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Process for filing a workers' compensation claim

There are many different ways that people are injured on-the-job in Pennsylvania. One thing that is consistent, though, is that these injuries can be very costly. Many injuries require medical treatment and force people to miss time at work. In certain situations the person will have to cover these expenses themselves, but depending on the circumstances, the person who caused the injury may have to compensate the victim.

In addition, when people are injured at work, they may pursue workers' compensation benefits simply because the injury occurred while they were working, with some exceptions. These benefits may pay for the medical costs associated with the injury as well as a portion of the injured workers' income while they are unable to work. In order to receive these benefits, though, the person must follow the proper procedures.

First the injured worker must report the injury to their employer within 21 days of the injury occurring. Then the employer must report the injury to their insurance carrier and the Bureau of Workers' Compensation within seven days for any injury that lasts more than a day or shift. The insurance carrier will then determine if it will pay the benefits or not within 21 days.

If the insurance carrier denies the claim then the worker has to file a claim for the benefits. This must be done within three years of the date of the injury. After the claim is filed, the case will be assigned to a judge and a hearing date will be set. After the hearing the parties will most likely be required to mediate. If no resolution is reached through mediation, then the judge will issue a ruling based on the evidence submitted at the hearing.

Unfortunately many people are injured at work each year in Pennsylvania. These workers may experience significant financial hardships as a result, and that is why workers' compensation is so important. It is important that injured workers receive the proper amount of compensation, so they can focus on regaining their health without worrying about the expenses incurred.

Source: dli.pa.gov, "The Flow of a Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Claim," accessed on May 15, 2018

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