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Pennsylvania workers' compensation: Q and A, part 1

No one really thinks about work injuries and how to cover them until they happen. The truth is, the vast majority of employers in the state of Pennsylvania are required by law to supply workers' compensation insurance coverage. This article will cover some common questions about this insurance over the next several weeks.

Workers' compensation benefits available for burn victims

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into a fire that followed the eruption of a propane gas tanker in Pennsylvania. Workers' compensation claims for benefits will likely be filed by two employees who suffered burn injuries in this incident. Reportedly, firefighters were called to the site of a gas provider on a recent Friday morning.

Pennsylvania workers' compensation: Scaffolding injuries

With summer in full swing, construction workers in Pennsylvania are busier than ever. Many of them use scaffolding structures every day in order to get their work done. Unfortunately, in doing so, some will suffer injuries in scaffolding-related accidents. Victims of such injuries may file workers' compensation claims to seek help covering their medical expenses and other losses.

There are time limits for filing a workers' compensation claim

Injured on the job? If so, it is best to file for workers' compensation benefits as soon as possible. If one does not, one runs the risk of having benefits denied and having to pay for care and recovery completely out of pocket. As work injuries can be rather expensive to treat, especially if one becomes disabled in some way, losing out on any available relief is not something that Pennsylvania residents would want to have happen.

What to do if you get hurt at work

Unfortunately, many people get hurt while working. This can happen whether you work in the trades, industry or an office environment. Teachers can get hurt. Nurses can get hurt. So, the information about what to do in the event of a work injury can be helpful to anyone. If you sustain a work-related injury, the first thing to do is to report the injury to your superior. You should be as detailed as possible in explaining how the injury happened. Your explanation about how the injury took place should be accurate and specific. Your employer should complete a form which formally notifies the Bureau of Workers Compensation that a work-related injury has occurred. The form used by your employer is called a first report of injury. You should get a copy of this form and make sure that the description of your injury and how it occurred is accurate. If you require medical attention, you will likely be required to seek that medical attention from a list of physicians created by your employer. These so called "panel physicians" will provide medical attention to you relating to your injury. You are required under the workers compensation laws to treat with panel physicians for the first 90 days following the date of an injury. After 90 days, you may treat with a physician of your choosing. When asked to explain how the injury occurred by physicians, be as accurate and detailed as possible. It is helpful if your medical records are consistent with your explanation as reflected by your employer's records. Therefore, you want your explanation of the circumstances surrounding your injury to be consistent from the time that it occurred throughout the time you receive medical care.

Should I file a workers' compensation claim or take other action?

Pennsylvania residents who have suffered work-related injuries have every right to question their options for seeking compensation. The vast majority of employers are required to provide workers' compensation coverage, and the benefits can cover quite a bit, but is it only way one can recover any damages sustained? It is the best option in many cases, but for a few filing intentional torts may be better.

How do workers' compensation benefits work?

Pennsylvania residents who have suffered injuries or illnesses while on the job, depending on their fields of employ, may be able to have their treatment costs and financial losses covered. This is made possible through workers' compensation benefits, something for which most employers are required to supply coverage. How does one gain access to these benefits and what do they cover?

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