Is My Employer Being Dishonest? January 9, 2019
Most employers in Pennsylvania are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The no-fault system is designed to compensate employees for some of the costs associated with their workplace injuries without delving into issues of negligence. Therefore, workers are eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was responsible for their injury, even if it was caused by a workers’ own negligence.
In exchange, workers cannot sue their employers in personal injury lawsuits for work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation is typically the exclusive remedy for work-related injuries, with the exception of third-party claims against those parties other than the employer who may have contributed to a worker’s injuries.
Injured workers are generally entitled to medical benefits, wage loss benefits, and other forms of compensation, including specific loss and vocational rehabilitation benefits.
However, although most employees are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employers may attempt to shirk their responsibilities, or take advantage of their employees’ limited knowledge about the workers’ compensation system.
Therefore, it is important for Pennsylvania workers to be aware of the ways in which their employers may try to avoid a claim.
How Employers May Try to Avoid Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation claims can be expensive for employers, especially those who face higher insurance premiums due to high injury rates. They may therefore try to avoid workers’ compensation claims in several ways.
First, employers may refuse to give workers information regarding the workers’ compensation process. They may even try to convince workers that they are not entitled to file a claim, either because the worker’s injury was “not severe enough” or “their fault”.
However, neither of these reasons preclude workers from filing claims or receiving benefits – workers may receive compensation for minor injuries, work-related illnesses, and even preexisting injuries that were aggravated by work tasks.
The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
Pennsylvania workers are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits for workplace injuries if they give their employers notice within 120 days of the accident. The notice should be in writing, and include all details pertaining to the accident, such as the location, circumstances, people involved, witnesses, and any resulting injuries.
Workers should seek medical attention as soon as possible to establish an official record; but be sure to follow company procedure – some employers require workers to get an initial evaluation by a doctor of their choosing. In fact, in Pennsylvania, you are required to use a medical provider from the list of designated physicians provided by your employer for the first 90 days.
Another way that employers may attempt to evade responsibility for a claim is by denying that the injury happened on the job. At Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers help injured workers file appeals when their initial claims are denied for reasons such as this.
Pennsylvania workers may appeal a denied claim to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within three years from the date of the injury.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Ensure That Your Rights Are Protected
If you believe your employer has been dishonest or unfair in the handling of your work injury claim, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, please fill out our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
Our experienced lawyers represent all types of injured workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania, including Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County, as well as those in 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.