01

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an agreement between an employer and employee that in the event the employee is injured on the job, they will receive compensation for their injuries through the state’s workers’ compensation system instead of through our civil justice system.

Click here to learn more about workers’ compensation.

02

Do I need an attorney?

Yes. Your employer and its insurance company will have legal representatives fighting for their interests, so why shouldn’t you? Workers’ compensation cases can be complex and subject to different rules that other injury claims. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage; hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the process.

03

If I’m injured on the job, what should I do?

In the aftermath of a workplace injury, it’s crucial to follow a few simple steps to ensure your right to the benefits you deserve.

Click here to read what you need to do to guarantee your benefits.

04

My injury is an illness that I developed over time. What are the reporting rules?

If you’ve developed an illness, you need to report it to your employer as soon as it’s been diagnosed and related to your job.

05

What does workers’ compensation cover?

Workers’ compensation covers any injuries, illnesses, or diseases caused by your job, including repetitive trauma or over-use injuries. Self-inflicted injuries or those caused by alcohol or drug intoxication are not covered. Workers’ compensation does not consider non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.

06

Can I be fired for filing for workers’ compensation?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. It is illegal for an employer to fire you simply because you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim.

07

Can I chose my own doctor or hospital?

This depends. If your employer posts the names of at least six doctors in your workplace and required you to sign a Panel Acknowledgement stating that you’ll see only those doctors, you must do so for at least 90 days. After the 90 day period, you can see any doctor of your choice. Aside from the doctors posted by your employer, they may also require a physical by a company-designated doctor up to twice annually.

08

If I’ve been disabled for an extended period of time, can I get my job back when I’ve recovered?

Unfortunately, your employer isn’t required to hold your job for you while you recover. If you’ve been replaced during your recovery, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits after you’ve recovered.

Pennsylvania does have a program that encourages employees, employers, and healthcare providers to work together to get injured workers back on the job. The Return-to-Work program is managed by Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry, and you can click here for more information.

09

I was injured, and now I can’t work in the same capacity.

If you’re able to work in some capacity, but your former employer does’t have position in that capacity, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. Social Security Disability is also an option for workers who may not return to work for at least a year or whose condition is termed fatal.

10

I know I should have an attorney, but without wages coming in, I can’t afford one.

Many workers’ compensation attorneys are willing to work on a contingency basis, meaning they won’t get paid unless you receive benefits. Also, any attorney fees in workers’ compensation cases must be approved by a judge or the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board.

11

I didn’t think I would have to file a claim, but now I do. What is the statute of limitations for filing a claim?

Injured workers must report their injury to their employer within 120 days. After that, workers are ineligible for benefits. That is not the only time limitation. If you report your injury within 21 days, you can still be awarded benefits as of the date of the injury; however, if you report your injury 22 days or more after, you can only be awarded benefits as of your reporting date. Finally, if your claim has been denied, you have three years from the date of injury to file an appeal.

12

I’m permanently and totally disabled. Can I get a lump sum settlement for my injuries?

Yes, but you should consult with an attorney before agreeing to a lump sum settlement. Many insurance companies will offer settlements that are only worth a fraction of what you truly deserve.