14th Apr 2016
If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, creating a paper trail may be the last thing on your mind. Yet, if you believe that you may be entitled to compensation, it is absolutely essential to start building your case from the outset. Here are four steps that everyone injured in the workplace is responsible for taking:
1. Inform your employer of your injury
It is vital to let your employer know that you have been injured. You should do so in writing in order to create a record. The law holds that you have 120 days from the date of the injury to report it to your employer, but you should generally do so sooner, rather than later. If you delay informing your employer, this may make it easier for them to minimize your claim.
2. Create a written report
As part of the paper trail, you should have a detailed account of your injury and the circumstances that gave rise to it. If your boss has an injury report form available, you should use that. Otherwise, create a simple account yourself.
To avoid common mistakes at this point, it is often advantageous to work with a professional workers’ compensation lawyer. This can ensure that any report you create supports your claim as effectively as possible.
3. Pursue medical treatment from a list of panel physicians
Once you have reported your injury to your employer, they will provide you with a list of panel physicians. Again, we recommend engaging a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure that any list you are provided with is legitimate and to guide you in making your choice of medical providers.
You must obtain treatment from a provider on the list for the first 90 days after your injury. If you are treated by a physician that is not on the list, the treatment may not be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
If your claim is successful, after the end of the 90-day period, any treatment you need from a doctor of your choice will be paid for, so long as it is reasonable, necessary and related to the work injury.
4. Stay on top of your claim
Your employer is responsible for reporting your injury to their insurance company and filing a report with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Within a period of 21 days, the insurance company is required to either accept your claim, deny it or temporarily accept it for 90 days. You should follow up at all stages of the process to ensure that this takes place as it should. Again, it is highly advisable that you have an attorney who dedicates his practice to helping injured workers to make sure that the employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier are fulfilling their obligations and your claim is postured as well as it can be to obtain the wage loss and medical benefits that you deserve.
Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. is Lancaster County’s premier workers’ compensation law firm, having been voted the “best law firm” in the County for three years running. If you believe you may be entitled to compensation for an injury at work, our exceptional workers’ compensation lawyers will be happy to help. Call us today at 717-394-3004 for a free discussion and evaluation concerning your claim.