If your hand gets caught in a meat grinder while you’re working at a butcher shop or you become ill from breathing in moldy air circulating in your office building, then you may be able to file a workers’ compensation (WC) claim. While many employers in Pennsylvania are required to offer WC insurance, not every workplace injury is covered, neither is every worker is entitled to protection under these types of laws either.
No matter what the circumstances are surrounding your illness or injury, it’s important to report it to your job. Simply telling your supervisor about your injury is not enough. Instead, it’s important that you file a formal incident report with your employer’s human resources department. This should trigger some follow-up on their part. If it doesn’t, then you’ll want to make contact with them again.
In emergency situations, the ambulance driver will determine which hospital you’ll be taken to for treatment. With less urgent workplace injuries though, your employer will instruct you where to go to be treated. They may have certain relationships in place with a particular doctor, hospital or clinic. If you fail to go to who they have designated, then you may find it difficult getting your bills paid.
When you do see medical staff, it’s important that you emphasize that you suffered a workplace injury. By disclosing that you did, the bills for any services will automatically be sent to your employer or his or her workers’ compensation carrier.
In addition to highlighting that you were injured on the job, your medical records should clearly reflect the different body parts that were affected. This is important because WC coverage doesn’t cover the costs for injuries to body parts not listed.
It’s also important to keep in mind that most any injury or illness that occurs on the job, regardless of whether it was yours or someone else’s fault it occurred, should be covered by your employer’s WC policy. If you are found to have engaged in horseplay, then it may not. If you perform agricultural work or are employed as an independent contractor, then you also may be excluded from receiving benefits.
If you’ve been hurt on the job, then a Dauphin workers’ compensation attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.