Reporting a Workplace Injury to Seek Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania: Everything You Need to Know
If you were injured in a workplace accident or were diagnosed with a work-related illness, it is critical to notify your employer as soon as possible. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny workers’ compensation claims when an injured employee fails to report their injury in a timely manner.
Notifying your employer is just as important as seeking medical attention if your goal is to get better and obtain compensation.
What Are the Requirements for Reporting a Work-Related Injury or Illness in Pennsylvania?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim after failing to notify your employer of the injury can result in the denial of your claim. In Pennsylvania, injured workers are required to notify their employers of their work-related injury or illness within 120 days of the date of the workplace accident or the date the worker discovered their medical condition. It is important to notify the Employer as soon as possible of your work injury. If your claim is denied, a Claim Petition must generally be filed within three years of the date of your work injury.
If your workers’ comp claim is approved, you can recover damages for medical expenses and lost wages. The longer you wait to report your injury to the employer, the bigger the risk of having your workers’ comp denied even if the time limit has not expired yet.
However, there is one exception to the 120-day requirement in Pennsylvania. If you were diagnosed with cancer, chemical exposure, poisoning, or any other occupational disease that takes time to develop or manifest itself, you could still qualify for workers’ comp benefits if you report your illness to your employer within 300 weeks of the last date of exposure at work.
In addition to the notice requirement there is also a statute of limitations for bringing a claim against your employer. If you provide notice to your employer and your employer denies your worker’s compensation claim, you have three years from the date of the workplace injury to file a claim.
Why Should You Report Your Workplace Injury or Illness to the Employer?
The first reason to report your injury to your employer right away is to get access to medical attention and care. Depending on the company you work for, you might be required to undergo a medical examination in a hospital or by the panel of doctors offered by your employer.
Even if you have personal health insurance, you do not have to use it for your work-related injury or illness as your employer is required to cover your damages and losses through their workers’ comp insurance.
The second reason to report your workplace injury or illness is to complete an incident report and document your work-related injury. The incident report will serve as a critical piece of evidence in your workers’ comp case because you can specify the time of the injury, how the accident occurred, who witnessed the incident, and many more.
Once you report your injury to your employer in Pennsylvania and fill out an incident report, the insurance provider will have to either accept or deny your workers’ comp claim within 21 days. If your claim has been denied, it is advised to contact a skilled Harrisburg workplace injury lawyer to pursue a claim petition in court. Speak with our experienced attorneys at Ira H. Weinstock, P.C., to get a case review. Call at 717-238-1657.