On-the-job injuries might prevent you from returning to your job, cost you valuable income, and upend your life. While the Workers’ Compensation system is there to help injured employees, it is not foolproof, and you should seek assistance from an attorney.
While you should notify your employer of your injuries as soon as possible, the best time to file for Workers’ Compensation might be more subjective. While you can claim medical benefits right away, you might not be eligible for lost wages until missing about a week’s worth of work. Benefits include medical expenses for your injuries and a portion of your lost earnings. Workers’ Compensation covers a lot, but certain kinds of injuries might not be covered, including those intentionally inflicted or that occur outside of work. If your claim for Workers’ Compensation is denied, an attorney can help you appeal and get the compensation you need.
Call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 and arrange for a free evaluation of your case with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers.
When You Can File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Norristown
Workers’ Compensation applies to all employees. Coverage begins on your first day on the job, and you do not have to opt into the system. Workers’ Compensation also applies to all employees regardless of age, meaning minors may file claims for work injuries.
Exactly when you should file a claim depends on your situation, but ideally, you should file as soon as possible. If you only need or want to claim compensation for medical expenses, you can do so almost right away. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you gather medical records and proof of your injuries to make a claim for medical benefits.
Eligibility for lost wages kicks in a little bit later. Generally, you must miss at least 7 days of work before you become eligible to receive benefits for lost earnings, also called indemnity benefits. These lost 7 days of work do not have to be consecutive, and your compensation typically begins from the 8th day of missed work.
Do not be alarmed if you have waited longer than 7 days to file a claim. Many injured workers wait weeks, months, or longer to file claims because their injuries do not prevent them from working until later. You should be okay if you do not wait more than 120 days. At that point, the legitimacy of your claims may be questioned, and getting compensation will be more difficult.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation in Norristown
Workers’ Compensation may provide claimants with benefits covering various costs and expenses connected to their accident. How much these benefits are worth depends on your case and the severity of your injuries. Benefits might only be temporary in some cases or last long-term in others.
Medical benefits may be awarded to pay for medical treatment. Depending on your injuries, these benefits may be quite substantial. Coverage should include all reasonably necessary medical care. Treatment like emergency room care, surgery, medication, and lab testing are often covered by medical benefits.
You should claim medical costs as quickly as possible. Benefits for medical costs are only covered up to 30 days after you receive the bill from the hospital. If you claim these benefits too late, you might encounter penalties or reduced benefits.
Additionally, only reasonably necessary treatment may be covered. Optional treatments or treatments that are purely cosmetic might not be covered.
You can claim benefits for lost wages only if you have missed at least 7 days of work, and benefits may be paid starting from day 8. If you miss at least 14 days of work, your first 7 days may also be compensated. Unfortunately, you may not recover the full extent of your lost wages through Workers’ Compensation. Instead, claimants may be paid about two-thirds of their average weekly wage per week.
How long your benefits last depend on the nature of your injuries. If you are only partially disabled, your benefits may last up to 500 weeks. If you are totally disabled and unable to work at all, your benefits may last for as long as your injuries and disability persist.
What Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover in Norristown
Workers’ Compensation covers a lot of accidents and injuries. However, certain instances or accidents might not be covered. If your accident is on the borderline between what is covered and not covered, a lawyer can help you file your claims and fight for fair compensation.
Workers’ Compensation seldom covers intentional injuries. If an employer suspects a worker purposefully injured themselves or allowed themselves to become injured just to get a “paid vacation,” their claims will not be compensated. In addition, if someone at work assaults you and injures you, you might not be covered by Workers’ Compensation. Instead, you can sue the person who caused you harm.
Injuries outside of work are also not covered. While this might seem like a no-brainer, it can become less clear when people are technically fulfilling job duties outside of normal work locations. For example, your normal daily commute to the office is not covered. So an accident on the way to work would not warrant a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, if you travel for work, it might not really matter where you are when you are injured as long as you are working to fulfill your job duties when the accident occurs.
Injuries during breaks are also a bit of a gray area. If an accident occurs during a regularly scheduled break on work property, it is likely covered. If your break lasted longer than is authorized or you took your break elsewhere, such as going out to lunch at a nearby restaurant, it might not be covered.
Call Our Norristown Workers’ Compensation Attorneys About Your Claims
Call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400 and arrange for a free assessment of your case and damages with our Workers’ Compensation attorneys.