In some ways, the workplace is one of the worst places to suffer a personal injury. Due to the laws surrounding workplace injuries, cases are even more complicated than typical personal injuries. While the existence of a state-mandated process does make compensation far more likely, the whole process you must go through delays payments and turns a lot of people around.
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you should be aware of some common workers’ compensation issues you may face when filing. This will help you prepare to deal with them. If you want legal guidance through the process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, contact the personal injury attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.
When someone is injured on the job in Pennsylvania, they don’t file a personal injury lawsuit, but rather a workers’ comp claim. Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act mandates most employers to cover the cost of their employee’s recovery if they’re injured at work. This limits the money they can receive but guarantees compensation.
But this necessitated a procedure by which the injuries can be filed and processed. There are forms and different departments of the Pennsylvania state government that need your file to process them, and this doesn’t even include your employer and their insurance. Our personal injury attorneys have experience with filing these if you require assistance.
But with any legal process, there are issues and loopholes that entities try to take advantage of. Your employer will try to take advantage of these issues to avoid paying you workers’ compensation. Sometimes there are just non-malicious issues that slow the process down. No matter what, if you have been injured at work, you need to know about them.
Most employers do not cover workers’ injuries out of pocket. They have insurance policy providers who will cover the costs. These insurance providers will also do whatever they can to prove that your injury is not covered by worker’s compensation. If they do, they don’t have to pay you anything, and then you have to file a wrongful denial lawsuit to get compensation.
Your employer/employer’s insurance company can claim that your workers’ comp claim is late, your injury is fake, your injury isn’t work-related, or that you’re a contract worker rather than an employee. If they try to make these claims to deny you workers’ comp, you can file a lawsuit.
Since most employers use a workers’ compensation insurance policy, they decide what doctors can approve or disapprove of your workers’ comp claim. They can also approve and limit what kinds of treatment you can receive. This can lead to you being denied preferred treatments or treatment altogether.
If you have a specific doctor you want to treat you, or at least diagnose you, you can go to them, but workers’ comp doesn’t have to cover it. If you want a second opinion, and it doesn’t match the opinion of the medical professionals provided by the insurance policy, this can serve as evidence in a wrongful denial claim.
Even when the most skilled and effective workers are on the case, processing a claim is not fast. You should file as soon as possible because there is a time limit for how long you can wait before filing your claim. Currently, the statute of limitations is three years.
This can also be the fault of your employer and/or their insurance. They may try to throttle the process by purposely slowing down the acceptance and processing of your claim or maybe they are genuinely slow to process it.
We stated before that the forms behind these claims are complicated. They require a thorough review to ensure you have all the necessary information and details to avoid having your claim denied. The forms are not easy or clear, so if you’re not sure if your forms have everything they need, you should bring them to a personal injury attorney for review.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you receive proper treatment for your injury. If you need treatment that your employer’s policy won’t cover, you can potentially file a lawsuit to receive compensation later. Making sure you have your health now is the most important thing.
Then, acquire copies of any hospital bills, forms, and more about the accident that caused your injury. We can review this information to help you file your claim, determine how much you should receive, and what you can do next. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. for help.
Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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