Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In Pennsylvania, workers that are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These can provide for things like medical bills and lost income when a person’s injuries prevent them from working.
Many people enter into a workers’ compensation claim thinking the process is fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, it isn’t. You may have the insurance company and your employer arguing that your injuries aren’t that bad. Or, you could become confused about the proper procedure when filing a workers’ compensation claim. This can lead to common mistakes that interfere with your ability to claim benefits at all.
The five most common mistakes made when filing for workers’ compensation are listed below. Make sure you avoid them when it comes time to file your claim.
Failing to Notify Your Employer Right Away
Pennsylvania law on workers’ compensation states that injured workers must report their injury to their employer within 120 days of the accident. In some cases, this time limit is extended if you didn’t discover your injuries or health problem until later. Most employees though, will want to notify their employer even sooner.
This is because when the injury is reported to an employer within 21 days of the accident, you are also entitled to back pay. This means that if you notify your employer 30 days after the accident, you’ll receive benefits from that date. If you notify your employer of your injury on day 10 after the accident, benefits are retroactive and you’ll receive back pay starting from the first day of the injury.
Failing to tell your employer right away about the injury also puts a claim at risk. They may claim that your injuries aren’t work-related, or that they aren’t so bad they’ve kept you from working so far.
Going to a Doctor that’s Not on Your Employer’s List
Under Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws, injured workers are also required to see certain doctors at certain times. If your employer provides you with a list of physicians, you must see one on that list for the first 90 days following the accident. Going to any other doctor, including your own family doctor, can seriously harm a claim.
Waiting to Get Medical Treatment
Anytime you are injured, you need to get medical help right away. You may not realize the severity of your condition, and waiting could make your injuries worse. In addition, employers often deny workers’ compensation claim when the employee waited too long to seek medical treatment. They may argue that your injuries aren’t that serious or that the injury was not sustained on the job.
Not Seeking Benefits
Too often people don’t seek workers’ compensation benefits after getting hurt at work. They may think the arduous process is not worth it, or that the accident was their fault, so they are ineligible for receiving benefits. None of this is true. If you’re hurt, you likely have medical bills piling up and are possibly even unable to work. The process of filing for workers’ compensation is sometimes overwhelming, but it’s worth it in the end.
Secondly, nearly every worker that is hurt on the job in Pennsylvania is eligible for workers’ compensation. It doesn’t matter if you were partly at fault, or if your employer was partly at fault. You can still claim workers’ compensation benefits.
Not Speaking to a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you get injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you are likely entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, too often insurance companies and employers refute these claims, trying to hold onto their profits by denying the benefits you need. A Scranton workers’ compensation lawyer can help hold them responsible.
If you’ve been hurt, call Haggerty, Hinton, and Cosgrove, LLP at 570-344-9845. We’ll help you throughout every step of your claim and make sure it’s filed properly to get you the compensation you need even faster. Call us today or fill out or online form and we’ll get in touch!