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How Long Do I Have to File Workers’ Comp in Pennsylvania?

Workers’ Compensation is a powerful tool to get your medical care and lost wages covered after a work accident.  This process is often faster than a lawsuit, which means that it inevitably comes with quicker deadlines as well.  It is important to stay on top of your case’s filing deadlines to make sure you do not miss your chance at getting coverage.

The first and most important deadline in your case will be the deadline to give notice of your injury to your employer.  This must be done within 120 days of the injury, or else you lose the chance of getting coverage entirely in most cases.  More realistically, if you want your benefits to start quickly, you have to give notice within 21 days.  There are also some other important deadlines and timeframes to be aware of in your case.

Call the Certified Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Specialists at Cardamone Law for help with your case by dialing (267) 651-7945 today.

Reporting Requirement and Deadline for Workers’ Comp Claims in Pennsylvania

When you file your Workers’ Comp claim, you start with notice to your employer.  Really, your employer files the claim with their insurance carrier.  Your job is to tell the employer about the injury so they can file the case.

Under § 311 of the Workers’ Comp Act, workers have to file their notice with their employer within 120 days of the injury, or else they can lose their claim altogether.  However, this is the outside limit for when they can file, and it is really just the make-or-break deadline.  In most cases, your claim should be filed earlier.

If you do not file notice with your employer within the first 21 days after the injury, then they are allowed to wait and stall your benefits until they’ve been formally informed.  The other way to defeat this is if they are actually aware of the injury – but it is difficult to prove that they knew about the accident in some way without access to a copy of an incident report or a statement from your manager.  Instead, making sure you actually inform your employer about the injury within 21 days is the best way to get your benefits flowing.

Realistically, they cannot start the claim and get you your benefits until you tell them about the accident anyway.  This means you should really report your accident as soon as you can.  Our Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you understand how to give notice, who to give notice to, and when it is best to send this notice in your case.

Timeline of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Pennsylvania

There are a few important checkpoints along the way as your case progresses that will trigger certain rights or payments to take place:

7 Days

Your first 7 days of injury are not covered at first.  It is only once you pass the 7th day of disability that you start drawing wage-loss benefits – assuming, of course, that you have already notified your employer of your injury and they’ve properly filed your claim.

The 7th day after an injury is also an important date for your case in that the Act starts allowing agreements and settlements about compensation and amounts to take place after Day 7 of your injury.  At this point, we will really start to dial in how much your claim is worth based on discussion with the insurance carrier, and we can potentially settle your case.

14 Days

If your injury goes on for at least 14 days, then the first 7 days of benefits will be paid as back benefits.

90 Days

When you file your Workers’ Comp claim, the first 90 days of coverage are an important time period.  This is sometimes referred to as the “without prejudice” period, because your employer/their carrier is able to pay the claim without being locked in or admitting any sort of liability.  This allows them to investigate further and, if they determine they shouldn’t have to pay, take back what they said and end the benefits without any “prejudice” against them for doing so.  This essentially means that your case will be up in the air, and that the compensation you were granted might be only “temporary compensation” for 90 days.

Another important time period is also 90 days: during the first 90 days of treatment, you are supposed to use a doctor on the insurance carrier’s list of approved doctors.  These lists are technically more than doctors in many cases, as they might include chiropractors and other practitioners.  If you are looking for care from a general physician, you usually have to use the ones from this list, but only for the first 90 days; after that, you can use a doctor of your choice.  Note, however, that these lists only include a few doctors in the first place.  If you need a specialist or you need surgery, you are usually allowed to pick a specialist and get a second opinion about surgery from doctors you choose.

120 Days

As mentioned, if your injury has not been reported to your employer within 120 days of the accident, you cannot get compensation under Workers’ Compensation.  There are some exceptions for injuries that you might not be able to discover, such as cancer from radiation – which is specifically listed in the statute as an exception.  If this rare situation comes up, your timeline for filing starts from the time you discover the cause of your condition was work-related.

300 Weeks

This is a rare deadline to think about, but injuries and conditions can only be deemed “work-related” and get benefits under Workers’ Comp if the condition arises within 300 weeks (around 5 years and 9 months) of your employment, exposure to work conditions, or work injury.  For example, if you develop cancer 2 years after working at a chemical plant, that is within the 300-week period and can still be part of a claim against that employer.  Proving that the cancer was linked to your work will be a different challenge, but at least the law does not cut you off from benefits after a delay like this.

The same rules apply to death benefits: if the victim succumbs to work-related cancer or another condition within 300 weeks of last being employed there, that can still count as a work-related death.

Call Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Pennsylvania Today

Contact Cardamone Law by calling (267) 651-7945 for a free case assessment with our Bensalem, PA Workers’ Compensation lawyers.

