The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers in most industries to provide insurance coverage to their employees in case they suffer a work injury. However, filing a workers’ compensation claim and getting the benefits you deserve after a workplace accident is often more difficult than it should be.
While the law does offer you a path to compensation after an on-the-job injury or accident, it also limits your legal options for recovering the money you need. In most cases, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. This means workers’ compensation insurance is the only way to get the compensation to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
For this reason, it is incredibly important to get the full value of workers’ compensation benefits due to you. If you received a denial after you filed your claim or need assistance navigating the workers’ compensation claims process, the lawyers at Berger and Green can help. Call our office at 412-661-1400 to schedule a free consultation with a work injury lawyer in Pittsburgh.
What Should I Do If I Suffer a Work Injury in Pittsburgh?
The claims process for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania begins when your accident or illness occurs. There are certain steps you must take to ensure you preserve your right to receive these benefits.
Reporting the Injury to Your Employer
The PA Workers’ Compensation Act gives you three weeks to report your workplace injury or illness to your employer. While telling your supervisor or human resources representative should be enough, we recommend notifying them in writing and keeping a copy for your own files. Do not assume they reported your injury simply because they knew you left work for treatment.
Receiving Treatment for Your Injuries
According to state law, you need to receive treatment from a company-approved doctor for at least the first 90 days after a workplace injury or illness. Your employer should have a list of six or more approved physicians or facilities. You can choose any care provider from this list. You are free to choose your own doctor after 90 days of treatment—or if your employer does not have a list.
Continuing Medical Care
Continuing your medical care is a key part of receiving benefits through workers’ compensation. Your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider will only continue with your benefits as long as you are physically unable to work. You need to continue seeing a doctor to document your impairments and related restrictions and to approve you for a return to work only when it is safe for you.
Collecting All Possible Evidence—Just in Case
We recommend documenting your injury accident, diagnosis of your illness, or other incident that led to your workers’ compensation claim. Make notes of all witnesses, the date you reported your injury, every doctor’s visit, and other important details. While this may not be necessary, it can be indispensable if we need to fight the insurance company to get the benefits you deserve.
How Much Money Can I Collect Through a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Without knowing many details of your case, it is impossible to know exactly how much money you may receive from the workers’ compensation insurer. You are likely eligible to receive wage loss benefits, money for medical care, and additional payments to cover other expenses.
In general, they will payout about two-thirds of your regular income to make up for your lost wages. The wage loss benefits likely will not begin until at least seven days after your injury or illness. This means you may not receive these benefits unless you miss at least a week of work.
The insurance company should cover all your medical bills and any related treatment and rehabilitation your doctor prescribes. This treatment should begin immediately and you should not have to pay these costs out-of-pocket.
You may also qualify for other benefits, including temporary total disability or permanent partial disability. If your impairments will likely last a year or more, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
We can help you get the full value of benefits due to you through workers’ compensation. Our skilled and knowledgeable team of work injury attorneys will help you understand your rights and fight for the money you deserve.
When Should I Call a Work Injury Lawyer?
We can make getting Pennsylvania workers’ compensation easier on you, no matter where you are in the process. You can be sure the insurance company has a knowledgeable lawyer working for them, so it only makes sense to enlist the help of a well-qualified work injury attorney to help you with your claim.
There are some situations that may arise that require the help of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer. Not having an attorney on your side while going through the appeals process, for example, could cost you your chance to get the benefits you need and deserve.
If the insurance company denies your workers’ compensation claim, give us a call as soon as possible. We can file an appeal and present your case to a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation judge, who can overturn the decision. Often, we are successful at getting qualified clients approved for benefits during this hearing. This same process applies if you receive a petition from the insurance company threatening to terminate or modify workers’ compensation benefits.
We can continue fighting for the benefits you deserve in front of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board or the Commonwealth Court if necessary. Staging a successful appeal and navigating the complicated process without a lawyer who knows how this works is almost impossible.
How Can I Discuss My Situation With a Work Injury Attorney in Pittsburgh?
The work injury lawyers at Berger and Green can help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. We handle initial claims for benefits, benefits denials, and petitions for termination of benefits. If you are an injured worker in Pittsburgh and need help recovering your workers’ compensation insurance payments, call us today at 412-661-1400. We offer complimentary consultations.