No matter what kind of job you do, an on-the-job injury is possible for anyone. Pennsylvania law requires all businesses, with a few exemptions, to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. To determine if your employer has valid workers’ compensation insurance, you may ask him directly, or you can look up his status on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry website. Read below to learn what to do if you are injured on the job in Pennsylvania.
First Steps after a Workplace Injury
The first things to do after an accident at work are to take pictures of the accident and your injuries and then notify your supervisor immediately. You must file a report within 21 days of your accident, but sooner is better. If you fail to report the accident when it happens, your employer could delay or deny your claim for benefits.
After taking pictures and notifying your employer, make sure to seek immediate medical attention. If your injury is not life-threatening, you must ask your employer for a list of their preferred doctors for work injuries. If your employer has established such a list, you must pick a provider from those options. If your employer has not designated a list, you are free to choose any doctor.
Also use this time to continue gathering evidence that will help prove the accident happened at work, such as:
- Video surveillance
- Eyewitness statements
- Doctor’s testimony and medical records (to ensure your employer’s insurer cannot claim the injury was pre-existing)
- Any doctors’ notes
Once your employer has received your injury report, it must make a report to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) within one week of your report submission (48 hours for fatal accidents). After the BWC reviews your claim and approves it, the BWC will place you on a seven-day waiting period.
Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits begin after seven days have elapsed in which you are unable to return to work due to your injuries or illness. After this time, if the BWC approved your claim, your benefit payments will begin. Benefits typically last until your treating physician determines your condition has improved as much as possible.
This does not mean you must be fully healed for benefits to stop; it only means you must have reached a point where a doctor expects no further recovery.
If you suffered the loss or use of a part of your body, such as a limb, you may be entitled to a scheduled duration of benefits, regardless of recovery time. For example, amputation or the inability to use one of your hands will result in 335 weeks of wage benefits.
Note: Your employer may request that you undergo periodic evaluations to determine if you are fit to return to work.
If your employer terminated your benefits and you believe the termination was premature, you may appeal the decision with the BWC. To ensure you file your appeal correctly, you must want to enlist the help of a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney.
Cordisco & Saile LLC Can Help with Your Work Injury Claim
There are many issues that can arise from a work injury claim, many of which require the legal expertise of a workers’ compensation attorney from Cordisco & Saile LLC. Contact us at 215-791-8911 to schedule a FREE consultation regarding your case.