The processes necessary for filing a workers' compensation claim in Pennsylvania are precise and fact-specific:
- An injured worker should notify someone in a managerial position with his or her employer that an injury has taken place.
- The worker will be asked to fill out an incident report. (If you are the injured worker, be sure to ask for a copy of the incident report to make sure it is correct.)
- The sooner the injury is reported, the better. Some injuries such as repetitive stress trauma injuries, may take longer for an injured person to fully recognize. The longest that a worker can wait to report an injury is 120 days.
- The worker will most likely be asked to seek medical treatment. (Pay close attention to whether the employer has a panel list of doctors. You will be asked to sign an acknowledgment form stating that you were given that list of doctors. Be sure to read carefully any document that you sign, including an authorization to release medical records and an employee verification form.)
As soon as a worker misses a shift or a day of work, an employer is required to report an injury to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation by filing a first report of injury.
It is wise to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer early in the process of reporting an injury and beginning medical treatment. Attorneys at Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo in Philadelphia offer no-charge, no-obligation initial consultations.
Workers' compensation claims are governed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Disputes are heard by workers' compensation judges (WCJs) within the Workers' Compensation Office of Adjudication.
Making The Most Of The Doctor Visit
During the initial visit with a doctor, it is important for the injured worker to be very specific about how the injury occurred and to list every single area of the body that is affected. (Be sure to mention any stinging pain, soreness or other symptoms, no matter how minor they may seem in comparison with the primary area of impact of the injury.)
After the initial report and doctor visit, the employer has 21 days to investigate the workers' compensation claim and determine whether or not it is accepted. Within this time frame, the employer or the employer's insurer must make the first payment or deny the claim.
Missing A Step In The Workers' Compensation Claims Process Can Set You Back
We are prepared to listen and offer counsel regarding your workers' comp case. We pledge to provide you with information that will help you make decisions in your own best interest. Email us or call us at 570-622-8297 or toll free at 877-794-2396 to talk to an experienced attorney.
Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo handles all workers' compensation cases on a contingency basis. In other words, we will not be paid unless we get your benefits started, we prevent the insurance company from stopping or altering your benefits, or you choose to settle your case.