When Your Employer Won’t Cooperate After a Work Injury: What’s Your Recourse?
Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation laws are designed to protect most workers by providing compensation for medical expenses incurred because of a work-related injury.
Depending on the extent of your injury, you may also be entitled to payment for lost wages. The law also provides for “specific loss” benefits, which you may be entitled to receive for certain serious and permanent injuries or disfigurements. If a family member was killed as the result of a work-related injury, workers’ compensation also provides death benefits to surviving dependents.
The law clearly establishes employers’ responsibilities for injured workers. Unfortunately, sometimes employers aren’t in compliance with the law. If you feel like your employer is throwing up roadblocks, or just isn’t meeting their obligations, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you get the benefits you are legally entitled to receive.
Your Responsibilities, and Your Rights
If you suffer an injury on the job, you are responsible for promptly notifying your employer about when, where and how the injury occurred.
If your employer has accepted your claim and has posted a list of at least six health care providers, you are required to choose one of those providers for initial treatment after an injury. However, if your employer hasn’t posted such a list or hasn’t yet accepted your benefits claim, you are free to choose your own doctor.
Your Employer has Responsibilities Too
When you’ve been injured at work, your employer is legally required to provide you with a written notice of your rights and responsibilities under PA workers’ compensation laws. If you didn’t receive this notification, your employer may be out of compliance with state law.
If your injury causes you to lose a day or a shift at work, your employer is also legally required to file a report of the injury with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
However, employers do have the right to deny claims, when denial is legitimate. For example, PA law says that intentionally self-inflicted workplace injuries aren’t covered under workers’ compensation. So, an employer who has reasonable grounds to believe that you intentionally harmed yourself at work may be within their rights to deny your claim.
When a claim is denied for any reason, you have the right to appeal that decision by filing a claim petition requesting a hearing in front of a workers’ compensation judge.
When Your Employer Isn’t Cooperating, Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. Can Help
Some employers simply don’t understand what’s required of them when an employee is injured on the job; others deliberately try to avoid having to report injuries. Becoming injured is hard enough without having to go head-to-head with your employer on your own. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone.
If you have been injured in the workplace and are concerned that your employer hasn’t reported your injury, or is denying responsibility for your medical care, the experienced professionals at Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. can help. To schedule a free review of your case, contact the firm online, or call us in Lancaster today at (717) 394-3004.