What Should You Do after You Suffer a Workplace Injury?

June 15, 2016

In Pennsylvania, employees who are injured during the course of their job, or while performing job-related duties, can make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. There are certain steps you must and should take in order to be successful in this claim, however.

Step One: Report Your Injury.

If you are hurt at all – even if you don’t believe that your injury will cause you to miss work – you need to report it to your supervisor immediately. If you don’t have an immediate supervisor, you should tell your employer or your Human Resources manager. Under Section 311 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, you must inform your employer of your injury within 21 days. If you wait longer than 120 days (as you might if, perhaps, you developed an illness during the course of your work that you didn’t realize was related to your job), you can be denied compensation altogether.

Step Two: See a Doctor.

Actually, you might want to see two doctors. That is because your employer will give you a list of approved doctors to see. You’ll choose one of those doctors, who will then document your injuries and say whether are fit to return to work, and if not, when you will be fit to return to work. But because these are doctors approved by the company and its insurer, you should also seek an opinion from your regular GP. If there is any discrepancy about your ability to work, having the second opinion from a doctor unaffiliated with your employer may help you make a stronger claim.

Step Three: Review Your Accident Report.

If you receive a copy of your report before you go to the doctor, great. But if not, request a copy of the report and review it carefully. Make sure that the incident your reported is explained exactly the way you said or wrote it happened. If your injury was documented by the police for any reason – say, you were in a car accident while you were delivering products in your role as a delivery driver, and the police came to the scene of the accident – then you should pick up your copy of that report, too.

Step Four: Contact a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.

Even if everything has gone smoothly, your reports are all in order and the doctor agrees that your injuries have left you unable to work, you still want to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, because you need to have your application filled out correctly and in full. The smallest error in your application might be enough to have your claim denied. If your employers wants to deny your claim, or if the reports don’t look correct to you, it is especially important that you seek legal counsel.

At Larry Pitt & Associates, we help injured workers in in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania obtain workers’ compensation benefits after they are hurt on the job. If your claim for benefits has been denied, or you need help applying for workers’ comp, please fill out our contact form or call 888.PITT.LAW today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer. We proudly help people throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.