If an employee is injured on the job, there is a good chance the employee will be entitled to receive worker’s compensation. In order to improve the chance of receiving worker’s compensation benefits, the employee should make sure they inform the employer of the injury immediately and follow any and all guidelines set by doctors.
In Pennsylvania, an injured worker is entitled to receive temporary total disability along with medical benefits paid by the employer or its insurance carrier. If a third party was involved in the incident, they may also have liability to the injured employee. However, the employer must be notified of the employee’s injury. The sooner the employer is notified, the better the employee’s chances of receiving benefits. The more time that passes between the injury and the employer’s knowledge of the injury, the more time the employer will have to come up with other potential causes of the injury, or to prove that the employee is really not injured if he or she is still coming to work each day without notifying the employer of the injury.
An insurance adjuster may contact the injured employee on behalf of the employer. It is important to remember that the adjuster is on the employer’s side and ultimately wants to pay out as little money as possible. As a result, employees must remember that everything that is said to the adjuster can have implications in the case. Thus, it is usually a good idea to contact an attorney who can speak to the lawyers on the other side to ensure the best, most fair outcome possible. Workers who have legal representation tend to have better outcomes in worker’s compensation cases than those who do not.
It is also imperative that the employee follows any directions given by doctors. If an employee fails to follow doctor’s orders, the fact finder will be less inclined to believe the employee is making a good faith claim and effort to heal and return to work. If it is discovered that the employee is ignoring doctors’ orders, there may be a loss or reduction of benefits.
Worker’s compensation cases can take time, so it is important to remain patient. The easier cases can be settled in weeks, while others can take years if the case ends up in litigation. Various factors affect the length of a case, including whether there is a dispute between the doctors on the nature of the disability and whether the employer is able to accommodate the injured worker’s restrictions.