Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides replacement wages and medical coverage for employees who are injured at work.
Under Pennsylvania law, coverage for workers’ compensation is mandatory for most employers. Any employee who was injured in Pennsylvania is covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The law defines an employee as, “any person who performs services for another for valuable consideration” *(i.e. money). Workers’ compensation coverage extends to members of volunteer organizations as well.
In this video, Dale E. Anstine attorney Tom Lang explains how workers’ compensation works, what to do if you’ve been injured on the job, and how to apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you’re injured on the job, Tom recommends you follow these steps:
Report the Injury to Your Employer
If you are injured while on the job (no matter how minor), report the injury immediately to your supervisor or the human resources contact at your company. Provide full detail about how and when the injury occurred and how it was related to your job in this report.
Legally, employees have 120 days from the date of the injury to file a report with an employer and initiate the workers’ compensation benefits process. However, the best advice is to report the incident as soon as safely possible.
Seek Medical Attention from an Approved Physician
When injured on the job, your employer will typically have a list of approved physicians to choose from for medical treatment. By law, employers are required to post this list of preferred and approved workers’ compensation physicians. Employees must visit one of these approved medical providers for the first 90 days from the date of the injury to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits may be at risk if an employee chooses to see a non-approved physician.
Seek Legal Advice
The workers’ compensation process can be complex. Tom Lang, from the Dale E. Anstine team, is certified as a specialist in the practice of Workers’ Compensation Law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s section on Worker’s Compensation as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He will help guide you through the process and explain your rights. Contact him today for a free consultation. There’s no fee unless we win for you.
*Workers’ Compensation Act of 1915 (PDF Download)