The Impact of Delays and Denials in Your Workers’ Compensation Case

January 23, 2017

Workers’ compensation is a program that is available throughout the U.S. and managed by a state agency according to legal guidelines. It is a no-fault temporary disability program that pays injured workers a portion of the salary when they must miss work due to a work-related injury or occupational disease. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses for workplace injury-related medical treatment, and it covers the permanent loss-of-use of limbs, vision and hearing.

If a worker dies in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation will also pay the workers’ surviving loved ones a death benefit and cover funeral expenses. Any type of delay whether on the employee’s part or the employer’s part can have negative implications in a workers’ compensation claim. Employers and employees must adhere to the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation deadlines or there are consequences for failing to follow the rules.

Pennsylvania workers’ compensation deadlines for reporting an injury

When an employee is injured on the job while performing regular work activities, they are required to report the injury to their employer within 21 days. If the employee does not report the injury within 120 days of the date of the injury, or from the date that the occupational disease was diagnosed, they will be unable to recover compensation except for progressive disease that take years to start developing symptoms.

Consequences of delayed reporting of a workplace injury

We can look at a hypothetical example of what could happen when an injured employee delays notifying their employer of a workplace injury. One afternoon at work, Bob was moving a heavy object and felt a popping sensation in his back and then his back began to hurt. But it was Friday afternoon, and in the morning, he was going to get on a plane with his wife and two kids and fly to Florida for a theme park vacation that his kids had been looking forward to for months. He figured the back pain would clear itself up with the weeks’ vacation he was looking forward to. Bob rested for most of his vacation. When they returned home, Bob tried to lift one of the suitcases out of the trunk of the cab and felt another pop in his back but it was even worse this time.

When Bob got to work on Monday, he told his supervisor about the injury and that he was going to apply for workers’ compensation because he initially injured his back at work before he left for vacation. Bob’s employer denied his workers’ compensation claim because he did not report his workplace injury, and they did not believe that his back injury was a workplace injury.

While Bob can appeal the initial denial, this shows how important it is not to delay reporting a workplace injury.

If you have been injured at work and your employer has denied your workers’ compensation claim, the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates are here to help injured workers get the benefits they need to protect their homes and families. You are welcome to call 888.PITT.LAW or contact us to schedule an appointment at any of our offices. We are here to serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.