Getting hurt at work is a little different from cutting your hand at home or falling during your time off. When you suffer injuries at work, you are often eligible for benefits to cover your medical care and lost wages. To preserve your right to this type of compensation, though, you must take a few actions as soon as possible after your injury. These include:
1) Report the Injury to Your Employer
When possible, the first thing you need to do after a workplace injury is to notify your supervisor or human resources department about your injury. In many cases, this notice requires no additional effort, because your employer is aware of the incident immediately after it occurs.
In other situations, you may need to talk to someone from human resources to ensure s/he has the proper documentation. Workers’ compensation benefits typically on the 14th day of the illness or accident, but this cannot occur unless you give notice. It is also important to note that you will forfeit benefits if you do not give notice in the first 120 days following an injury. However, you should file within the first 21 days to receive your benefits as soon as possible.
2) See a Doctor to Treat Your Injuries
Your health and safety should always be your top priority after a workplace accident. Do not hesitate to call first responders or visit a local emergency department if necessary. However, to recover compensation you must see a doctor.
Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law allows employers to compile a list of approved doctors; if your employer compiles this list, you must see one of these physicians for treatment for at least the first 90 days.
Note: Your employer must post this list somewhere all employees would be able to see it — usually in a breakroom or near a time clock.
3) Continue Your Medical Care
It is imperative that you continue seeing your doctor and following all medical recommendations while your workers’ compensation case is open.
This may include attending physical therapy, doing at-home exercises, taking any prescribed medications, and refraining from doing anything that could jeopardize your recovery.
If the insurance company can show that you did not do everything possible to maximize your recovery, it will refuse to pay for your care.
4) Collect All Possible Evidence
Sometimes, a dispute over workers’ compensation benefits erupts, and getting the benefits you need may hinge on a single piece of evidence or documentation. For that reason, it is paramount to collect all evidence and documentation of how your injury occurred, your condition, and your treatment. This may include:
- Contact information for eyewitnesses
- Pictures of the area where the injury occurred
- Your medical records
- Assessments of your abilities from your care providers
5) Discuss Your Case with a Lawyer
Workers’ compensation cases are often complex. While many people try to navigate the claims process alone, your employer’s insurance company is certain to have a well-qualified attorney on their team.
It is very easy to do something to jeopardize your claim. For this reason, it pays to discuss your case with an attorney who is familiar with the applicable laws. Most offer free initial consultations to learn more about your legal options.
Cordisco & Saile LLC: Your Bucks County Workplace Injury Lawyers
Cordisco & Saile LLC represents victims of workplace injuries in Philadelphia, Bucks County and the surrounding area. We can help you navigate the claims process, get the care you need, and secure the compensation you deserve.
Call us today at 215-642-2335 to schedule your free, no-obligation initial consultation.