Each day, diligent workers from Altoona make their way to their workplaces. Sadly, some might suffer work-related harm. Nevertheless, most of these employees have the assurance of their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance to cover them in the event of injury.
If you have sustained an injury while on the job, it’s likely that your Workers’ Compensation will cover it unless your employer is exempt or the accident was intentional. It is important to report the incident immediately and obtain medical care after getting injured on the job. Our team is here to help you file your claim and guarantee that you are treated equitably throughout your recovery.
Call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 for a free case evaluation with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers.
How the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process Works in Altoona, PA
Most employers in Altoona are required to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance for employees who get injured while on the job. This insurance is considered “no-fault,” which means that workers can receive compensation even if they were responsible for the accident, as long as it was not intentional. However, there are many potential obstacles in the Workers’ Compensation claims process that can result in victims missing out on the compensation they deserve. It is important to be aware of these obstacles to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Notifying Your Employer
If you have been injured, it is crucial to notify your employer immediately to start the compensation process. It is recommended that you report the incident within 21 days and before 120 days have passed. Not reporting your injuries on time could result in no benefits being received.
Once your employer reports your workplace injury to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the insurance company will evaluate your claim to determine its approval status. Typically, you will receive notification of the decision within 21 days of submission, which is great news. Promptly reporting your injuries can expedite the process and ensure timely access to your benefits. Keep in mind, though, that you will likely need to undergo a thorough medical examination before a final verdict is reached.
Getting a Medical Exam
After submitting your claim, it is important to book an appointment with a doctor to evaluate your injuries. This assessment will determine the severity of your injuries and the length of your compensation. If your employer has a list of panel doctors, you might need to see one of them. Additionally, your insurance provider or employer might require an independent medical examination during the investigation of your claim.
Receiving Your Notice of Decision
When an employee gets injured at work, the first 90 days are critical. During this period, the worker typically receives a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable which acknowledges the employer’s commitment to cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, insurance providers can investigate the claim while making payments. They can terminate Workers’ Compensation benefits and refuse the claim within the initial 90 days. If the claim is not denied during this time, it is considered officially approved. If your claim is denied, you still have several options to explore.
Appealing If Your Claim Is Denied
If your Workers’ Compensation claim is rejected in Pennsylvania, you have several opportunities to contest the decision. Initially, if your claim is not approved, you can bring it to a Workers’ Compensation judge. If the judge’s decision is not in your favor, you can choose to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within 20 days of the ruling. If your claim is denied by the Appeal Board, you can still continue your case by appealing to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court within 30 days. If your claim is rejected by the Commonwealth Court, you might then make an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court within 30 days.
Benefits That Can Be Claimed in an Altoona, PA Workers’ Compensation Case
If you sustain an injury while working, Workers’ Compensation can provide you with several benefits. It is crucial to file a claim promptly to help you recuperate any financial losses you might have incurred due to the injury. However, non-financial damages like pain and suffering are usually not covered under this policy.
In case of work-related injuries, Workers’ Compensation can assist with the payment of medical expenses. This covers treatment from physicians, healthcare providers, chiropractors, and other specialists that you might have to consult. If there is a need for surgery, your compensation should cover the expenses as well. Additionally, you might also be eligible for benefits for hospital stays, medications, and physical items like wheelchairs or any other required equipment.
If you suffered an injury that caused you to miss work, you might be eligible to receive compensation for the income you lost. However, Workers’ Compensation will only cover a portion of your income, which is usually around 66.6% or two-thirds of your weekly pay. The duration of your benefits will depend on the severity of your injury and the body part that was affected. In the case of total disability, benefits might be provided indefinitely.
Determining Your Eligibility to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Altoona, PA
If you work in Altoona, it is important to know that you can apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are injured on the job. These benefits start on your first day of work and cover most job-related injuries like falls and accidents. It is important to note that injuries that occur during your commute to or from work are usually not covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Having Workers’ Compensation insurance has a great benefit – you can get benefits regardless of being responsible for an accident that happened at your workplace. This insurance is categorized as “no-fault,” meaning you can still receive compensation for your injuries, even if you were at fault. When filing for a claim, fault is not considered. However, it could become relevant should you decide to pursue damages against your employer or someone else in the future.
Once your employer approves your Workers’ Compensation claim, you will have access to your benefits after a seven-day waiting period. It is important to work with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers to ensure that your claim is filed correctly with the necessary paperwork. The waiting period begins on the day you are unable to resume work. As a result, you might need to temporarily cover your medical expenses until your benefits are paid out.
Our Altoona, PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
For a free case assessment with our Workers’ Compensation attorneys, contact Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 today.