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Frequently Asked Questions About Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation

Below are some of the most common questions people ask related to work injuries and the workers’ compensation system.

Founding attorney Timothy Belt is certified by the Pennsylvania Bar Association as a specialist in workers’ compensation law. He can answer your specific questions in a free consultation.

I have been injured at work. What should I do?
Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and obtain any necessary medical treatment.

What happens if I do not tell my employer about my injury?
If the injury is not reported after 120 days, you will lose the right to file for compensation. You cannot be fired for reporting a work injury or for missing work because the injury.

What happens next in the workers’ compensation process?
The employer reports your injury to their workers’ compensation insurer. If the insurance carrier accepts your claim, they will calculate any compensation owed and make payment. If your claim has not been accepted within 21 days of providing notice of the injury to your employer, your claim is likely denied.

My employer denied my claim. What do I next?
If you receive a notice of denial, you can file a Claim Petition with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Bureau. Your Petition will be assigned to a Workers’ Compensation Judge. The Judge will schedule hearings, and both sides will be provided the opportunity to present evidence. If the claim is not voluntarily resolved, the judge will issue a Decision.

How long do I have to file a claim petition?
In most cases you have up to three years from the date of injury to file a Claim Petition.

What injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?
Any injury or illness that is work-related. It could be a fall, a burn or other workplace incident. It also covers occupational illnesses and repetitive stress injuries that develop over time from toxic exposures or the rigors of the job.

What benefits are provided by workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers all medical expenses stemming from your work injury. Workers’ comp pays wage loss benefits until you are able to go back to work. If you suffer an amputation or disfigurement to your face or neck, you may be entitled to additional disability benefits (even if you are still able to work).

Should I settle my workers’ compensation claim?
Taking a lump-sum settlement may or may not make sense for your situation. You should get legal counsel before agreeing to a settlement.

Do I need a lawyer?
Workers’ compensation is a complex process. If you fail to follow specific steps and timelines, you risk damaging your claim or not getting the full spectrum of compensation available. Speak with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

What does it cost to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?
There is no upfront or out-of-pocket cost to you. We provide a free initial consultation. You do not pay any legal fees unless and until we recover benefits for you.

Do you have a work-related injury? Please give us a call in Kingston at 570-714-3343, in Hazleton at 570-535-3343 or contact us online. The Belt Law Firm, P.C., serves injured workers in Luzerne County and the surrounding communities of northeast Pennsylvania.