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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.

If your injury prevents you from returning to work, you are entitled to receive workers compensation disability benefits. These benefits are measured based on an average weekly wage. The benefits are usually two-thirds of your average weekly wage. You should receive these benefits for the duration of your disability until you are able to return to work either in a light duty or a full duty capacity. There are, of course, exceptions to this.

Often, the workers compensation insurance company will take action designed to limit its liability to you. They may seek to send you to a doctor whom they hire to examine you. They may seek to modify or suspend your benefits by filing a petition with the Bureau of Workers Compensation. If you have questions regarding your workers compensation rights and status of your entitlement to ongoing benefits, you should consult with an experienced and competent workers compensation lawyer. Workers compensation law is a complex and technical sub-specialty of the practice of law. Therefore, you should consult with a lawyer who is experienced and competent in workers compensation practice.

If we at Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler can be of assistance with respect to any rights, questions or concerns that you have, please do not hesitate to call us. Please visit our website for contact information if you would like to get in touch with us. 

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Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler
17 West Tenth Street
Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814-240-3339
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