erie pa workers compensation lawyers

Erie PA Workers Compensation Lawyers

Pennsylvania workplace accidents and injuries are very common. Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from our Erie PA workers compensation lawyers to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim.

Reporting Your PA Work Injury

If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer, and you must do so within 120 days of the work injury or illness occurring.  If you just learned that your injury or illness is related to your work activity, then you must report the injury or illness within 120 days of your discovery that the injury or illness is related to your work activity. The law is clear that failure to report your injury within 120 days will bar you from recovering workers’ compensation benefits.

Also, to receive medical payments and wage loss payments for your workers’ compensation injury from the date you were injured, you must report the injury to your employer within 21 days of it occurring.  Failure to report the workers’ compensation injury within 21 days of it occurring may result in benefits not being paid from the date of the injury until you reported it. A failure to report your injury in a timely manner could also be used by your employer as a basis to deny your claim. It is important to contact our Erie PA workers compensation lawyers to discuss your case and how we can help you navigate the PA workers’ comp system.

Obtaining Medical Treatment After Your PA Work Injury

After you report your work injury to your employer, you should be provided with a list or directed to a posted list of panel physicians with whom you must seek treatment for the first 90 days of your injury.  The list of panel physicians must contain several different physicians or physician practice groups with different specialties.  Assuming you were provided with a proper workers’ compensation panel list (ask a workers’ compensation lawyer), you must treat with a doctor on that list for the first 90 days of your injury.

After 90 days, if your claim is accepted, you can treat with a doctor of your choosing and the carrier must pay for the treatment.  If you do not treat with a panel list doctor within the first 90 days of your injury, that medical treatment may not be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance company.  Also, if your employer does not provide you with a workers’ compensation panel list, you may seek treatment from any doctor for your injury.  Generally, if the panel physician refers you to a health care provider that is not included on the panel within the first 90 days of your injury, treatment for that off-panel provider will also be paid by workers’ compensation.

What Happens After Your Workplace Injury Is Reported

Within 21 days of your report of your injury, the insurance company must either:

1) accept your injury,

2) deny your injury, or

3) temporarily accept your workers’ compensation injury for 90 days.

If your claim is approved, you will start receiving disability payments and your medical bills relating to your injury will be paid.

If your claim was temporarily accepted, the insurance company may terminate your workers’ compensation benefits at any time within 90 days.  Unfortunately, insurance companies deny many workers’ compensation claims.  If your claim is denied, you need to talk to the experienced Erie PA workers compensation lawyers at McCormick & Vilushis to file a claim petition to pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Time Frame For Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims In PA

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin.  However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right to benefits. For this reason, you should never delay in contacting our experienced Erie PA workers compensation lawyers after you have suffered a workplace injury.

The following is a list of deadlines an injured worker should be aware of:

  • In Pennsylvania, an injured worker should report a work injury within 21 days after its occurrence to his or her employer. Without this notice, the employer and the employer’s insurer are under no obligation to pay workers’ compensation benefits. However, failure to give notice within 21 days does not preclude a worker from pursuing a legal claim; it only delays possible payment.
  • If an injury is not reported within 21 days of injury, then an employee must provide notice to the employer no longer than 120 days after the injury or he or she will lose the right to receive any kind of benefits. If an injury is not reported within 120 days of injury, the claim is time-barred under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
  • If your request for WC benefits is denied by your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier, you have three years from the date of injury to file a claim petition.
  • In occupational disease cases, injury/disability must occur within 300 weeks from the date of last employment in an occupation in which you had exposure to a hazard, and a petition must be filed no later than three years from the date of injury/disability.
  • If your benefits were terminated, you may file a petition to reinstate WC benefits within three years after the date of your most recent WC check.
  • If your benefits were suspended, you may file a petition to have benefits reinstated. This petition must be filed within 500 weeks from the date of suspension. Payment of medical benefits by your employer does not mean that your claim has been accepted or reopened.

Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims In PA

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis.  Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer.  For this reason, adjusters and employers will often search for any possible reason to deny your claim.  If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, you should immediately contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who is familiar with the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. Please do not hesitate to contact the Erie, PA workers’ comp attorneys at McCormick and Vilushis today for a free consult.

Potential Reasons For Denying A PA Work Comp Claim

There are several reasons why an employer may deny your Pennsylvania workers’ comp claim. The following are some examples of common denial reasons:

  • – You did not report your injury or file your claim for benefits in a timely manner.
  • – No one witnessed your injury to support your claim.
  • – A discrepancy exists between your report of the incident and the information in your initial medical evaluation.
  • – Your initial medical evaluation revealed you were under the influence of illegal substances.
  • – You refused to authorize the workers’ compensation insurance company to access your medical records.
  • – You refused to give a recorded statement to the insurance company.
  • – Your claim was not filed until after you were terminated from your position.
  • – Your employer believes that your injury or illness arose from factors outside the scope of your employment.
  • – Your employer believes that your injury was preexisting.

These are only some examples of reasons employers commonly give when they deny your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim. When you receive your claim denial letter, you should always review the letter with our experienced Erie PA workers compensation lawyers as soon as possible.

Contact Our Erie PA Workers Compensation Lawyers

To speak with our experienced Erie PA workers compensation lawyers about your workers’ compensation claim, contact McCormick and Vilushis today!   There are no consultation fees and we charge no attorney’s fee unless we win your case.

Serving all of Northwestern Pennsylvania including Erie, Corry, Edinboro, North East, Wattsburg, Lawrence Park, Girard, Wesleyville, Elgin, Lake City, Union City, Northwest Harborcreek, Waterford, Platea, McKean, Mill Village, Cranesville, Albion, Meadville & Warren, Pennsylvania.