Getting hurt on the job is a scary prospect. Depending on the severity of your injury, you could be out of work for a day or even for the rest of your life. In such situations, coping with drastic lifestyle and financial changes can overshadow thinking about timelines for filing for your workers’ compensation.
However, if you are injured at work in Pennsylvania, it is important that you take it upon yourself to learn about your rights to a workers’ compensation claim and how you can file for one. Otherwise, you might miss the opportunity to receive the compensation you deserve for your suffering and losses.
Understanding the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp. law requires an injured employee to inform the employer of their injury or diagnosis of their illness within 120 days from the date of injury or diagnosis. After this, an injured employee has three years from the date of injury or diagnosis to file a workers’ compensation claim. An injured employee risks forfeiting their right to file a claim if the three-year period expires before filing a formal claim.
If an employee suffers repetitive trauma that leaves them unable to work, then the three-year countdown begins on the last day of employment. For instance, an employee may have struggled with back pain for months before taking disability leave. If they have proper documentation such as physiotherapy appointments, then their last day of work would mark the onset of their three-year statute of limitations.
When should you report an injury that occurs in the workplace?
It is important that you report any injury sustained on the job to your employer as soon as possible, even if the injury does not appear serious as to cause you to miss work. If you can, report the injury in writing or have someone acting on your behalf report the injury. Be sure to retain a copy of your injury report.
When you are injured on the job or develop an illness as a result of your work, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. One of the most important steps you need to take is to file your claim before the expiry of the state’s statutes of limitations.