If you were injured on the job in Pennsylvania, filing a workers' compensation claim may be the last thing on your mind. After all, you already have more than enough to worry about. You have to schedule medical appointments, complete recommended treatment, figure out how to pay the bills that keep piling up, take care of your children - and the list goes on. It's hard to think beyond the immediate necessities of life.
However, filing a workers' compensation claim is likely to be one of the best things you can do right now. Workers' compensation can potentially provide the medical benefits you need to recover. It can also provide the money you need to keep putting food on your family's table. It's worth it to file a claim.
But here's the catch: You have time limits. The clock starts ticking after your accident or illness, so you need to act as soon as possible.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, here are a few deadlines you should be aware of:
- To start receiving a check as soon as possible, you should report your injury to your employer within 21 days of the accident (unless he or she already knows about it).
- If you don't report the injury within 120 days (approximately 4 months), you could lose out on benefits altogether.
- If you contracted an occupational disease or illness, you have three years to file a claim.
- If you apply for workers' compensation benefits and the request is denied, you have three years to file a petition.
- If you were receiving benefits and they suddenly ended, you have three years to ask for your benefits to be reinstated.
Remember, the sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can stop worrying about how you'll make ends meet. Don't wait any longer than you absolutely need to before picking up the phone and getting the process started.
For experienced, helpful assistance navigating the workers' compensation process, consult a lawyer skilled in this area of law. These types of cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, so you won't owe any fees unless your attorney is successful in obtaining benefits for you.