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Date of Injury and Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation

December 4, 2013

Date of Injury Matters for Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Cases

 

Date of Injury in Workers' Compensation Cases in PennsylvaniaSometimes, the date you were hurt is pretty straight forward. You were in a car accident while on a work-related errand, slipped in the office or dropped something on your foot.  However, sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the date of injury. But the date of injury and proof where it occurred really matter for your workers’ compensation case.

A Common Situation

Let’s say your job involves lifting heavy things. For years you are just fine. But one day, your back starts to hurt. It’s no big deal, you think and don’t tell anyone. Six months later, your back is still hurting, so you go to the doctor. Six months later, you find out you are seriously hurt, need surgery and won’t be able to do your job. Now you want (and deserve) workers’ compensation.

Unfortunately, you have created a serious problem for yourself. Your employer’s insurance company will most likely argue that you weren’t hurt at work and also that you gave no notice. You don’t have what is called a date of injury.

What to Do With Any Injury At Work

If you are injured at work, even if it is a small injury, you need to report that injury immediately. Report it to HR, your supervisor or your boss, depending on what your employer requires. Insist that the person file a written report on your behalf. And you should keep a copy of the report. This way, even if it was just a twinge, you will have proof that the injury started at work and have a date of injury. In addition, you should go to the doctor to have the injury checked out. This might be inconvenient, but these steps are important if you end up with an injury that turns out to be serious or causes problems down the line.

Now, when you file for workers’ compensation, the insurance company won’t be able to argue you didn’t provide notice. The doctor’s visit will provide support for the fact you were actually injured.

Hurt at Work? Give us a Call

If you are injured at work, and expect to be out of work for any period of time, you should call the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams. James Mogul, who leads our workman’s compensation department, is a certified expert* in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law.

 

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