Best Practices for Workers’ Compensation Claims
July 25, 2018
Although some workers are excluded from state workers’ compensation benefits, such as independent contractors and federal employees, most Pennsylvania employees who are injured on the job or who develop an occupational illness are entitled to workers’ compensation. Under the no-fault Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”), employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage to compensate employees for any workplace injuries or illnesses, regardless of who was at fault.
Workers covered under the Act must follow certain procedures and meet certain requirements to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To increase your chances of obtaining maximum recovery in your case, it is important to understand the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim best practices. The following are some state procedures you must follow in order to obtain compensation for your workplace injury or illness:
Report the Injury
You are generally required to give your employer notice of your injury within 120 days. There are certain exceptions to this rule, including if you suffer from occupational hearing loss, repetitive motion injuries or progressive diseases that often take longer to develop and show symptoms. However, it is prudent to inform your employer as soon as possible so the claims process can get underway.
The notice should be given in writing and include all pertinent details such as how and where the accident took place, what injuries you suffered and whether any witnesses were present. Your employer is required to file a First Report of Injury with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within seven days if your injury caused you to miss more than a day, shift or turn of work.
Seek medical attention immediately and make sure that the doctor is approved or certified to handle workers’ compensation claims. Inform the medical professional that your injury occurred at work and explain your injuries. When filling out the paperwork, be sure to include all details regarding the history and circumstances of your injury and do not leave anything out. Your medical records will be extremely important for your claim.
The workers’ compensation system is no-fault, meaning you are entitled to compensation even if the accident was your fault. However, there are limits to this general rule. If you were engaged in horseplay or other risky behavior, your claim may be denied. Your claim may also be denied if you were under the influence; most employers will require a drug test after an accident before approving workers’ compensation claims.
If your claim is initially denied, you are entitled to file an appeal. You have three years from the date of your injury to file a Claim Petition with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. If your appeal is denied, you may appeal again to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, the Commonwealth Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A knowledgeable, experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in your area should be able to help you through the entire process.
Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Injured Workers Navigate the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation System
If you were injured at work or are suffering from an occupational illness, contact the Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We have over 35 years of experience and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our experienced attorneys serve clients in Northeast Philadelphia, 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.