HOW WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WORKS
Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees. When an employee suffers a work-related injury, they file a workers’ comp claim to get payment for their medical treatment. It also covers a portion of their missed wages.
WHAT BENEFITS CAN I RECEIVE THROUGH WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
Workers’ comp in Pennsylvania provides the following benefits to qualifying employees:
- Medical expenses – Reasonable and necessary medical costs related to a work injury or illness
- Wage-loss benefits – Benefits that replace a portion of a worker’s lost income for a total or partial disability
- Specific loss benefits – Compensation for the permanent loss of use of particular body parts, such as hands, feet, fingers, or eyes, and other types of significant disfigurement
- Death benefits – Compensation that covers funeral expenses and a portion of lost income for a worker’s dependents if the worker dies as a result of an occupational injury or illness
REASONS PEOPLE SOMETIMES MISS THE WORKERS’ COMP CLAIM TIME LIMIT
People miss the deadlines for reporting their injury and filing a claim for several reasons. Some include:
– Not Realizing Their Injuries Are Covered
Sometimes people aren’t aware that workers’ comp is available to them or they believe that their specific injury isn’t covered. Many employees don’t know that their employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Almost every employer must purchase workers’ compensation insurance.
If you get injured on the job, report it to your supervisor immediately. Insist on submitting a written claim. If they claim they aren’t required to have insurance, or they aren’t forthcoming with the paperwork, talk with a workers’ compensation attorney right away. As long as you meet the workers’ comp claim time limit, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
– They Don’t Think They Were ‘On the Job’
Work-related injuries don’t have to be at the worksite or while working with dangerous equipment. The law states that injuries must result from an accident that ‘arises out of and in the course of employment’ to qualify for workers’ compensation. This definition includes performing work duties or activities related to their employment. They might be anywhere on the premises, or in a vehicle making a delivery or pickup. Off-site meetings or mandatory events are also considered job-related.
– They Didn’t Get Injured During an Accident
Employees sometimes think only injuries caused by a single event are covered. Sometimes, illnesses or injuries occur over time.
– They Don’t Think Their Injuries Are That Severe
If they don’t have open wounds or broken bones, it’s easy for people to think they don’t have any serious injuries. Sometimes injuries don’t appear for hours or even days after an accident. That’s why employees should always report accidents, even if they don’t think their injuries are serious. Otherwise, proving their claim can be difficult down the road.
Sometimes it isn’t a matter of getting compensated for an injury and recovering. Some workers’ comp injuries get worse over time. That’s why it’s so important to report injuries and get medical treatment even if the injury doesn’t seem significant. Workers must report their injuries to their employer within a specific time frame to obtain workers’ compensation.
If you have been injured on your job, give us a call at Pittsburgh East Heath Center & we can help you through the process.