The Pennsylvania workers' compensation system protects workers who are injured on the job. If an employee is injured in the ordinary course of their job, the employee should be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits.
However, a worker must file a worker's compensation claim to receive benefits. The worker must also prove that the injuries were work-related. Unfortunately, some steps that an employee takes can hurt their chance of receiving the benefits they receive after being injured at work.
Three Mistakes to Avoid After Being Hurt on the Job
Workers' Compensation Mistake Number 1: Failing to Report the Injury Immediately
If you are injured at work, you need to report the injury to your employer immediately. Some employees may be embarrassed that they hurt themselves, or they may fear that the employer will retaliate by firing or demoting them. However, employers are prohibited from punishing an employee for a workers' compensation claim. If your employer retaliates because you filed a workers' comp claim, you have several options for recourse.
If you report your injury within 21 days from the date of your injury, you are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits from the date of your injury. However, if you wait longer than 21 days to report the injury, your workers' comp benefits begin as of the date of your report. In any case, you must report your injury to your employer within 120 days from the date of injury.
Workers' Compensation Mistake Number 2: Failing to Consult Your Own Doctor
Within the first 90 days of your workers' compensation claim, you may be required to choose a doctor from a list approved by your employer. However, after those 90 days, you can choose your own doctor.
It can be worthwhile to obtain a second opinion from a physician that is not recommended by your employer, especially if you believe your injuries are not being accurately diagnosed or treated. Medical records are important evidence in a workers' comp case. You want to ensure that you are receiving adequate care and that your injuries are documented correctly.
Workers' Compensation Mistake Number 3: Failing to Follow the Treatment Plan
Failing to follow your doctor's treatment plan, keep follow up appointments, and attend therapy appointments could result in a denial of your workers' compensation claim. If you disagree with the treatment plan, question your doctor and obtain a second opinion. Merely ignoring the treatment plan or returning to work or normal activities too soon may be a valid reason for the denial of a workers' comp claim.
Contact an Erie Workers' Compensation Lawyer for Help
The other error that many people make after being hurt at work is to think that they do not need to talk to a Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney. The workers' compensation system should be straightforward. A worker is injured, files a claim, and receives workers' comp benefits.
However, the system can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Additionally, you are dealing with an insurance company. Insurance companies have an incentive to limit their liability to save money. Therefore, there are some cases in which the workers' compensation carrier may deny a valid claim or underpay a claim.
Having a workers' compensation lawyer handle your claim means that you can focus on your recovery, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that someone is protecting your best interests.
Contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with an Erie workers' compensation attorney.