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Workers’ Compensation: The Basics

September 10th, 2018
Workers' Comp

So what is worker’s comp? Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides replacement wages and medical coverage for employees that are injured at work. Under Pennsylvania law, workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers. Those employers who choose not to have coverage may be subject to employee lawsuits and/or criminal prosecution by the state.

At Dale E. Anstine personal injury law firm, we understand the process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits may seem daunting. To provide the best possible chance at receiving compensation, it’s important to keep the following in mind when filing an injury claim:

  • If physically able, immediately report the injury to the employer.
  • Seek medical attention from an approved workers’ compensation physician.
  • Keep detailed notes of the injury and recovery process.

Reporting the Injury

If injured on the job, an employee should immediately report the injury to their supervisor to start the workers’ comp process (if they are physically able). When reporting the injury, explain how and when the injury occurred and be thorough about the details to ensure it is clear the injury was work-related.

Employees have 21 days from the date of the accident to report injuries to their employer to receive benefits. After day 21, employees may still report injuries; however, benefit eligibility begins on the date the accident was reported, not the date the accident occurred. Once an employer is aware of an injury, they are obligated to notify their insurance company.

Legally, employees have 120 days from the date of injury or illness to file a claim injury report with an employer; however, it is recommended notification occurs as soon as safely possible. After day 121, compensation benefits may not be available.

Seek Medical Attention from an Approved Physician

Employers may have a list of preferred and approved workers’ compensation physicians posted in the workplace for employees to reference (this posting is legally required). If such a list is posted, employees must visit one of the approved doctors to seek medical treatment for at least the first 90 days. If an employee chooses to ignore the posted list of doctors, workers’ compensation benefits may be at risk. If there is no list posted, employees may choose to see any doctor.

Keep Detailed Notes

Sometimes details are hard to remember, particularly when a person is injured or goes through a traumatic experience. If injured on the job, take notes throughout the claims process. This may help with memory recall if the incident goes to a hearing and becomes a legal case. Write down dates and times of doctor’s visits, document conversations with any medical professional assigned to the case and save billing statements for future reference. While most employers and insurance companies have the best interest of the employee in mind, taking these extra steps will provide extra protection if it’s needed.

Every worker has a right to a safe work environment, but unfortunately accidents sometimes happen. It’s important for employees to protect their rights when it comes to workers’ compensation. At Dale E. Anstine Personal Injury Law Firm, we specialize in workers’ compensation cases. If you or a loved one is injured at work, reach out today for your free consultation. Get a specialized attorney on your side who has a full understanding of the workers’ compensation process. With offices in York and Gettysburg, our team is proud to protect the injured across the Central Pennsylvania community. Consultations are always free, we’re available 24/7 and there’s no fee unless we win for you.