Talking about Pennsylvania’s fatal injuries for the year 2020, it stood at just 1148, showing a downward trend compared to the past years.
The highest fatal injuries were reported because of transportation accidents. Other reasons for workplace injuries in PA include falls, slips, trips, contact with objects and equipment, exposure to harmful substances, etc. When it comes to finding out which industry is most prone to workplace accidents, according to stats, it is the private construction industry. The next in line is the private transportation and warehousing industry.
No matter the type of event that caused the workplace injury, you can seek workplace compensation in Philadelphia, PA, for your workplace injury. However, to claim the same, the workers must consult a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer and take the right steps immediately after a workplace injury.
Steps to Follow After a Workplace Injury in Philadelphia, PA
If you have been injured on the job in Philadelphia, here is what you need to do.
Inform the Employer
The very first thing should be to inform your employer about your injuries. If your employer is on-site or out of the station, you should inform him about the injury to your immediate superior. On-the-job injuries should be reported within 21 days of the date of injury.
Though 21 days seems sufficient, you should inform as soon as possible for smooth workplace comp benefits. While informing, you need to prepare a report and mention the details of the accident like the date and estimated time of the accident, cause of the accident, the injuries, and so on.
Once the report is submitted, it is sent to the employer’s insurance company. This is when the process of claim starts.
On the other hand, if a workplace injury is caused over time, like cancer due to long exposure to chemicals or carpal tunnel syndrome, you should inform your employer of the same within 21 days of the diagnosis of the injury.
Get Medical Attention
Once you have been briefly notified about your injury, you should seek medical attention. When getting the medical checkup, make sure the injuries are being documented. In PA, even if you visited your doctor, you would have to see a doctor on the employer’s or insurance company’s doctor’s list. It is important to get a referral from the employer’s suggested doctor to make your medical report valid.
Similarly, if your injury requires physical therapy, that same will be diagnosed and assigned by the employer’s suggested doctor.
You can see the doctor of your choice under some circumstances. However, you must first see the employer’s suggested doctor for at least 90 days. If your injury requires invasive surgery, you can take a second opinion from an employer; suggested doctors list. But again, you have to see him for at least 90 days.
After 90 days, you have the right to change the doctor to one of your choices.
Keep a Record of Your Lost Income
Due to your workplace injury, missing work for a while is viable. To get the full compensation as entitled, you should keep recording the days you miss the work. Depending on the type of injury you are diagnosed with, you are entitled to receive 2/3rd of your lost income.
At this time, your disability insurance also kicks in if you have applied for the same. If your workplace injury is turned into a temporary or partial disability, you can apply for benefits with the provider. For both needs, it is important to keep a record of the days you have missed being at work.
Keep Records of Your Medical Treatment
A worker is entitled to receive benefits based on their disability. Disability in PA is divided into three types, namely temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, and permanent total disability.
If the worker can go to work but can perform selected tasks only, it is counted under temporary partial disability. There are total chances of improvement within a specified period.
If the worker cannot work at all and cannot return to work, they are categorized under temporary total disability.
If a worker cannot return to work even after maximum possible improvement in injury, they are categorized under permanent total disability. Thus, based on your disability, the worker’s compensation in Pennsylvania can be stretched for even an indefinite period.
For this reason, the employer wants their employee to return to work as soon as possible, even reducing the compensation they need to provide. They may force you to join work, considering the injury as minor. Thus, a record of medical treatment is important. The doctor’s advice and physical therapy sessions help you provide evidence of how serious your injury is.
Follow up on Your claim
It is vital to know where your claim process has reached. Always keep a tab on it. The benefits should start arriving within a week or two of your injury. If, for any reason, you receive no intimation regarding your worker’s compensation claim, you have the right to ask your employer of the same.
If things are looking sour, you can hire a worker’s compensation attorney at this point. Such an attorney can fight for your claim legally. Also, if the claim is approved but doesn’t provide you with the maximum benefits possible in your case, you can still contact an attorney. They allow you to know your rights and as well fight for them.
If your employer denies the claim, you can hire a worker’s compensation attorney in Philadelphia, PA.
How Does a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help?
A personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA will help you receive your workplace injury compensation. They allow you to know your rights clearly, like:
- The percentage of your average income you are entitled to as your compensation
- The period within which such compensation should be received
- When you should file the claim
- The type of damages that are covered under worker’s compensation
- Can you claim worker’s compensation and disability insurance at the same time?
They can also resolve any of your other queries. Once you have decided to file the claim, they will present your case before the court of law with proper evidence and arguments. In return, they will charge a fee on a contingency basis. This means they will only charge when they win the case or can receive the compensation benefit they estimated. When nothing is recovered, they will not charge anything.