in exchange for those benefits. However, sometimes you can pursue a third-party personal injury claim against other negligent, at-fault parties that may have been involved in your work accident.
If you’ve been hurt at work, the information above is just a small sampling of important things to keep in mind. A knowledgeable Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney at Metzger Wickersham can explain your full rights under the law and help you understand what steps to take after a work injury.
Contact Metzger Wickersham today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys have offices conveniently located in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pottsville, Shippensburg, Wilkes-Barre, and York, PA.