How Workers’ Compensation Works for You
Wondering how workers’ compensation works? Looking to apply for workers’ compensation benefits? You have come to the right place. Pearson Koutcher Law, expert workers’ compensation lawyers in PA, have provided a step-by-step guide on how to apply for workers’ compensation. Read on to learn the process in workers’ compensation cases so you will know what to do if you injure yourself at work in Pennsylvania.
How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation Benefits:
- Report the injury to your supervisor or another person in management for your employer as soon as possible. Workers’ compensation law provides that injuries must be reported within the first 21 days for you to receive benefits retroactive to the date of your injury and within the first 120 days to receive benefits at all. Your claim can be denied if you do not properly notify your employer of your work injury. The sooner you report the injury, the better. As soon as you notify your employer of your injury, your employer is required to report the injury to its workers’ compensation insurance company.
- Within 21 days of when your injury is reported, the workers’ compensation insurance company is obligated to issue a document accepting your claim (paying you money for your lost wages and your medical bills), accepting only the medical portion of your claim (paying your medical bills but denying your claim for lost wages), or denying your claim outright and not covering anything. If you do not receive such a document or you receive a denial (for lost wages or medical), you will need to file a Claim Petition for benefits, which will be heard by a Workers’ Compensation Judge in the area in which you live. We strongly encourage you not to file this Claim Petition yourself but instead to hire the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in PA at Pearson Koutcher Law to file the petition and represent you throughout the complex proceedings before the Judge.
- Seek medical attention. It is critical that you treat for your work injury promptly, most importantly for your health, but also because this will increase the chances that your claim will be accepted by the insurance company. If your employer has what’s called a panel list of medical providers that has been displayed at your workplace or has been provided to you, you must treat with providers on that list for the first 90 days following your injury. Otherwise, you may treat with any provider of your choosing. The providers on the employer’s panel list sometimes don’t have your best interests at heart and will try to send you back to work before you’re ready. If you hire Pearson Koutcher Law, we can refer you to medical providers — doctors and physical therapists — who are concerned about your injuries and will not release you to return to work until if and when you are sufficiently recovered.
As long as you are totally disabled because of your work injury, you are entitled to total disability benefits. If you return to work earning less money than you were making at the time of your injury (for example, in a part-time position or light-duty position), you are entitled to partial disability benefits. As your claim progresses, you may be able to settle your claim for a lump sum.
Please understand that too often workers’ compensation insurance companies try to prey on injured workers by denying their claims or paying out less in benefits than the workers are entitled to. To protect your benefits and stand up to the insurance company, you need a top-notch workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner. Pearson Koutcher Law is comprised of experienced, knowledgeable attorneys that you need to obtain the benefits you deserve. Contact Pearson Koutcher Law for a free, comprehensive consultation today and let our experience and expertise go to bat for you.