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Cardamone Law Has Negotiated Some of the Largest Workers’ Comp Settlements in Pennsylvania

$6 Million
We Assisted Another Firm in Reaching Settlement
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury
$6 Million
We Assisted Another Firm in Reaching Settlement
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury

Client Testimonials

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart Mike and Shirley!!"

I called Shirley when I was scared and didn’t know what where my next dime was coming from after I was out with my work injury. Shirley was very kind and helpful guiding me every single step of the way. Mike was not your typical lawyer was not pushy but very responsive to all my gazillion questions. He helped me get my settlement quickly and settlement check in a very timely manner. Would recommend them to anyone! Mike helped calm all my fears and anxieties as I was trying to navigate one of the hardest and most stressful times in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Mike and Shirley!!

- Jen Thompson
Google Reviews
"Tienes un equipo impresionante a pesar de ser una compañía pequeña, los resultados fueron excelentes!"

Yo le daría 10 estrellas en vez de 5 , Michael Cardamone es una persona genuina y un gran abogado, al principio de mi caso, yo estaba en la oscuridad y no sabia que pasos tendría que seguir porque Workers comp ,solo me cubría en esos momentos los beneficios medicos .Después, me eliminaron el puesto , no sabia como manejar mi situación (estaba con una cirugía y también sin trabajo,) grasias a Mike, el me dirigió por el camino correcto, me dieron una muy buena cantidad por mi caso. El fue muy comprensivo porque le hice muchas preguntas por email y siempre me las contesto a tiempo, brindando seguridad ,sabia que estaba en las manos correctas! Shirley y Francisco también fueron de gran ayuda con los recordatorios y servicios de traducción en Español. tienes un equipo impresionante a pesar de ser una compañía pequeña, los resultados fueron excelentes! se los recomiendo a todos. Muchas grasias Cardamone law!

- Marisol Rodriguez
Google Reviews
"Best Law Firm around!"

"Cardomone law is absolutely fantastic! They are very responsive and helpful and they will fight to get you what you deserve. Shirley is also very helpful whenever you have any questions! Best Law Firm around!"

- C. Edwards
Google Reviews
"Michael and Shirley are very dedicated...and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case"

"Cardamone Law Firm were very helpful to me since day one. Michael and Shirley are very dedicated to my case giving me updates, answering my questions, being honest with my case, and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case. Thank you so much for your service and dedication and helping me to achieve not only your case but to guide and refer me in other needs too! You guys are the best law firm friendly and dedicated. I will recommend to anyone."

- A. Ortiz
Google Reviews
"Michael won my workers comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim."

"Exceptional firm. Highly recommend this law firm. Michael won my Workers Comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim. Him and his staff were always at my reach for legal and emotional support. Am so happy I hire them. Thanks Michael and Ms. Shirley."

- Carlos P.
Google Reviews
"[They] did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time."

"I recently had a work related injury and was receiving Workers' Compensation (medical benefits only). Soon after I was fired, so I contacted Paul Silver at Cardamone Law Firm who did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time. Paul and his assistant Shirley always responded to any questions I had about the case in a very short amount of time. Thank you for helping me with this difficult case."

- Robin C.
Google Reviews
"Highly recommend."

"Cardamone Law was great with helping my husband with his Workers Comp issues. Mike and Shirley were the best with letting us know what was going on every step of the way. Highly recommend."

- Danielle P.
Google Reviews
"Mike Cardamone is amazing"

"Mike Cardamone is amazing. He is "hands down" one of the best lawyers I've ever had the privilege of knowing. He is very kind, understanding, knowledgeable in his field, always very thorough and helpful. He was extremely professional and someone who truly cares about his clients. I felt completely at ease with him. He was a pleasure to work with, explained everything in detail, as well as answered all my questions with knowledge and care. If you want someone you can trust, who communicates every step of the way, will fight for you and make sure you win your case, he is it! I will refer all my family and friends to him. Thank you so much Mike, for everything. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication in helping me."

- Allie M.
Google Reviews
Without a doubt YOU are the best!!!

"Without a doubt YOU are the best!!! Every person who is in the horrible position of being injured at work should have someone as kind, compassionate and knowledgeable as you on their side. You never once made me feel like I was one of a hundred other clients. I always knew you had my back! You answered calls and emails at all hours. You fought every fight for me so I only had to worry about getting well. Behind your nice, calm face there’s a pit bull ready to take on any employer or judge. I can never thank you enough."

- L. Edall
Google Reviews
"Best Workers' Comp Lawyer!"

"Michael is simply the best! He was there for me from day 1 till the end, and we won the case!! He is always available to help. I had a gazillion questions and he would answer them one by one. He's a great lawyer and I feel lucky to have found him online from reading other outstanding reviews about him. Believe me, they're true!"

- Faith B.
Google Reviews
"Great Attorney"

"Great attorney, handled case quickly and efficiently. I would recommend him and would use him again. He was always available to answer any questions we had. Thank you, Mr. Cardamone."

- H. Anderson
Google Reviews