Steps to Take After You're Injured on the Job
We'll Guide You Through the Workers' Compensation Process
If you've been hurt on the job and aren't sure what to do, you're not alone. We've had many clients tell us how overwhelmed and confused they are by the work comp system. That's to be expected – it's a complex process that attorneys spend years learning.
We've helped thousands of people with their Pennsylvania work comp claims, and we can tell you exactly what steps to take after you've been injured. Following the guidelines below will give you the best possible chance of having a successful workers' compensation claim.
If you've been hurt on the job and have questions about what you should do, you can get in touch with us for a free legal consultation. We'll talk about your situation and discuss your options. There's no obligation to use our services and we're available 24/7. Give us a call at 412-394-1000 or fill out the form to the right.
The First Steps in the Work Comp Process
1. Report your work accident and resulting injury or illness. You have 120 days to tell your employer about a work accident that causes an injury or illness. If you didn't know you had an injury or illness, you have 120 days from the time you discover that your injury or illness is work-related to notify your employer. Example: A worker who developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure may not display any symptoms of illness until decades after the exposure occurred.
If you wait more than 120 days to report your injury or illness, your employer does not have to pay you workers' compensation benefits.
2. See an approved workers' compensation doctor for medical treatment. In Pennsylvania, if your employer has a list of doctors posted at your worksite, you must see one of these doctors for the first 90 days of your work accident injury. If you ignore the list and see your own doctor, your employer does not have to pay any medical bills until after the first 90 days of your injury. If a list is not posted, you can see your own doctor right away.
3. Your employer should file a "First Report of Occupational Injury" form. Your employer should send this form to their insurance company and file it with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The insurance carrier has 21 days to accept or deny the work injury claim, which would cover medical treatment and lost wages. However, in order to get paid for the first 7 days of lost wages, you must be off work and under a doctor's care for at least 14 days.
4. Your employer accepts or denies responsibility for your injury. If your employer accepts responsibility for your work accident injury or illness, you'll receive a "Notice of Compensation Payable." In some cases, you may be issued temporary workers' compensation payments for 90 days. If your employer denies responsibility for your work injury, you will receive a "Notice of Compensation Denial."
In that case, you will need to file a claim petition. You have 3 years from the day you were hurt on the job to file a Pennsylvania workers' compensation claim petition for an injury.
If you file a claim petition, you'll need to go before a judge in a series of hearings to determine whether you should receive workers' compensation payments. We highly recommend that you consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help protect your legal rights during this complex process.
Note: Even if your medical bills are being paid, it doesn't mean that your Pennsylvania workers' compensation claim has been accepted. If your claim is accepted, you should receive payments for lost wages.
Third Party Claims
Sometimes work injuries happen as the result of negligences on the behalf of another company that shares a work site with your employer. Make sure you understand Third Party Liability to know exactly what happens if you're injured by another company.
Let Us Deal With the Hassles
Even though the workers' compensation system seems like it should be straightforward – you get injured on the job, you file a claim, you start receiving benefits – it's often complicated and filled with obstacles.
If you trust us with your workers' compensation claim, you won't have to worry about whether or not you're covering all the bases or following all the rules. After helping over 8,000 clients with their claims, we know exactly what we need to do. We:
- Gather medical evidence and medical records
- Handle your employer's insurance company
- Contact medical providers and take care of the paperwork
- Complete and submit your claim petition
- Answer your workers' compensation questions – without the legal jargon
- Pay costs upfront – so you don't have to
- Monitor the progress of your case
- Keep track of deadlines
- Keep track of unpaid bills and protect you from collection agencies while your case is pending
- Help you prepare for the hearing with the workers' compensation judge
- And more