Filing a claim for a work-related injury or illness with your employer is probably not something you ever want to have to do. Unfortunately, accidents happen even at work, where typically, employers encourage the best precautions and safety practices.
There are steps you should take before you file a claim, as well as during the claim process. Further, it is helpful to understand what your benefits may be when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania.
- Assess the damage
It is important to keep an accurate record of your experience, including relevant photos, if possible, as well as a list of all associated out-of-pocket costs and medical receipts. Keep an accurate tally of any missed or future wages that result from your injury or illness. If you become temporarily or permanently disabled, you must file a separate claim for disability benefits.
Communicate with your employer to make sure the company notifies its workers’ compensation insurance company of your intent to file a claim as soon as possible. Submit all claim information in a timely manner to avoid delays in compensation.
- Review the options
Navigating through the settlement phase is often the most difficult aspect of receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, as there may be many options for settlement of your occupational injury claim, such as:
- Receive payment of the initial amount offered by the employer’s insurance company to settle your claim
- Negotiate for a larger amount if you feel the original amount offered is too low or does not address future health concerns
- Negotiate a lump-sum settlement
- Negotiate a large structured-settlement
- Request a workers’ compensation board hearing
- Proceed with a lawsuit
- Resolve the claim
The complexity of the Workers’ Compensation Act of 1915 can sometimes be difficult to understand. Research your options before agreeing to settle your claim to ensure you do not leave benefits on the table when filing a workers’ compensation claim in the state of Pennsylvania.