Medical Benefits Provided by Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, most workers who are injured at work or who develop a work-related illness are covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides medical, wage loss and other types of benefits. The workers’ compensation system is no-fault; therefore, employees may receive benefits for their workplace injuries regardless of who was at fault for the incident. In exchange, they may not sue their employers in personal injury claims for additional damages such as pain and suffering.
If you were injured at work or diagnosed with a work-related illness, you are eligible to receive reasonable and necessary medical treatment at the expense of your employer, who is responsible for carrying workers’ compensation insurance. However, in order to collect these benefits, you must follow certain rules and procedures. A knowledgeable work injury lawyer can help you meet all requirements and deadlines associated with your workers’ compensation claim, so you can get the benefits you deserve.
Approved Panel Doctors
Injured Pennsylvania employees may be required to first see a doctor of their employer’s choosing. If your employer publishes a list of at least six approved panel doctors and requires you to sign a Panel Acknowledgement, you must get treated by a doctor on the list for the first 90 days. If you choose to see a doctor who is not on the list, you may not receive compensation for those medical bills. Therefore, before going to your own physician it is important to see whether you are required to first see a doctor from your employer’s approved list. Once 90 days have passed, you are free to seek treatment from any doctor you choose.
You are required to report your work injury to your employer within 120 days. Failure to notify your employer in a timely manner can disqualify you from collecting medical and other workers’ compensation benefits. It is also in your best interest to notify your employer as soon as possible so your workers’ compensation payments can begin. If you wish to appeal a denial, you must do so within three years of the date of your injury or else risk being barred from recovery.
Types of Medical Benefits
Workers’ compensation insurers must cover the cost of reasonable and necessary medical costs. This includes approved doctors’ visits, treatments, surgeries, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, medical devices and supplies, and hospital expenses. Workers in Pennsylvania may also receive compensation in the form of mileage reimbursement for trips to and from the doctor. You may also receive medical benefits for preexisting medical conditions if you can show that your preexisting injury was aggravated or worsened by your job.
When to Hire a Lawyer
It is important to hire a lawyer when attempting to collect medical benefits, especially in certain circumstances including when your employer or their insurance company:
- Denies your claim
- Requests an independent medical exam (IME), vocational examination or impairment rating examination
- Sends you a petition to terminate, modify or suspend your benefits
- Fires you in retaliation for your workers’ compensation claim
It can be challenging to navigate the workers’ compensation system without a lawyer fighting on your side. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can explain your options, evaluate your claim and help you pursue compensation.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Injured Workers Get the Medical Benefits They Deserve
If you were injured in a workplace accident or you were diagnosed with a work-related illness, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We have been helping injured workers get medical, wage loss and all other types of benefits for over 40 years. We represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.