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What is the Workers’ Compensation Process?

workers' compensation process

Work does more than pay the bills and put food on the table. For many of us, the work we do provides real meaning and rewards. When we suffer a serious injury on the job, it not only has a physical impact but can also create uncertainty. This is especially true when the injury requires expensive medical treatment or keeps us from returning to work. If you have suffered an injury in your workplace or have become sickened or developed a condition as a result of your job, then you may be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can not only reimburse you for the cost of your treatment and care, but also provide a percentage of any wages that you lose as a result of your injury and the corresponding period of recovery. In Pennsylvania, there is a specific workers’ compensation process that you need to follow in order to give yourself the best chance of getting the benefits that you deserve. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Vanasse Law can explain what you need to do and assist you in the process to ensure that you get the compensation that you need and deserve.

The first step of the workers’ compensation process is to file your initial claim. This must be submitted to your employer within 21 days of your injury, or your discovery of the work-related condition if you want to receive benefits after missing work for seven days or more. Doing this properly is essential. Your statement to your supervisor, Human Resources department or other responsible representative should include the date of the injury, how and where the accident occurred, and what its physical impact or diagnosis is. If you do not file a claim within 120 days of the injury then you risk forfeiting your right to benefits entirely.

Once you’ve submitted the claim it is likely that you will need to provide complete documentation of your injury and any bills you incur. Your employer may require you to be seen by specific approved physicians, whose names they will make available to you. It is important that you adhere to all medical advice and keep track of all appointments, as this may assist you in an appeal at a later date.

Once you have submitted your claim your employer will report it to the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. They will review your claim and either decide to provide you with compensation or issue a denial of benefits. If you receive a denial of benefits then you have the right to appeal this decision.

Though there is no requirement that you have legal representation when submitting a workers’ compensation claim or appeal, it is strongly suggested that you do. Your employer or their insurance company will have experienced legal counsel working on their behalf, and you will need a strong and knowledgeable advocate fighting for the benefits you deserve. Call the attorneys at Vanasse Law today to learn more about how we will work for you.