Workers’ Compensation Timeline
Some of the stress and uncertainty associated with obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be alleviated by becoming familiar with the workers’ compensation timeline so you know what to expect. The most important events on the workers’ compensation timeline include the following:
Reporting the Injury
Employers must post form LIBC-500, which advises employees to report their injuries to their employer and provides employees with the contact information for the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company or agent. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employees should report their injuries to their employers within 21 days of the accident. However those who do not report their injuries within 120 days are generally barred from recovery.
Once an injury has been reported, employers must immediately notify their workers’ compensation insurer. They must also file a First Report of Injury with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within 48 hours for injuries resulting in death and within seven days for injuries causing a worker to miss more than a day, shift, or turn of work.
Evaluation of Workers’ Compensation Claim
Pennsylvania employers then have 21 days from the date of notification of the injury to either accept or deny the claim. If the employer accepts the claim, it will issue a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Payable or an Agreement for Compensation to the employee. The employer may also issue a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable, which will extend the investigation for 90 days, allowing the employer more time to decide whether to accept the claim.
The injured worker may then begin receiving various types of workers’ compensation benefits depending on the nature of their injury and the circumstances of their case. Types of workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Payment for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the work injury or illness
- Wage loss compensation, including temporary, total, partial, and permanent disability
- Specific loss awards for disfigurement, amputation, and other severe injuries
- Death benefits based on the decedent’s average weekly wages
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. are dedicating to helping clients collect the maximum amount of compensation possible. Our knowledgeable attorneys explore all potential sources of compensation, including workers’ compensation benefits and third-party personal injury claims.
Appealing a Denied Claim
If the employer denies the claim, they may issue a Notice Stopping Temporary Compensation to stop payments being made during the 90-day extension. Then, the employer may issue a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial, stating its reasons for denying the claim.
Generally, workers may file a Claim Petition within three years from the date of the injury. The claim will be assigned to a workers’ compensation judge, who will hear evidence from both sides and make a ruling on the case. The parties will be required to participate in mediation prior to the judge issuing a written decision.
Either party may appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within 20 days from the circulation of the workers’ compensation judge’s decision. Further appeals may be filed with the Commonwealth Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, consecutively. The experienced attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. know what it takes to file a successful appeal. We can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you begin receiving the benefits to which you are entitled.
Suspension or Modification of Benefits
Employers may petition to modify, suspend, or terminate a worker’s benefits once he or she returns to work or is determined to be able to return to work. An employer may request that the employee undergo an independent medical examination (IME) every six months. The doctor performing the IME is chosen by the insurance company and may, therefore, be likely to conclude that the worker is able to return to work before he or she is fully recovered.
In these cases, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can ensure that your best interests are represented. You should not be forced to return to work before you are ready, nor should your benefits be terminated without cause.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Can Help Guide You Through the Legal Process
If you were injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation. Let a skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. guide you through the process. Our attorneys have 40 years of experience helping injured workers obtain the compensation they deserve. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today to arrange a free consultation.
We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania from our offices in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Lansdowne, and Reading, including those in the areas of Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.