When you go to work in Lancaster, you probably do not consider getting injured while on the job. While the unfortunate can occur at any moment, you might be entitled to compensation if you were injured while at work.
Most workers in Lancaster and throughout Pennsylvania are covered by their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance in the event they are injured on the job. Fortunately, these benefits are available to workers as soon as they begin their employment. However, filing a Workers’ Compensation claim can be challenging without help, and could result in your benefits being delayed or denied.
Call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today at (215) 355-6400 for a free case evaluation with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers.
When You Are Eligible to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Lancaster
As a Lancaster employee, you have the right to apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits in case you suffer any injuries while performing your routine duties at work. Further, these benefits start on the first day you begin working. Most job-related injuries, such as falling or crushing accidents, are eligible for a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, if the injury occurs while commuting to or from work, it usually does not qualify for coverage under Workers’ Compensation insurance.
One of the benefits of having Workers’ Compensation insurance is that you can receive benefits even if you were responsible for the accident that occurred in your workplace. This type of insurance is considered “no-fault,” which means that you can still receive compensation for your injuries even if you were at fault. At the stage of filing a claim, fault is not taken into account. However, it may become relevant if you decide to pursue damages against your employer or another party in the future.
After your Workers’ Compensation claim is approved by your employer, your benefits will be accessible after a waiting period of seven days. However, you should work with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers to ensure that your claim is filed with the appropriate paperwork. The waiting period commences on the day when you are considered unable to resume work. Therefore, you may have to cover your medical expenses temporarily until your benefits are disbursed.
Benefits You Can Recover in a Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you get hurt while on the job, Workers’ Compensation can offer you a variety of benefits. It is important to file a claim as soon as possible, as this can help you recover any financial losses you may have experienced as a result of your injury. However, non-financial damages such as pain and suffering are typically not covered under this type of policy.
If you get injured at work, Workers’ Compensation can help pay for the medical expenses related to your injury. This includes treatment from doctors, healthcare providers, chiropractors, and other specialists you may need to see. If you need surgery, your compensation should cover those expenses as well. You may also receive benefits for hospital stays, medications, and physical materials, such as wheelchairs or other necessary equipment.
If you have been injured and missed work, you may be entitled to compensation for the income you lost. However, Workers’ Compensation will only cover a portion of your income, typically around 66.6% or two-thirds of your weekly pay. The length of time you receive benefits will depend on the severity of your injury and which body part was affected. If you are unable to work due to total disability, you may receive benefits indefinitely.
Understanding the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Lancaster
In Lancaster, it is required by most employers to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance for employees who get injured while on the job. This type of insurance is considered “no-fault,” which means that even if the workers were responsible for the accident, they could still receive compensation as long as it was not intentional. It is important to note that there are many potential obstacles in the Workers’ Compensation claims process that can result in victims missing out on the compensation they deserve.
Notifying Your Employer
To begin the process of receiving compensation, it is important to inform your employer of any injuries you sustained. It is highly advised that you report the incident as soon as possible and no later than 21 days after it occurred. If you fail to report your injuries within 120 days, it is likely that you will not receive any benefits for them.
After your employer submits an initial report to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the insurance company will assess your claim to decide whether or not to approve it. It is good news that you will usually receive notification of your claim’s approval or denial within 21 days of submission. Reporting your injuries promptly will speed up your employer’s report and the distribution of your benefits. However, you will usually have to undergo a comprehensive medical examination before a verdict can be reached in your case.
Get a Medical Exam
Once you have filed your claim, it is usually necessary to schedule an appointment with a doctor to assess your injuries. The extent of your injuries and the duration of your compensation will be determined by this evaluation. However, if your employer has a list of panel doctors they are affiliated with, you may be required to visit one of them. Furthermore, during the investigation of your claim, your insurance provider or employer may request that you have an independent medical examination.
Receiving a Notice of Decision
After a workplace injury, the first 90 days are crucial. During this time, an injured worker usually receives a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable that confirms their employer’s agreement to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Nevertheless, insurance companies can investigate the claim while making payments. Within the first 90 days, they can end Workers’ Compensation benefits and reject the claim. If the claim is not denied within that period, it is deemed officially approved. If your claim is denied, you still have various options available.
Appealing a Claim Denial
In case your claim gets rejected, Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation law offers multiple chances to challenge the decision. Firstly, if your claim is not approved initially, you can take it up with a Workers’ Compensation judge. If the judge’s ruling is not in your favor, you can opt to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within 20 days of the verdict.
If your claim is denied by the Appeal Board, you can still pursue your case by appealing to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. You have a 30-day window to submit your appeal. If your claim is denied by the Commonwealth Court, you can then proceed to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court within 30 days.
Our Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help Your Case
For a free review of your case with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers, contact Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.