Process for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania
Employees who are injured while working in Pennsylvania are entitled to collect compensation for their injuries from an employer under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. All employers are required by law to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance that will provide compensation benefits for employees that are injured at work and death benefits to an employee’s dependents in the event that a worker is killed on the job. Exceptions include federal employees, railroad employees, longshoremen, and shipyard workers whose compensation may be governed by other laws. Volunteer workers, domestic employees, agricultural workers, those with a religious exemption from the Workers’ Compensation Act, or those who elect to be exempt from the Act may also not be covered.
In order to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits for an injury, it is not necessary to prove that your employer is at fault for causing your injury; however, you must prove that your injury occurred while you were working. If your work injury is covered by Workers’ Compensation, you cannot sue your employer for additional compensation.
Filing a claim for Workers’ Compensation is a complex process. To increase your chances of a successful outcome, contact Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will assist you with your claim and make sure that you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.
The following general guidelines apply to most Workers’ Compensation cases. Contact Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger to discuss the specifics of your case.
- A work injury must be reported to an employer within 120 days after the injury occurs in order to be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. If you report your injury within 21 days, you qualify for benefits from the date of your injury. If you report your injury to your employer more than 21 days after the injury occurred, you qualify for benefits from the day the injury was reported.
- Your employer must notify its insurance carrier of your injury immediately.
- Many employers will provide a list of at least six medical providers that you can seek treatment from for the first 90 days after your work injury. Employers cannot offer advice about which doctor to choose. Insurance company representatives cannot be present during your doctor visits. An insurance company may require you to have an independent medical evaluation (IME) performed by a doctor of its choosing. An IME is for evaluation purposes only, not treatment, and doctor-patient confidentiality does not apply.
- After the employer is notified of an injury, your employer or its insurance carrier has 21 days to either accept or deny liability for your injury. If your employer’s insurance carrier accepts liability, you will receive a Notice of Compensation Payable, and the insurance company will begin paying you benefits. A carrier may also begin paying you benefits without admitting liability. In this case, you would receive a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable (NTCP.) An NTCP can be revoked by the insurance carrier within 90 days from when it is issued. If your employer/carrier denies liability, you will receive a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial, and no benefits will be paid.
- If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision by filing a petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. A petition must be submitted within three years of the date that your injury occurred, or within three years of when you should have been aware of your work injury.
- Once a petition is filed, it will typically be assigned to a Workers’ Compensation Judge.
- The judge assigned to your case will hold a hearing during which you and your employer will present your evidence.
- The judge will render a decision in your case based on the evidence presented.
- If you choose to appeal the judge’s decision, you can present your case to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. Further appeals will go to the Commonwealth Court followed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
- A Workers’ Compensation Judge must approve any settlement agreement that would require you to release the employer/carrier from further claims. The judge will hold a hearing to make sure that you fully understand the terms of the agreement.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger Obtain Favorable Outcomes for Injured Workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
An experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Galfand Berger can increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your Workers’ Compensation case. Our knowledgeable attorneys can guide you through the initial filing process to ensure that your claim contains the necessary documentation and all deadlines are met. If your claim has been denied, we will fight aggressively to appeal the denial. The insurance company will have attorneys fighting on its behalf. You can increase your chances of a successful appeal by hiring a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Galfand Berger.
If you or a loved one has been injured, we are happy to answer your questions and have one of our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers review your case for free. Please call us at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or complete our short contact form and a member of our firm will contact you.
With offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Bethlehem and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And, remember, there is no fee unless we recover for you.
See the recoveries that we have obtained for our clients here.