In general, all jobs carry a certain amount of inherent risk. For example, if you work as a delivery driver in Harrisburg, you are at risk of becoming involved in a car accident. Alternatively, you might suffer a back injury from lifting cargo. Regardless of the reason for your injury, if you get hurt on the job, you might be able to file a workers' compensation claim.
After a work-related injury, you may be wondering how and when to file a workers' compensation claim as well as what kind of benefits for which you could be eligible. Here are a few things you should know about workers' compensation in Pennsylvania.
Are you an employee?
Under most circumstances, anyone who provides services in exchange for money or other valuable property is considered to be an employee. However, people that work in domestic positions, as contract workers or those that choose to forgo coverage will not be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. If you do not fall into one of these categories and you suffer an injury while performing your work-related duties (even if you are not on the premises of your job), you could qualify for benefits.
The first steps
After the injury, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The other step you should take without delay is notifying your employer. In order to expedite the claims process, you can inform your boss of the injuries within 21 days. If you take too long to give notification and it is more that 120 days since the incident, the insurer might deny your claim.
After you provide notice
After you have provided notice to your employer, an investigation will ensue. Your boss and the insurer will look into the circumstances surrounding your claim and will then determine whether to deny it or to begin providing you with benefits. During the time you are unable to work because of the injury, you could receive up to two-thirds of your average weekly wages. For the first 90 days following the accident, you may have to see a doctor that is approved by your employer and the workers' compensation provider.
If your claim is denied
If your employer or the insurance provider deny your claim, you can file a petition for appeal. You have three years to file this petition and go before a workers' compensation judge to present your case. The judge will provide you with a schedule as to when you should provide evidence as well as when to be present at hearings and mediation meetings. If you complete this process and the judge still denies your claim, you can then appeal your case with the workers' compensation board.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, you might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Be sure you follow the proper procedures and file your claim on time in order to decrease your chances of a delay or denial.