When a worker is injured on the job in Upper Darby, employers must report their injuries so the victim can get Workers’ Compensation benefits. However, these benefits are not automatic and can be denied unfairly.
Fortunately, our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help injured workers protect their rights while going through the reporting process. While your Workers’ Compensation claim will usually be initially approved, the insurance company has up to 90 days to deny a claim. However, you have several chances to appeal an adverse decision that our team can help you submit.
If you were injured on the job in Upper Darby, our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. For a free review of your case, contact Lerner, Steinberg & Associates at (215) 355-6400.
The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Upper Darby
Most employers in Upper Darby must provide Workers’ Compensation insurance for employees injured on the job. Because Workers’ Compensation is a type of “no-fault” insurance, injured workers can recover damages even if they were at fault for the accident, as long as they did not intentionally cause their injuries. However, the Workers’ Compensation claims process has many pitfalls that can cause victims to lose out on the benefits they are entitled to. Fortunately, our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you navigate every step of the process so your benefits are not unnecessarily delayed.
Notifying Your Employer of Your Injury
The first step to recovering compensation is to report your injuries directly to your employer. It is strongly recommended that injured workers notify their employers immediately after being injured and definitely within 21 days of their accident. If you fail to report your injuries within 120 days of your accident, you will likely receive no benefits at all for your injuries.
Once your employer has submitted an initial report to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the insurance company will review your claim to determine whether to approve or reject it. Fortunately, you must be given notice of the approval or denial of your claim within 21 days after submission. The faster you report your injuries, the faster your employer can make their report, and your benefits can be distributed to you faster. However, you will typically need to submit to a thorough medical examination before a determination can be made in your case.
After filing your claim, you will typically need to see a doctor to evaluate your injuries. This will be the basis for the compensation you receive and for how long. However, if your employer provides you with a list of panel doctors that they are contracted with, you will most likely be required to visit one of them. Additionally, the insurance company or your employer might require you to undergo an independent medical examination at any point while investigating your claim.
Notice of Decision and Payment
The first 90 days after suffering an injury at work are often the most critical. When workers are injured, they typically receive a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable, indicating that the employer has consented to pay medical expenses and lost wages. However, the insurance company can still investigate a claim while making these payments. At any point within the first 90 days, they can terminate Workers’ Compensation benefits and deny the claim. If your claim is not denied in those 90 days, it can be considered officially approved.
You still have options if your claim is denied, however. Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you appeal your claim denial if you believe you have been treated unfairly.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Denial
If your claim is denied, Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation law provides several opportunities to appeal an adverse decision. If your claim is initially denied, you can appeal the matter to a Workers’ Compensation judge. If the judge does not rule in your favor, you have the option to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within 20 days of the verdict.
Even if the Appeal Board upholds the decision to deny your claim, you can still take your case to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. In this instance, you have 30 days to file an appeal. Furthermore, if the Commonwealth Court denies your claim, you can appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court within 30 days. Our experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you along every step of the appeals process to ensure your rights are protected.
Types of Benefits that Workers’ Compensation Provides in Upper Darby
Workers’ Compensation provides a broad range of benefits to employees injured on the job. Filing a claim is crucial as it can help you recover the financial losses you suffered as a result of your workplace injury. However, other non-financial damages, like pain and suffering, are not covered.
Workers’ Compensation is intended to help cover your medical expenses related to your injuries. Under Workers’ Compensation, medical benefits can be recovered for treatment from doctors, healthcare providers, chiropractors, and other specialists you might need to see. Your compensation should also cover surgical expenses if your injuries require surgery. You should also receive benefits for hospital stays, medications, and physical materials, like wheelchairs or other necessary equipment.
You will also receive the income you lost from missed time at work because of your injuries. However, Workers’ Compensation will only compensate you for a portion of your income. In most cases, Workers’ Compensation will provide injured employees with 66.6%, about two-thirds, of their weekly income. The duration of your benefits will depend on what body part was injured and how severely. If you qualify for total disability benefits because you are now unable to work, you will usually receive benefits in perpetuity. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you ensure you recover all the benefits you are entitled to.
Our Upper Darby Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured while at work, our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you file your claim so that it has the best chance of being approved. Call Lerner, Steinberg & Associates today at (215) 355-6400 for a free case evaluation.