Am I Suing My Employer If I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
July 17, 2018
A common question among workers is whether they are suing their employer when they file a workers’ compensation claim. The answer is no. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that you may be entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault for your accident. This is different than suing an individual in a personal injury suit, which would require you to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injuries.
Workers’ compensation claims are paid by employers’ workers’ compensation insurance, which they are required to carry by law. Except for certain workers who are covered under federal laws, such as railroad workers and longshoremen, nearly all Pennsylvania employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Even if you have an amicable relationship with your employer, it is prudent to seek legal counsel if you are injured at work because you will likely be dealing with a workers’ compensation adjuster, not your employer. The workers’ compensation adjuster will try to deny or delay your benefits and is not looking out for your best interests. Having a workers’ compensation lawyer fighting on your side can help ensure that you obtain all the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled.
Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act
If you are injured at work, it is important to follow the rules set forth by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Notify your employer of your injury in writing within 120 days. Include details pertaining to the incident such as the date and time it occurred, what injuries you sustained, and whether there were any witnesses. Your employer is then required to report your injuries to its insurer and file a First Report of Injury with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within seven days if your injury caused you to miss more than a day, shift, or turn of work.
Your employer may choose to accept or deny that your injury was work-related. If your employer denies your claim, you will receive a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial that you may appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within three years from the date of your injury. You will also have more opportunities for appeal if your initial appeal is denied, including an appeal to the Commonwealth Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
However, if your employer accepts the claim, you or your family may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits including medical, wage loss, vocational rehabilitation, specific loss, and death benefits. Pennsylvania workers may receive compensation for all reasonable and necessary expenses associated with their injuries. However, keep in mind that insurance adjusters, nurse case managers, and other insurance company employees are not neutral parties. Their job is to try to minimize or even eliminate your workers’ compensation benefits.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight to Obtain Maximum Benefits for Injured Workers
If you were injured in a workplace accident, contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys are dedicated to representing your interests, fighting for your rights, and pursuing maximum compensation for your injuries. For over 35 years, we have represented clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.
Our team also provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.