Steps To Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Philadelphia
Ryan Zavodnick | October 6, 2022 | Workers' Compensation
Being injured at work can be overwhelming. You need to work, but you must take care of your health and prevent further injury. Fortunately, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws provide for medical care and wage benefits for injured workers.
Knowing the steps to file a workers’ compensation claim in Philadelphia can help you avoid delays in receiving benefits. The steps for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Philadelphia are:
Report the Injury to Your Employer
You have up to 21 days under Pennsylvania workers’ comp laws to report a workplace injury to receive full benefits. Employers are only required to pay benefits beginning with the date you reported the injury if you report the injury after 21 days but before 120 days. If you cannot work because of a workplace accident, filing a claim immediately can help you get the money you need while you are out of work.
Therefore, reporting the injury to your employer as soon as possible is best. Delays in reporting injuries could cause problems with your claim. For example, your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company might argue that the injury did not occur at work.
You should follow the procedures from your employer for reporting injuries and accidents. If there are no written procedures, report the injury to your supervisor, manager, and human resources. The report must be given to someone in charge at your workplace.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Call emergency medical services (EMS) or go directly to the emergency room or urgent care facility if you require emergency medical treatment for work injuries. Medical records are necessary to prove that you sustained an injury at work.
Pennsylvania workers’ comp laws allow your employer to designate approved medical providers you must use for the first 90 days of non-emergency treatment. You can choose any doctor on the approved list and change to another doctor on the approved list during the first 90 days. After 90 days, you can see any doctor you choose for a work injury.
Filing a Claim With the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Your employer or its insurance provider should file the required forms with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The form is called the First Report of Injury.
The workers’ compensation insurance company has 21 days after notification to notify you that your workers’ comp claim is denied, approved, or approved temporarily while the company investigates the claim. After that, the company can take an additional 90 days to investigate your claim.
Receive Weekly Compensation for Lost Wages
If the doctor states that you cannot work because of your work injury, you should receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Your average weekly wage determines the amount of your TTD benefits. You receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages up to the maximum benefit amount for lost wages.
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are paid when you can return to work, but your injuries prevent you from earning the same amount as before your injury. The doctor might restrict your working hours or working conditions.
Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement
When the doctor states that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), you may be expected to return to work. Some people reach MMI and make a full recovery from a work injury.
Other people reach MMI, but they do not make a full recovery. The doctor states that no further medical treatment is expected to improve their condition.
Your doctor determines if you have a permanent total or partial impairment. You can receive compensation for a permanent impairment. The compensation depends on the impairment and the severity of the disability.
Appealing a Denied Claim or Impairment Rating
If the insurance company denies your workers’ comp claim, you have up to three years to file a Claim Petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. However, the sooner you file an appeal, the better.
You Have the Right to Legal Counsel
The workers’ compensation system is designed to be straightforward. It is a no-fault insurance system for injured workers. But unfortunately, workers’ comp insurance companies are like other insurance companies – they try to limit how much they must pay for an injury claim.
It is essential to understand your rights, the workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to receive, and the deadlines for filing workers’ comp in Philadelphia. You have the right to hire a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you during your claim.
A lawyer takes care of completing and filing all workers’ comp forms. Your attorney verifies your wages and calculates your average weekly wages to ensure you receive the correct amount of TTD or TPD benefits. Additionally, your lawyer can help you seek a second option for an impairment rating and navigate the negotiation process to settle a permanent disability claim after a work-related injury.
Contact Our Worker’s Compensation Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.