Every employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania. In the event that an employee is injured during the course of employment, the employee’s medical bills and lost wages should be covered by the employer’s policy. However, WC claims are routinely denied by insurance carriers, typically on the basis that the alleged injury is non-work related.
Reporting the Injury
As soon as you are injured while working, you should report the injury to your employer. Written notice is preferred, but oral notice suffices. You have 120 days to report the injury to your employer or you will be barred from recovery. Once the employer is notified of the injury, they should complete an Employer’s First Report of Injury form (Form LIBC-344) and submit the form to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. You have the right to receive a copy of this form.
What if the Employer Fails to Report the Injury
In many situations after an employee is injured, the employer fails to complete this form and report the injury to their insurance carrier. If this is the case, see an attorney immediately. Your attorney should contact the employer’s insurance company to determine if they will accept or deny the claim.
Insurance Carrier Must Accept or Deny Claim
As soon as the insurance company is aware of the injury, they have 21 days to accept or deny the claim. An employer can accept the claim, pay temporary wage payments for up to 90 days while the claim is investigated without accepting liability, or deny the claim.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Petition if Denied
If a claim is denied, the employee has 3 years to file a Claim Petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. You should seek a workers’ compensation attorney to file a Claim Petition on your behalf. Successfully winning a Claim Petition will require a series of hearings where evidence is admitted regarding your claim and the workers’ compensation judge will issue a decision concerning whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied by your employer, please contact me for a free consultation by calling (484) 362-9286. I am a workers’ compensation attorney located in Bethlehem, PA. I can work on a contingency-fee basis so there is no fee to you unless we recover money for you.