Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What are the most important things an injured worker should know about Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation rights?

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Carroll & Carroll, P.C. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.

Q: What are the most important things an injured individual should know about workers' compensation rights?

  • Always report a work injury even if you might not lose time from work or need immediate medical care. It is critical that you require your employer to complete an accident report. Remember to keep an independent record of the date, time, and nature of your work injury. In addition, make a list of witnesses as well as the person to whom the injury is reported. Be sure to provide a complete and accurate account of the type of injury you sustained and how your injury occurred as well as your past medical history.
  • If your employer fails to accept your claim within 21 days of the date you notify them, seek legal assistance and file a petition for compensation. Should your employer accept your injury, be certain that the wages upon which your compensation is based are accurate. In most cases your compensation should be 66 2/3% of your gross wages from all sources of employment.
  • If, after receiving compensation, your employer or the insurance company asks you to see another physician, seek legal advice immediately as this is your employer's first step in their attempt to either terminate your compensation or modify your benefits. It is possible that your employer may offer you modified work based on medical proof that you are able to perform that work. This can cause you to lose your benefits by failing to accept the newly defined work.
  • You might be contacted by a vocational rehabilitation firm attempting to find you a new job. Your compensation can be effected if you fail to cooperate with the vocational firm.
  • Should you receive a petition in the mail to terminate, suspend or modify your compensation, seek legal advice. NEVER sign a supplement agreement or final receipt without having it reviewed by an attorney.

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