Nearly three million on-the-job accidents happen across the United States every year, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though most workplace accidents are not fatal, they can still be costly. Even a minor employee injury could require extensive and expensive treatment, including surgery, physical therapy, and time away from work.
The good news for most working Pennsylvanians is that they are covered by their employers’ Workers’ Compensation insurance. Workers’ Compensation is a type of no-fault insurance. In exchange for not being able to sue their employer for a job-related accident, employees get monetary coverage to offset the price of getting well. If their injuries are catastrophic, as in the case of a permanent disability, they may receive a lump or structured settlement through Workers’ Compensation to cover their financial needs for life.
However, Workers’ Compensation is not automatic. You as an employee must take steps after an injury. So does your employer. Otherwise, you could lose the opportunity to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.
What to Do after a Workplace Accident
Immediately after you are hurt at work, you should seek medical attention. Even if your injury seems inconsequential, get a health care provider to check it out. As soon as possible, you should also inform your employer about your injury or accident. It is up to you to make your employer aware that you have an injury, even a minor one. That way, your employer can begin internal investigations and start making reports.
In addition, you should always ask for a Workers’ Compensation claim form. Again, even if you can go back to work the next day, you will have medical bills. Workers’ Compensation is designed to cover all medical costs incurred because of on-the-job injuries.
Remember that time frames and deadlines are important. In Pennsylvania, you need to report your injury within 21 days to your employer. If you wait longer than 120 days to make your employer aware that you were hurt, you will probably lose your chance to submit for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Is Workers’ Compensation Automatically Distributed?
After reporting your accident and filing any necessary paperwork with both your employer and the Workers’ Compensation insurance provider, you should focus on getting treatment. Do not miss appointments or neglect your care. In a few weeks, you should hear if your Workers’ Compensation claim was approved or denied. An approval will mean that you can expect Workers’ Compensation to cover a percentage of your missed wages while you are recovering. This is usually around two-thirds of your take-home pay but can differ depending on your job, what you earn, and whether you have other employment, as well as health treatment costs.
Unfortunately, sometimes workers receive notice that their Workers’ Compensation claim was denied. In this situation, you can appeal the decision. Often, workers will turn to Workers’ Compensation lawyers to help them appeal, particularly in complex situations. Having a Workers’ Compensation lawyer on your side can take the stress off you and your family to fight against difficult insurance providers.
If you are offered a settlement, a lawyer will always try to negotiate the highest amount possible. Often, insurance companies will try to get injured workers to agree to settlements that may sound high but will not cover future anticipated costs. Workers’ Compensation lawyers understand how to navigate this common tactic. Therefore, they will use their background to make sure you receive fair treatment and, it is hoped, a fairer offer.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Injured Employees Receive the Settlement They Deserve
Dealing with the Workers’ Compensation process can be overwhelming, especially if you have a complicated injury. If you have been hurt at work and need advice about filing a claim, reach out to the Downingtown Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Our legal team will protect your rights and fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.