In Pennsylvania, you have 120 days to inform your employer that you have been injured at work. This is the first step in receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Be sure you tell your supervisor the date, time, and place where you were injured. Failing to do so could result in a delay or denial of workers’ compensation benefits according to the Department of Labor & Industry Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
That said, you should immediately report any work-related injury to your supervisor. Acting quickly in this regard will strengthen your case. If you are unsure of how to proceed, a work injury lawyer in Pittsburgh may be able to assist you.
Seeking Medical Treatment for Your Work-Related Injuries
Although Pennsylvania law does not impose any time constraints on initially seeing a medical professional for your work injuries, time does play a part in how your work-injury case proceeds.
The Sooner You Seek Medical Counsel, the Better for Your Case
Promptness matters for two fundamental reasons:
- The sooner you are treated for your injuries, the sooner you will recover.
- By getting a doctor to document your injuries immediately following your accident, you make it easier to establish the link between them and the incident that happened at work. The longer you wait, the more rope you give the insurance company in its argument that your injuries are not work-related.
The Law Stipulates Who Can Treat You and For How Long They Must Treat You
Your employer may legally post a list of at least six health care providers from which you must choose to obtain initial medical treatment. Treatment with that physician or with another on the list must continue for a period of 90 days.
Your employer is not permitted to require that you see a specific healthcare provider on the posted list.
If this initial treatment results in a recommendation for invasive surgery, you can get a second opinion. Regardless of who provides the second opinion, if you pursue treatment as the result of that recommendation, you must receive it from a physician whose name appears on your employer’s list of designated healthcare providers.
Any recommended treatments as a result of the second opinion must be provided by a listed provider for 90 days.
More Time Constraints: Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Beyond your initial accident report, Pennsylvania law gives you three years from the date of your injury to file your workers’ compensation claim.
The process begins once you submit your completed workers’ compensation claim form to your employer. You can get this form from your employer or from the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Board.
Your employer takes over from this point. Your company will complete its portion of the claim form and submit it to the claims administrator and to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Board office.
Successfully Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim is All About Preparation
Preparation plays a big role in ensuring the success of your claim.
Completing a Detailed Claim Form
You will be asked to present several details on your workers’ compensation form, including:
- Type(s), extent, and location(s) of your injuries
- How the accident or injury occurred
- The names of any other parties associated with the accident or injury
- Date and time the accident or injury took place
- Review of medical treatment received to date
Keeping Records and Organizing Your Information
Make all your workplace injury paperwork your friend, particularly in the following ways:
- If you fill out a form, copy it and keep the copy
- If you receive a document, save it and file it
- If you talk to anyone about your case, make notes of what was said in the conversation
- If any paperwork comes in the mail, save the envelope
- If you send any paperwork in the mail, send it certified, registered receipt
- Keep a diary of how your injuries are affecting your ability to work
- Get copies of your medical records from your claims administrator
- Dig up pay stubs, checks, and/or time sheets from before your accident and file them away along with your current pay-related documents
- If you pay out-of-pocket for anything injury-related, save the receipt
Getting Legal Help from a Lawyer Who Understands Workers’ Compensation
If you suffered injuries from a workplace accident, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Pittsburgh may be able to help.