Debunking 5 common myths about workers' compensation

When many people suffer injuries or develop medical conditions during the performance of their jobs, they are not aware of their rights. In Pennsylvania, if you are in this situation, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Unfortunately, the law surrounding workers' compensation is often very complex. As a result, there are many misconceptions about the process floating around out there. To ensure that you are treated fairly, it is helpful to be aware of some of the most persistent myths that often circulate.

1. You can be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim. Many people wrongfully believe that they can lose their jobs if they file for workers' compensation. However, in Pennsylvania, there are laws that prevent employers from firing employees because they filed a claim. However, the law does not require employers to hold your position if you are out for an extended period.

2. Pre-existing injuries make you ineligible for benefits. You may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits despite having a pre-existing injury, if you can prove that your job aggravated, accelerated or reactivated your condition.

3. You must be injured on company property to receive benefits. Any worker that was injured while doing work-related tasks is eligible for benefits, regardless of where it occurred. As a result, you may receive benefits if you were injured off of your company's premises, so long as it was related to the performance of your job.

4. It does not matter when you inform your employer that you are injured. Under Pennsylvania law, you must report your injury to your employer within 120 days in order to receive benefits. If you notify your employer within 21 days of the injury, you are entitled to receive benefits as of the date of your injury. If you wait until after this time, you can only recover benefits as of the date you report your injury.

5. You do not need a lawyer to receive benefits. Although you may receive benefits without the assistance of a lawyer, workers' compensation law is very complex. As a result, you may receive incorrect or conflicting information that may compromise your ability to recover all the benefits you are entitled to.

Since receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to can be a tricky ordeal, it is helpful to have the experienced workers' compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Katherine L. Niven & Associates, PC by your side. Our attorneys can explain the claims process to you and will work on your behalf to ensure that you are treated fairly.

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