If you were injured at your workplace in Pittsburgh, know that you have resources. You are protected under the 1915 Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, which was created to help employees who suffer injuries at work. Learn more about the workers’ compensation process and which steps to take following a work injury.
Workers’ Compensation in Pittsburgh
Requirements for Employers
If you are injured at work, you are required to report your injury to your employer within 21 days after it occurred, or at the latest, within 120 days of the injury, or discovering the work-related disease. Do not delay in reporting your injury to your employer. If you fail to report the injury on time, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits entirely.
As long as you reported your injury in a timely manner, your employer and its insurance company will have 21 days to complete one of the three options:
- Agree that the injury is related to work and issue a Notice of Compensation Payable, which accepts your claim to recover compensation
- Agree that the injury is related to work and issue a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable, which means you will receive benefits for up to 90 days
- Deny the claim and issue a Notice of Compensation Denial
You will also need to provide your employer with proof of your injuries. This can be your doctor confirming your injuries and advising when it is safe for you to return to work and resume your tasks.
Time Limits for Filing a Claim
If the employer or insurer denies responsibility for your injury, you will typically have three years from the date the injury occurred to file a claim petition for benefits.
Claim Filing Process
After a work injury, the following steps will most likely apply:
- Seek medical assistance and maintain a medical record.
- Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible (within 21 days).
- Within 21 days of filing notice, your employer will let you know of their approval or denial of your injury claim.
- Your employer is required to use a Statement of Wages form to calculate an employee’s wages and provide copies to the employee as well as the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
- Your employer will also need to file a Notice of Suspension or Modification depending on whether or not you return to your previous position.
- Once the benefits payment is decided, your employer will need to complete a Final Statement of Account of Compensation Paid form, and send it to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Benefits of Workers Compensation
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employees who were injured can recover the following compensation through filing a claim:
- Compensation for all medical expenses – including hospital bills, doctor appointments, surgeries, medical devices, emergency transportation fees, physical therapy – that resulted from their work injuries.
- Compensation for wages lost during the time of recovery and inability to work because of the injury.
- Compensation for specific losses, if an employee suffers a loss of hearing or requires an amputation after the accident.
- Compensation for death – such as the deceased employee’s wages.
When to Get Help from a Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury at work, you have the right to compensation. While you can file a workers compensation claim on your own, an attorney will understand Pennsylvania’s Workers Compensation Act and will be able to guide and support you through the process. In addition, an attorney will be able to negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf.
If your workers compensation claim is denied, it is especially important to hire an attorney. A Pittsburgh workers comp attorney can help you appeal your claim denial or figure out the best course of action for your situation. Appeals are complicated legal matters, but an attorney will have the skills and knowledge necessary to help you move forward.