As an employee, you work hard to earn a living and don’t understand the workers’ compensation process. However, accidents do happen and can leave you injured and unable to work. Workers’ comp is there for you to provide medical care and benefits until you’re able to return to your job.
Eligibility for Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Benefits
Most employers in Pennsylvania are required to carry workers’ comp insurance coverage. Those who may be exempt because they have other coverage include railroad workers, federal employees, longshoremen, domestic servants and certain short-term agricultural workers. Workers’ comp coverage means that an employee injured on the job or contracts a job-related illness can receive medical attention and a portion of their wages. If it turns out your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance, you may still qualify for help through the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund.
Reporting Your Injury Is Part of the Workers’ Compensation Process
In Pennsylvania, the injured worker has up to 21 days to report the accident to their employer under the workers’ compensation process. Unless you suffer a progressive disease, waiting longer than 120 days to report will disqualify you from receiving workers’ comp.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
When your injury has been reported, your employer will give you a list of health providers you can go to. These health care providers will conduct your medical exam, recommend treatment and give this information to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. If you go to a different physician of your own choosing, you could end up paying for your medical care out of pocket.
Determining Your Benefits
The insurance company will review your claim and determine whether it is valid. You can appeal the decision under the workers’ compensation process if your claim is denied by requesting a hearing with a judge. During the hearing, you will present the evidence that supports your claim. Enlisting the help of a Pennsylvania workers’ comp lawyer can be valuable. The lawyer can investigate the accident, gather the evidence that supports your claim and present it on your behalf for your appeal. Workers’ comp attorneys are knowledgeable in navigating the system and will advocate for your right to compensation. In addition, using a workers’ comp attorney to handle your appeal can greatly enhance your chance at your claim being approved.
How a Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Lawyer Helps
Being injured, having a pre-existing condition or developing a work-related illness is difficult enough without having to deal with the claims process to recover benefits. Your lawyer will guide you through the process and handle communications on your behalf, which allows you to concentrate on healing. Workers’ comp attorneys generally offer a free examination of your case, can answer your questions and can tell you whether you can recover benefits.
The Travis Law Firm: Workers’ Comp Claims
If you’re having trouble receiving benefits from workers’ comp, the Travis Law Firm offers a free consultation. We can help you go through the proper legal and administrative channels if your insurance company wrongfully denied your claim. Feel free to contact us using our online form or by calling us at (814) 277-2222.