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Understanding Workers' Compensation in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Injured Workers

Brian McDonnell HKQ Attorney

Jun 24, 2024

What should I do if I've been injured at work?

Suffering an injury at work can be a horrifying experience, but understanding your rights under Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation Act is crucial to get the benefits and support you deserve. There are important steps you should take if you've been injured at work. Timely action and following legal requirements to protect your claim are extremely important.



Immediate Steps Following a Workplace Injury


If you've been injured at work, taking immediate steps can have a big impact on your ability to receive compensation and benefits under workers' compensation:


  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety should be your top priority. If you are hurt on the job, get medical treatment as soon as possible, even if your injuries appear minor at first. Proper and timely medical documentation is essential to establish the severity and cause of your injuries.

  2. Secure Evidence: Gathering evidence early on can strengthen your workers' compensation claim. Take photographs of the accident scene and of any equipment or objects involved. The pictures will serve as visual documentation that can provide crucial context and support your account of how the injury happened.

  3. Report the Injury: According to Pennsylvania law, you must report your workplace injury to your employer within 120 days of the incident. If you do not report within this timeframe, it may jeopardize your ability to receive benefits under the Workers' Compensation Act. It's essential to notify your employer in writing and keep a record of the communication for your records.



Understanding the Workers' Compensation Act


Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Key aspects of the Act include:

  • Medical Benefits: Workers' compensation covers necessary medical treatment related to your work injury, including doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, and rehabilitation services.

  • Lost Wage Benefits: If your injury prevents you from working, workers' compensation provides wage replacement benefits to compensate for lost income. The amount of wage benefits typically equals a percentage of your average weekly wage, subject to statutory maximums.

  • Death Benefits: In tragic cases where a work-related injury results in death, workers' compensation provides benefits to the deceased employee's dependents, including compensation for funeral expenses and ongoing financial support.




Legal Requirements and Potential Pitfalls


Navigating the workers' compensation process can be complex, and certain legal requirements must be met to protect your rights:


  • Timely Reporting: As mentioned earlier, reporting your injury to your employer within 120 days is crucial. If you fail to do so, benefits may be denied.

  • Statute of Limitations: While you have 120 days to report your injury, you generally have three years from the date of injury to file a workers' compensation claim in Pennsylvania. However, it's advisable to start the claims process promptly to avoid potential complications and make sure you receive timely benefits.



Expert Guidance from Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn


At Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn, our team of experienced workers' compensation attorneys is dedicated to helping injured workers navigate the complexities of Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system. We provide compassionate and effective legal representation to make sure that our clients receive the full benefits they are entitled to under the law.



Contact Our Legal Team Today


If you have been injured at work and are unsure about your rights or the workers' compensation claims process, don't hesitate to reach out to us for guidance. Our knowledgeable attorneys at Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn are here to assist you every step of the way, from the first consultation to securing the benefits you deserve.


For more information on our legal services or to schedule a consultation with one of our workers' compensation attorneys, please call us at 570-287-3000 or email us at info@hkqlaw.com.



Conclusion


Navigating Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system requires a thorough understanding of legal requirements and deadlines. By taking proactive steps, such as seeking medical attention promptly, securing evidence, and reporting your injury within the designated time frame, you can protect your rights and maximize your chances of receiving the benefits you need to recover from a workplace injury.

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