One big issue that consistently arises when an employee is injured at work is the fact that they don’t want to “cause any trouble.” They are afraid they will upset their employer or look bad for “complaining” about an injury.
The fact of the matter is that your health and your life are more important than your job. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws protect you, and your employer cannot discriminate against you for taking advantage of your legally assured benefits.
Don’t wait to take action after being injured for fear of being disciplined; the quicker you acknowledge the injury and get things taken care of, the quicker you can get the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to.
The key steps to take after a workplace injury
When you get hurt at work, what happens next will depend on how severe your injury is and what is wrong.
If your injury is severe and requires immediate medical attention, getting emergency medical care should always come first.
If it’s something less urgent, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, meet with your employer to report your injury. Your workplace should have procedures already in place for what to do when an employee is injured, so let your boss worry about that. You just need to make sure you go to them immediately and be sure your injury has been recorded. The Workers’ Compensation Act requires workers to report every injury to their employers within 21 days; if you do not report your injury within 120 days, you may lose your right to receive any benefits.
Once your injury has been reported to your employer, visit a doctor to get evaluated and treated. Your employer cannot tell you that you have to be seen by a specific doctor unless:
- Your employer has provided a list of at least six health care providers from which you can choose, posted in a prominent location; and
- Your boss has provided written notice of your rights; and
- Your employer obtains, in writing, your acknowledgement that you have been informed of your rights.
Finally, call a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Filing for and received the proper workers’ compensation benefits can be very tricky and an experienced lawyer will know how to navigate the system to your advantage.
If you live in the eastern Pennsylvania area, contact the Philadelphia attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk and Kredo for a free consultation by calling 1-888-807-WORK.