The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits for workers who are injured on the job, but in order to qualify for them, there are deadlines that must be met. Failure to report your injury within the time limit can mean losing your right to benefits.
If you were injured on the job, you must let your employer, supervisor, or manager know within 21 days of the date of the accident. It is best to do so in writing and keep copies of any communications with your employer or their insurance company. You should also keep written records of all your medical treatment and other expenses related to your injury.
If you report your work-related injury within 21 days, your benefits will start from the date you were injured. If you wait longer, your benefits begin from the date you reported the injury to your employer; if you wait longer than 120 days, you forfeit your right to collect benefits at all. Be aware that the longer you wait to report your injury, the harder it may be to convince an insurer that you have a serious injury deserving of benefits. An insurer may question why you need benefits for an injury if you did not bother to report it until months after it happened. That is why you should see a medical professional for treatment, even if you think you are fine. Some injuries do not show any immediate symptoms.
In addition to the time limits for reporting your injury, there are also time limits for filing a claim petition for Workers’ Compensation benefits. You have three years from the date of injury to file your claim. Appeals for claims that were denied or benefits that were terminated must be filed within three years. Appeals for benefits that were suspended must be filed within 500 weeks from the date of suspension.
Although you are not required to use a lawyer to file a claim, there are many advantages to working with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience dealing with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation system, especially if your case is complicated or involves an occupational illness. It can reduce the stress of dealing with deadlines and insurance companies.
For answers to questions about Workers’ Compensation benefits and help filing a claim, talk to a dedicated Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. We will fight to obtain the maximum compensation available so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Call us at 800-243-6095 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Pittsburgh, we provide experienced representation to injured workers throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.