Workers' Comp FAQ
What do I do if I get injured at work?
If you are not severely injured:
- Immediately find your supervisor, manager or foreman and report that you have been injured at work
- If none of these people is available, leave a message for one of them that describes exactly how you injured yourself
- Follow up with that person the next day
- Keep notes of the name and the title of the person who you notified of your injury, the date of your injury and the date that you reported it
- When reporting the injury, explain how you were hurt on the job and describe all of your injuries and the parts of the body that were injured
- Report all injuries, even if they seem minor
- After reporting the injury, get medical treatment
If you are severely injured:
- Immediately get an ambulance to take you to the hospital
- After you have been treated at the hospital, follow steps 1 through 6, above
My employer wants me to complete a report regarding my injury. Should I?
Yes, as soon as you are able. But make sure you are very detailed, fully describing how, when and where you were injured. If someone else fills it out for you, read it carefully before you sign it. Also, make sure you get a copy of this report from your employer.
For my work injury, am I required to be treated by a specific physician?
Possibly. But after you have gotten the emergency treatment that you need, consult with an attorney before any follow-up treatment. That way all your rights are protected.
When I'm being treated for my work injury, what records should I keep?
- The names and addresses of the doctors, physical therapist and other medical providers who treat you
- Copies of your prescriptions or any medical record
Because of my injuries, I can't work. What do I do now?
If a medical provider tells you that you cannot work because of your injuries:
- Get a note from him or her that takes you out of work
- Give a copy of that note to your employer and ask to file a workers' compensation claim
- Once you file a claim, workers' compensation has 21 days to accept or deny the claim by issuing the appropriate paperwork
- Make certain you save a copy of all papers that you receive from your employer or the employer's workers' compensation insurer
- If your employer accepts the claim, you will generally receive weekly checks that are equal to two-thirds (2/3) of your gross weekly earnings. Because the calculation of how much you should receive is complicated, you should have an attorney review the calculations to ensure that you receive the wage loss benefits to which you are entitled.
However, if your employer tells you not to file for workers' compensation or if your claim is denied, talk to a workers' compensation attorney.
How can I afford an attorney at a time like this?
We represent injured workers on a contingent basis. That means we don't get paid until you get your workers' compensation checks. Our contingent fee is deducted from the weekly benefits you receive.
I think I'll just settle my claim on my own. I like the idea of a lump sum.
Although you legally are able to settle your claim on your own and receive a lump sum, you will not receive it until the workers' compensation judge is certain you understand how the settlement affects your rights into the future and you are adequately protected. Many judges won't approve a settlement unless you have an attorney. So before you try to tell the judge you understand, consult a workers' comp attorney.
If you have other questions that are not covered here, contact an attorney at The Law Office of James R. Flandreau in Media, Pennsylvania. Our lawyers focus on workers' comp cases; in fact, founder James R. Flandreau is a specialist* in workers' compensation. You can reach us either online or by calling 610-565-4750. for your free initial consultation.
* Certified as a specialist in the practice of workers' compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Section on Workers' Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.