General Question

casheroo's avatar

How long do you have to file with workman's comp?

Asked by casheroo (18026 points ) March 13th, 2009

I know I could google, but I did and can’t understand the legal jargon.
I was injured at work on January 11th. I waited to see if it got worse, because I thought I was just in pain from the fall. It’s been two months, and I am having trouble with my knee. When I fell, the employer told me if I need to see a doctor, to just let them know. I’m worried that so much time has past, that they will say it’s too late.
This is the site I found on it, in my state http://www.workerscompensation.com/regulations/stateitem.php?ID=19040&state=pennsylvania&Parent=1792&title=
Is there a set amount of time that I can no longer file a claim? Should I inform my employer before I see a doctor? I do not have my own insurance, so it’s not like I could use my own.

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14 Answers

Mr_M's avatar

You have no choice but to talk to the employer who told you to let them know if you had to see a doctor. HOWEVER, that’s why people who are familiar with Workman’s Comp know to go to the doctor AS SOON AS they have the injury, just to cover themselves in case this happens. I’d want to know if my employer documented that I was in pain at the time of the injury. If that’s the case, you might be OK.

casheroo's avatar

Uh oh, I doubt they wrote anything down. I remember mentioning it to the owner, and he had no clue I had even fallen. I really hope they don’t try to screw me over.

casheroo's avatar

But, I did take pictures of the injuries..two days after they occured. So, I have that proof, and quite a few witnesses (they all speak spanish though)

dynamicduo's avatar

That’s not legal jargon at all, it’s just laid out really badly and uses terms defined at the beginning, just like many contracts. Here’s a better site. I urge you to persevere and keep reading through it – sometime in your life you will be met with a similar contract and not have Flutherites to help you out. That’s when you get a lawyer :)

Because it has been more than two months since the injury occurred, and nothing was filed at the time of injury I assume (and this is a critical assumption, as section 121.5 details), worker’s compensation may not be applicable to you. Your employer offering to help with your doctor costs is not necessarily related to worker’s compensation at all.

I would love to go through the PA code, but really I have no time to do that for you. You may want to contact the board, although they do not provide legal advice, they may be able to answer some of your questions:
(6) The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation cannot provide legal advice. However, you may contact the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for additional general information at: Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, 1171 South Cameron Street, Room 103, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17104–2501; telephone number within Pennsylvania (800) 482–2383; telephone number outside of this Commonwealth (717) 772–4447; TTY (800) 362–4228 (for hearing and speech impaired only); www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: workers comp.

If I were in your position I wouldn’t bother worrying about whether it will be denied or not, but simply apply for it anyway. It’s not like you have an alternative anyways with no personal insurance. The fact that you are more than two months from the injury will hinder your case, but does not mean it ends there.

It’s not a matter of them screwing you over, it’s a matter of them protecting themselves from being screwed over by you.

Mr_M's avatar

May I ask, WHY did you take pics of your injuries? And what did the pics show? Black and Blues? Did you show your employer? Why or why not?

casheroo's avatar

This may sound silly, but I took pictures because I’m on a “tmi” community, and they were pretty nasty bruises. Nothing crazy. It was not to come back at them, if that’s what you’re implying.
I’ve broken a knee before, and did not have that sort of bruising, so that’s why I thought I was just severely bruised.
When I fell, I got up and told my manager and iced my arm and knees. They knew I was injured. I’m almost positive it was caught on film, but I don’t know if they keep old footage.

Mr_M's avatar

“This may sound silly, but I took pictures because I’m on a “tmi” community, and they were pretty nasty bruises. Nothing crazy. It was not to come back at them, if that’s what you’re implying.”

I don’t really know what that means. You obviously took pics to memorialize your injuries. You had something in mind. As your employer, if things looked bad, THAT was the time to come back to me and go to the doctor.

casheroo's avatar

I wasn’t aware you should see a doctor for bruises.

Mr_M's avatar

You don’t. You see a doctor to cover yourself for Workmen’s Comp and/or lawsuits. Plus you were in pain. Wasn’t the pain consistently getting worse? After a few days wasn’t it getting worse?

If the pain went away and you’re saying two months later your knee hurt again all of a sudden, at the risk of being pun-y, I don’t think you have much of a leg to stand on.

dynamicduo's avatar

Generally whenever you get an injury at work, it is in everyone’s best interest to have that injury evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible, regardless of whether you or the employer thinks it’s necessary. It helps with cases just like this!

casheroo's avatar

Well, I looked it up the site dynanmic provided. I have 120 days to inform them of the injury. And 3 years to do anything about it. I think I’m good. Thanks!

Mr_M's avatar

Good luck.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Workman’s comp is not necessarily an adversarial process. Start with you manager, since you told her/him about your injury at the time it happened.

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