How to file a worker’s compensation claim in PA: A step-by-step guide for injured workers

If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits. Worker’s compensation is a system that provides medical care, wage loss benefits, and disability benefits to workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Worker’s compensation also protects employers from being sued by injured workers for negligence.

Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system, which means that you do not have to prove that your employer was responsible for your injury. However, you still have to follow certain rules and procedures to file a claim and receive benefits. In this blog post, we will explain the steps you need to take to file a worker’s compensation claim in PA and how a worker’s compensation lawyer can help you.

Step 1: Tell your employer about your injury right away

The first thing you need to do after you get injured at work is to notify your employer as soon as possible. You should report your injury verbally and in writing, and keep a copy of the written report for your records. You should also tell your employer the date, time, place, and cause of your injury, and the names of any witnesses.

You have 120 days from the date of your injury to report it to your employer. If you fail to do so, you may lose your right to claim worker’s compensation benefits. However, it is best to report your injury as soon as possible, to avoid any delays or disputes.

Step 2: Go to the doctor and follow their advice

The next step is to seek medical attention for your injury. You should go to the doctor as soon as possible, and follow their advice on how to treat your injury and when to return to work. You should also keep all your medical records and bills, and ask your doctor to provide you with a written report of your diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan.

Depending on your employer’s policy, you may have to see a doctor from a list of approved providers for the first 90 days of your treatment. If you choose to see a different doctor, your employer may not pay for your medical expenses. However, you can see any doctor you want if your employer does not have a list of approved providers, or if you need emergency care.

Step 3: File a claim petition with the state agency

If your employer does not report your injury to the state agency, or if your employer denies or disputes your claim, you have to file a claim petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). You have three years from the date of your injury to file a claim petition. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to claim worker’s compensation benefits.

You can download the claim petition form from the BWC website, or request it by mail or phone. You have to fill out the form with your personal information, your employer’s information, and the details of your injury and treatment. You also have to attach any supporting documents, such as medical records, bills, and wage statements. You have to mail the completed form to the BWC office that covers your county.

Step 4: Go to a hearing with a judge and present your case

After you file a claim petition, the BWC will assign your case to a worker’s compensation judge (WCJ). The WCJ will schedule a hearing, where you and your employer will have the opportunity to present your evidence and arguments. You may also have to answer questions from the WCJ and your employer’s lawyer.

You have the right to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing. A lawyer can help you prepare your case, gather and submit evidence, question witnesses, and make legal arguments. A lawyer can also help you negotiate a settlement with your employer, if possible.

Step 5: Get a decision and appeal if you disagree

The WCJ will issue a written decision within 90 days of the last hearing. The decision will state whether your claim is granted or denied, and what benefits you are entitled to receive. You should receive a copy of the decision by mail.

If you agree with the decision, you do not have to do anything else. You should start receiving your benefits within 21 days of the decision. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal it to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB). You have 20 days from the date of the decision to file an appeal. You have to fill out an appeal form and mail it to the WCAB office that covers your county.

The WCAB will review your case and issue a written decision within 60 days of receiving your appeal. The WCAB can uphold, modify, or reverse the WCJ’s decision. If you disagree with the WCAB’s decision, you can appeal it to the Commonwealth Court, and then to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. However, each appeal has a strict deadline and a filing fee, and the chances of success are lower.

Filing a worker’s compensation claim in PA can be a complex and challenging process. You have to deal with many rules, forms, deadlines, and disputes. You also have to prove that your injury is work-related and that you deserve benefits. If you make a mistake or miss a step, you may lose your right to claim worker’s compensation benefits.

That’s why you need a worker’s compensation lawyer to help you. A worker’s compensation lawyer can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and fight for your best interests. A worker’s compensation lawyer can also help you maximize your benefits, and avoid any pitfalls or traps.

At RG Injury Law, we have a team of experienced and dedicated worker’s compensation lawyers who can help you with your claim. We have helped thousands of injured workers in Pennsylvania get the benefits they deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.

If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, don’t wait. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will review your case, answer your questions, and advise you on the best course of action. We will also handle all the paperwork, communication, and negotiation on your behalf. We will fight for you until you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Call us now at (717) 656-5000 or visit our website at RG Injury Law .

 

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