Q: I was injured on the job at my Pennsylvania workplace. What should I do?
The Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Act provides for insurance that pays medical and wage loss expenses for workers with work-related injuries and illnesses. It also pays death benefits to dependent survivors in the event of a work-related death.
In Pennsylvania, most workers are eligible for worker’s compensation, but you should check with your employer to verify coverage. If you find that your employer does not have coverage, you should check with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Worker’s Compensation to verify your eligibility for worker’s compensation.
If you injure yourself at work, you should do the following in order to be eligible to receive worker’s compensation:
Tell Your Supervisor
Notify your supervisor or someone in management immediately. Tell them about your injury as well as where and when the injury occurred. You should report any injury—not just an injury that resulted from an accident. If you fail to report the injury, your worker’s compensation claim can be delayed or even denied. In Pennsylvania, you must report the injury within 21 days. After 120 days, no worker’s compensation is allowed. Note that rules for illness such as cancer can be different from rules related to an injury.
Once you report your injury, employers are required to file a first report of injury with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Worker’s Compensation. After the paperwork has been filed, the employer or insurance company can accept or deny your worker’s compensation claim.
Get Medical Help
Seek medical attention right away. If the injury is life-threatening, go to the nearest emergency room for assistance. Afterwards, you must choose a doctor from a list of worker’s compensation doctors provided by your employer for your initial treatment. If your employer does not provide a list of doctors, then you are free to choose any doctor you wish. This rule applies to workers in Pennsylvania and may be different in other states.
Be sure to tell the doctor you were injured at work and frankly discuss all of your symptoms and health issues. Your doctor cannot assess your condition without all of the facts.
Navigating the Pennsylvania worker’s compensation filing and appeals processes can be very stressful and confusing. If your worker’s compensation benefits have been denied or you are not getting the benefits you are due, you should contact a reputable attorney for assistance. Be sure to save all of the accident paperwork you receive from your employer, doctor, and insurance company so that you will have everything your attorney needs to represent your interests.
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are experienced in handling Pennsylvania worker’s compensation matters. Contact Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers toll-free at (888) 476-0807 and ask to speak to a Harrisburg worker’s compensation lawyer for a free consultation.