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When and How to Report a Work-Related Injury

April 28th, 2016

WWD-certified-workers-compIf you are injured on the job, your first instinct might be to push through or otherwise try to conceal your injury. While everyone, even non-laborers such as office workers, may experience bumps and bruises during the course of their work, significant injuries demand immediate attention – both for your physical well-being and to ensure your financial security through workers’ compensation benefits.

When it comes to reporting a work-related injury, there are proper procedures to follow and important timing considerations for both employers and employees. Knowing exactly what you should do and when you should do it will help protect you and your family.

Report as soon as possible

While Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law does give you 120 days to report a work-related injury, it is highly advisable to report the injury as soon as it becomes known. If you are unable or unwilling to report it immediately, you still should report the injury within 21 days of its occurrence. After 21 days, you forfeit your compensation for those 21 days, and compensation will begin only from the day you report the injury.

For instance, if you’re injured and miss five days of work and then report the injury, you will be compensated for those five days, as well as for future time missed. On the other hand, if you miss five days and then work through your injury for 20 more days, and then report the injury – 25 days after it has occurred – you will not be compensated for those five days you missed. You will only receive compensation starting on day 26 and going forward.

Be exact and keep proper records

When you do report the injury, be specific; depending on your line of work, simply mentioning a common ache or pain may be disregarded. You should report exactly when and how an injury started affecting you: “I lifted this heavy object and felt a shooting pain in my lower back,” for instance. The injury must be tied to a specific work-related activity.

If your employer asks you to fill out a form to report an injury, make sure to request a copy of that form for your records. If you don’t receive a form, it’s a good idea to make and keep a written record of the injury yourself, so you can properly recall when and how it occurred in case exact information is needed later for legal proceedings.

If you have a question or concern about workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, contact the certified workers’ compensation attorneys at Willig, Williams & Davidson.

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