The Pennsylvania statutory limits for workers’ compensation limit how long you have to notify your employer and appeal a denied claim.
- To appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim, you must act within three years.
- To recover benefits from workers’ compensation, you must notify your employer within 21 days of your injury. The absolute deadline to report your injury is 120 days.
If you fail to meet one of these deadlines, you may be unable to recover workers’ compensation benefits. After an on-the-job injury, it is helpful to sit down with a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer, who can help you build a persuasive claim and also make sure no important dates pass you by. For a free consultation with an attorney from Cordisco & Saile LLC, call our office today at 215-440-6272.
How the Workers’ Compensation System Works
Workers’ compensation is a government-run insurance program created to provide medical and wage loss benefits to injured workers. Pennsylvania law requires nearly all private employers to participate.
Employers pay premiums on behalf of their workers. If a worker gets hurt on the job, regardless of whose fault it was, the worker can file a claim for benefits. If the workers’ compensation insurer approves the claim, the injured worker receives compensation to cover their necessary medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages.
By participating in workers’ compensation, employers not only remain in compliance with the law but also receive protection from lawsuits by injured employees. Except in rare circumstances, an injured worker who is eligible for workers’ compensation may not sue their employer.
Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
After an on-the-job injury, take the following steps to maximize the chances of a successful workers’ compensation claim.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, the first thing you must do — after you receive any immediate medical care you need — is report the injury or illness to your employer. The person to whom you report should be a member of the company’s management team, not just a coworker.
Per the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, you must report your injury within 21 days to receive benefits. If you fail to report your accident within 120 days of the injury, the insurer will likely bar your claim.
File a Claim Petition With Workers’ Compensation
Once you have reported your work-related injury or illness to your employer, your employer will review the circumstances and either approve or deny you workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer’s insurer approves it, you should receive benefits soon.
If your employer or its insurer denies your claim, you must file a Claim Petition with workers’ compensation. You have exactly three years from the date of your injury or illness to submit this form.
What Happens When You File a Claim Petition
A Claim Petition is a form that you can submit directly to workers’ compensation to let it know that you disagree with your employer’s insurer’s decision on your claim. When you submit a claim petition, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication assigns your case to a workers’ compensation judge who will hold a hearing and determine your entitlement to benefits.
At the hearing, the judge will consider evidence supporting your claim that you deserve benefits. The judge will also consider proof from your employer that it was justified in denying your claim.
If you let the three-year statute of limitations on filing a claim petition pass, you will be time-barred from pursuing your claim any further. That means even if your employer was entirely in the wrong to deny you and you can prove it, you will have no recourse if you do not file a petition within three years.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Depending on the specific nature of your claim, it could be subject to additional deadlines and requirements. For instance, the steps you must take for an injury involving a hearing loss from noise exposure can differ from what you must do if you suffered an illness from exposure to toxic chemicals at work.
A workers’ compensation lawyer in Pennsylvania understands the laws relevant to your case and can make sure you file your claim properly, leaving out nothing that could bolster your chance of receiving the highest possible benefit amount. A lawyer will also see to it that you do not let any important deadlines pass.
Call 215-440-6272 Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The Cordisco & Saile LLC legal team focuses on workers’ compensation law in Pennsylvania. Our job is to make sure you collect the benefits you deserve. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation for injured Pennsylvania workers. To schedule yours, call 215-440-6272 today.