Workers’ Compensation insurance is obligatory for all employers in Pennsylvania, even companies that have only one part-time employee. If you are injured on the job in Pennsylvania, Workers’ Compensation will likely cover your medical expenses, as well as pay a portion of your lost wages. Below are the procedures you need to take in order to receive your benefits.
In the state of Pennsylvania, you must provide notice to your employer within 21 days after your injury happened. For injuries that are the result of a single event, such as a workplace accident, your time to notify your employer begins on the day of the accident. For injuries that develop slowly over time, such as an exposure to workplace toxins, or repetitive stress injuries, the time frame will differ.
If you fail to report your injury within 120 days, you may lose your right to collect benefits. Time is of the essence so be sure to report your injury right away.
Once you notify your employer, the company must immediately notify its insurance company of your claim. If you miss a workday or shift because of your accident, your employer must also report the injury to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The insurance company then has 21 days to decide whether it wants to accept or deny your claim. They can also extend this time up to 90 days, as long as the insurance company pays you temporary disability benefits during this time.
If the insurance company decides to deny your accident claim, you will then need to file a petition with the Pennsylvania Office of Adjudication. It is critical that the petition is filed properly and within the designated time limits. For most injuries, you must file your petition within three years of your injury. However, if the insurance company paid you benefits and then suddenly stopped, you can file within three years of your last payment.
If you were diagnosed with an occupational disease, you need to file within three years of knowing that your illness was caused by your job. The disability also must have occurred within 300 weeks of the last date of employment.
Once you file your petition, your appeal will be assigned to a Workers’ Compensation judge and a hearing will be scheduled. Prior to this hearing, the judge will typically also schedule a mediation. This is an informal meeting where the judge tries to help you and the insurance company reach an agreement. Though you are not required to have an attorney assist you, it is strongly advised. Your chances of a successful outcome are greatly improved by having a seasoned Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation lawyer on your side.
If you need a Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation lawyer, contact the attorneys at AlpernSchubert P.C. today at 412-765-1888 or toll-free at 800-243-6095 or contact us online. Our knowledgeable and highly skilled legal team will fight to recover the maximum benefits available to you under the law. From our Pittsburgh office, we represent injured workers in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, New Castle, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Washington County, Pennsylvania.