If you suffer an injury at work, your employer likely has workers’ compensation insurance that will pay for your related expenses and potentially your lost wages. Pennsylvania requires almost every employer to carry this insurance. It offers you protection because it provides a guarantee of coverage in the event of an accident, and it protects your employer because it is a no-fault system, which means you cannot sue your employer in court for the incident.
As long as your injury occurs during the course of your work activities, workers’ compensation will cover it. However, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, if you do not file your claim within the time limit, you risk having the bureau deny coverage.
Your time deadline
You have the responsibility of reporting your injury to your employer within 21 days. For accidents that require immediate medical attention, your employer will typically be aware the moment of the accident. However, if you suffer a repetitive stress injury, for example, that occurs over time, you need to make sure to report it within 21 days of discovering the injury is job-related.
Keep in mind that if you do not give notice of the injury to your employer within 21 days, you will not receive benefits for the time prior to when you filed. You have up to 120 days to give notice before you lose all rights to compensation.
Your employer’s deadline
Your employer also has a time limit in which to file your injury report. This must happen within seven days of the injury. If a work incident caused a death, the employer must file the notice within 48 hours.