Employee and Employer Responsibilities for Handling Workplace Injuries
May 6, 2023 | Workplace Accidents
Workers’ compensation insurance coverage provides benefits to assist injured employees as they recover from a workplace accident. After a work injury, an employer and employee have responsibilities they must meet. Knowing the responsibilities of each party helps ensure that your benefits are paid timely and in the correct amount.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Employer After a Worker Is Injured in Pennsylvania?
Employers have several responsibilities to comply with Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law.
Those responsibilities include:
- Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. They must follow state and federal safety regulations and laws.
- An employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage according to Pennsylvania law. The law requires employers to have workers’ comp insurance if they have one employee who could develop a work-related injury or be injured unless all workers are excluded from the state workers’ comp laws.
- Employers must notify their employees of their rights regarding a workplace accident or injury, including providing appropriate workers’ comp claim forms after an injury.
- Should a worker be injured on the job, the employer must provide emergency medical care, if necessary. Employers or their insurance providers must pay for emergency and follow-up care as required and advised by a medical provider.
- Employers must report a work injury to their insurance company immediately. For injuries resulting in work loss, the employer must file a First Report of Injury with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry within seven days. If the accident results in a worker’s death, the employer must file the First Report within 48 hours.
- Return the employee to work when the doctor releases the employee to return to work. The employee might also return to work with restrictions.
If an employer fails to meet their requirements, you should contact a Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney will explain the steps you need to take to protect your right to workers’ comp benefits.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Employee After They Are Injured in Pennsylvania?
Employees also have responsibilities if they are injured at work. Failing to meet these responsibilities could result in the denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
Therefore, if you are injured at work:
- You should report the injury or accident to your employer promptly. You have 21 days to report a workplace injury. Reporting injuries after 120 days could result in losing your right to workers’ comp benefits.
- Employees need to seek medical treatment and follow the doctor’s treatment plan. If you do not agree with the doctor’s treatment plan or have problems with your medical care, talk with a Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney.
- Employees must comply with the request for an independent medical examination (IME). However, you have rights regarding the IME. Therefore, before attending an IME, it is wise to discuss your rights and things to do and not to do at the IME.
- Employees must act reasonably in the workplace. You could be denied workers’ comp benefits if you were intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or intentionally caused your injury.
- Employees must cooperate with the employer and the doctor by completing documents and providing information.
Even though you have responsibilities after a work-related injury, it does not mean you should not exercise your rights. Talk with an attorney during a free consultation if you have questions or concerns.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system provides several types of benefits for injured workers.
After a work-related injury or illness, you could receive:
- Medical Benefits – Your employer or its workers’ comp insurance company should pay for your reasonable and necessary medical treatment.
- Wage Loss Benefits – If you cannot work because of a work injury, you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. These lost wage benefits equal about two-thirds of your average weekly wages up to the maximum cap set by the state.
- Specific Loss Benefits – If the work injury results in the loss of a body part or one of your senses, you can receive specific loss benefits.
- Death Benefits – Family members can receive death benefits if a work injury results in a family member’s death.
Individuals who experience permanent disability because of a work injury might reach a settlement with their employer. Settlements may be paid in lump sums or structured payments.
Before accepting a workers’ compensation settlement, seek legal advice. The settlement offer from the insurance company could be lower than your claim is worth. An attorney can help you obtain an independent impairment rating to calculate the correct value of your workers’ comp settlement.
Contact the Workplace Accident Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case Today
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