Suffering an injury at work can be terrifying, leaving you uncertain as to when you can return to work, how you will provide for your family and more. The U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics reported that in 2017, employees suffered 882,730 workplace injuries or illnesses that resulted in days away from work.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania requires most employers to provide employees with access to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, the process to recovering the compensation you need can be confusing. To efficiently move the process along, below are several common mistakes made throughout the process of filing a claim and recovering:
Failing to report your injury to your supervisor
Whether due to anxiety over how your employer will react or your own failure to notice the severity of your injury, you may not report your injury to your supervisor right away. Reporting your injury to your supervisor, human resources professional or other manager is key to pursuing the compensation you need to recover. After you report your injury, you should immediately take steps to file your workers’ compensation claim.
Failing to comply with rules on health care providers
Pennsylvania law permits employers to require injured workers to visit a physician or health care provider of their own recommendation. While you may wish to seek the opinion of your own doctor, after your employer accepts your claim, you must work with a provider of their choosing for 90 days following your initial visit. If you do visit a health care provider not on your employer’s list, you could risk your employer’s insurance refusing to pay for the visit.
Returning to work too soon
Workers’ comp benefits can offer critical financial relief while you recover from your injuries. However, the benefits provided may not equate to your full paycheck. Because of this, your own desire to get back to work or even employer pressure to return, you may return to the workplace earlier than recommended. However, doing this could further aggravate your injury. You should comply with the return date as indicated by your doctor.
Not working with an attorney
Workers’ compensation claims can be complex and making a single mistake could delay your payments, result in less compensation than you are due and more. Working with a lawyer can help to protect your interests and ensure you continually comply both with your employer’s policies and Pennsylvania law.