Every employer must offer a safe working environment to all its employees. However, accidents are inevitable in any profession. To help those injured, worker compensation is provided. It refers to financial compensation for employees injured at work.
Philadelphia is one of the most populated cities in the US. It has the 2nd lowest number of work-related fatalities among the ten largest metropolitan cities in the US. If you are injured at the workplace, you need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The compensation claim has many steps, and it is always a good idea to seek guidance from a credible Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA. Here are the steps for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
- Report Accident to Employer
The first step in filing a compensation claim is reporting the accident to your employer. Reporting the accident to the employer means notifying your HR department, manager, or supervisor about the accident.
Telling your co-worker about the accident is not equivalent to reporting to your employer. Every organization has protocols for reporting workplace accidents, and you need to follow them.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, mentions that while you can report the accident verbally, you should always submit an accident report in writing. A written report acts as a record or proof of an accident in the worker’s compensation claim.
As per Pennsylvania State laws, you have 21 days to report the accident to get total compensation. However, if you do not follow the reporting timeline, you might not be able to get a full workers’ compensation claim from the day you are injured.
- Get Proper Medical Attention
After a workplace accident, you should get a check-up from a doctor and create documentation of your injury. Medical records are also evidence in worker’s compensation claims. It will be helpful when you file a compensation claim.
The Pennsylvania laws allow employers to assign doctors to treat workplace injuries. If your organization has a designated list of doctors, you need to choose the doctor from your employer’s list for non-emergency treatment.
- File a Claim With the Department of Labor
The claim with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is generally filed by the employer or the employer’s insurance company. They will fill out forms like the First Report of Injury and other documents required to process workers’ compensation claims.
The insurance company must respond to the worker’s compensation claim within 21 days of filing with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. By the end of 21 days, you will know whether the claim has been approved, denied, or temporarily approved, and the insurance company wants an extended investigation of the workplace accident.
- Appeal a Denied or Disputed Claim
As per 2018 workers’ compensation data, around 173,267 workplace injuries were reported, and 39,322 petitions were filed in Pennsylvania.
If the insurance company denies the worker’s compensation claim, you need to contact the lawyer to file a Petition for Workers’ Compensation with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. You have to file the claim petition within three years or be barred from receiving workers’ compensation even if you were injured at the workplace.
The worker’s compensation claim can become complex, and you should have a legal expert like a claim attorney to guide you through the process.