What Are Your Legal Rights After a Work Injury?
If you become injured at work, you have certain rights and benefits. No matter what type of injury you experience, it’s important to understand what steps you need to take after an accident.
Whether you slip on a broken step in an office building or something falls on you at a warehouse, it’s important to understand what your rights are as an injured employee. When you work with a company in the United States, you have certain privileges and benefits. You have the right to be treated fairly by your employer, for example. You also have the right to be in a safe work environment. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you are injured while on the job, you may have a workers’ compensation case. No matter what type of injury you experience, there are a few things you need to understand about your legal rights and obligations as a worker.
First off, you need to tell your employer about the injury. Explain when it happened, where the accident occurred, and how you were physically injured. For example, did you break your wrist? Did you sprain an ankle? Do you have constant headaches since the incident? Keep in mind that in Pennsylvania, you have four months from the date of the accident to talk with your employer about the injury. Ideally, you should speak with your employer both in-person and provide them with a written notice. This gives you a paper trail that you can share with your lawyer should you need to go to court at any time. When you give a written notice or an email to your employer, you’ll be able to prove the date you notified them of the accident.
It’s also important that you seek medical care after your injury. Your doctor should document the extent of your injury and note any limitations for you at work moving forward. For example, your doctor may require that you stop lifting heavy objects at work or that you avoid sitting for long periods of time. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions precisely, even when you are not at work. In some cases, an insurance investigator may follow you or ask your friends or neighbors questions about your injuries. If you do not follow your doctor’s orders or appear to be uninjured while away from work, this could affect the outcome of your case.
Note that according to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer will have 21 days to provide you with insurance information and paperwork after you notify them of the injury. If they do not provide you with this paperwork on time, they will be in violation of your rights as a worker. In some cases, their insurance company may also deny your claim. If this happens, save all paperwork, correspondence, and documents you have related to the insurance company so you can share it with your attorney.
Reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to find out more about how you can move forward with your case and get the compensation and medical care you need.