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Mistakes People Make When Seeking Workers' Comp Benefits

Avoid Common Errors. Contact Philadelphia Lawyer Richard A. Jaffe

If you are applying for workers' compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, you need to make sure you follow the rules for this state-run program. Otherwise, your application for benefits may be denied or delayed.

Even before you apply for workers' comp benefits, there are certain things you should keep in mind when seeking workers' compensation. This includes being careful about who you discuss your workplace injury or illness with. That's because anything you say or put in writing about your workplace injury could potentially be used as evidence to deny your claim. It's best to keep those conversations between you and your attorney, protected by attorney-client privilege.

Philadelphia workplace accident attorney Richard A. Jaffe thoroughly understands how the state's workers' comp system works. That's why he has such a strong track record of success. He knows what needs to be done when applying for benefits - and what mistakes to avoid. That's why he's eager to meet with you and learn more about your workplace injury or illness.

What Not To Do When Applying For Workers' Compensation

Many of these suggestions might seem straightforward. But after a workplace injury, it's easy to make mistakes which could cost your valuable benefits and compensation while you're recovering from your injury.

So, what are the most common mistakes people make when applying for workers' compensation benefits?

  • Not reporting your injury to your employer - Legally, you must report your workplace injury to your employer promptly. Otherwise, you will not be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.
  • Missing the deadline to report your workplace injury to your employer - In most cases, you have 120 days to tell your employer you sustained an injury on the job. Other deadlines also sometimes apply. And if you miss any of them, your application will likely be denied.
  • Telling your employer you're not hurt - Even a casual comment such as "I'm fine" after a workplace injury could be used by some employers or employer's insurance companies to deny a claim.
  • Not seeking medical treatment for your workplace injury - Without documentation of your injury, insurance companies and the state might deny your claim. This is especially true if a doctor didn't diagnose your injury.
  • Ignoring your doctor's advice - If you sustain an injury at work but don't follow your doctor's advice, your workers' comp claim might be denied, or your benefits may be reduced. Your employer's insurance company might try to claim you sustained your injury outside of work or that you aggravated it by not seeking medical care.
  • Submitting the wrong claim form - Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation office has hundreds of different claim forms. If you submit the wrong one, your claim application might be denied.
  • Not signing your claim form - This might seem like a minor detail. But if you don't sign your application submitted to the state for workers' compensation, the state will not consider your application.
  • Missing the deadline to apply for workers' compensation - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has specific rules and regulations regarding when people must apply for workers' compensation benefits. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you could have 21 days to 120 days to apply for benefits.
  • Missing the deadline to appeal a denied workers' comp claim - If the state denies your initial application for workers' compensation benefits, you will have several more opportunities to obtain the benefits you rightfully deserve. But in each case, you must file your appeal within the designated deadline, which can vary from 20 days to 30 days depending on where you are in the appeal process.

This may be your only opportunity for justice. Seize it. Contact Richard A. Jaffe. He puts your best interests first.