Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you were hurt on the job, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws will likely govern what financial benefits you may be eligible to receive. Workers’ compensation benefits can include payment for your medical expenses, lost wages, long-term disability costs, and related expenses.
As someone who works in Reading or anywhere in PA, these benefits are supposed to be available anytime you find yourself hurt on the job. The process for obtaining these benefits is not always straightforward, however, so many workers choose to retain an experienced attorney. A Reading workers’ compensation lawyer could guide you through every step of the process.
Basics of Workers’ Comp Laws
Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor administers and oversees the state’s workers’ compensation program. Employers pay insurance premiums for coverage, and that insurance company then pays the covered expenses and losses of employees who are hurt or become ill on the job. In addition, a worker may recover costs and damages that are attributable to a work-related condition. For example, a worker could be compensated for a degenerative back condition that is made worse because of the person’s job duties.
With few exceptions, workers are entitled to benefits, even if they played a role in bringing about an accident through their own carelessness. However, workers’ compensation is an “exclusive remedy,” meaning injured workers will generally not be able to bring a negligence lawsuit directly against their employers to recover additional compensation. A workers’ comp attorney in Reading could further explain the benefits available to an injured employee.
Process for Submitting a Claim in Reading
To be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must follow the steps set forth by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and the Department of Labor’s guidelines for submitting a claim:
- The injured worker notifies their employer of the work-related injury or illness. While this can be done orally in emergencies, the better practice is to provide written notification detailing how, when, and where the workplace incident took place
- The employer then notifies its insurer of the workplace injury or illness, which allows the insurer to investigate the situation and decide whether to pay the workers’ medical expenses and lost wages
- If the employer or its insurance company declines to pay benefits, the worker then can appeal the denial administratively
Each step of the workers’ compensation claim process is governed by strict deadlines. If an injured worker fails to adhere to these deadlines, the insurer may deny an otherwise viable claim. Failing to notify one’s employer within 21 days of being injured or becoming ill, for example, can lead to a denial. For this reason, if a worker is unsure of the steps they need to take, consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Reading is an excellent first step.
A Reading Workers’ Compensation Attorney is Ready to Assist
Recovering from a workplace injury or illness is stressful enough without also having to worry about time away from the job and how you will pay for your medical bills. Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation program is meant to free you from financial worries after a workplace injury so you can give your full attention to your recovery.
It is crucial, though, that you follow the deadlines and procedures spelled out in the workers’ compensation program carefully. Failing to properly notify your employer or appeal an adverse decision within the appropriate period can mean the denial of your claim. Enlist the assistance of a knowledgeable Reading workers’ compensation lawyer for help with your claim.