Once you are injured at work, you must report the injury. Once you report the injury, the Employer/Insurer has 21 days to issue one of 3 documents: 1) A Notice of Compensation Payable which accepts your claim, 2) A Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable which temporarily accepts your claim for up to 90 days as it investigates, or 3) A Notice of Compensation Denial which denies acceptance for your work injury.
If you receive a denial, you should speak to an experienced PA Work Injury Lawyer as soon as possible because you will need to file a Claim Petition. However, even if your claim is accepted or temporarily accepted, it is important to speak with a work comp lawyer because they may not have accepted the correct injury, and/or they may not have calculated your average weekly wage and compensation right properly. You also have rights regarding what doctors you should see in the first 90 days after a work injury. You may be told that you must treat with a panel doctor (who works for the Employer, not you) but there are exceptions and this can play a key role early in the claim process.
Many injured workers believe that merely reporting the work injury entitles them to payment for wage loss and/or medical benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law. This is incorrect. Reporting the injury is just one step in the process. The burden then shifts to the Employer/Insurer to accept or deny your claim. Note also, that they can accept the fact that an injury on the job took place, but deny that it’s disabling you from your pre-injury job or a modified job. This is called a “Medical Only” acceptance where they pay for medical treatment but not for any wage loss benefits. In this circumstance, you will need to speak to a PA Work Comp Lawyer to file a petition for wage loss benefits.
Work Comp doesn’t have the final say on your claim. A PA Work Comp Judge does. So, if you are denied benefits, do not feel discouraged. There is help available. And you found it right here on my blog so call or email me for assistance.
For more information about Pennsylvania Work Comp Law, call Michael W. Cardamone directly at 215-206-9068 or email Michael@cardamonelaw.com
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