- When to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
- October 14, 2017
- Workers injured on the job are often unaware of their right to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits, or how and when to file a claim. It is crucial for workers to file a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits immediately after a work-related illness or injury. Delaying the process can potentially jeopardize a claim, preventing injured workers from receiving the benefits they need to replace lost income and pay ongoing medical expenses.The First Step in a Workers’ Compensation ClaimIn most states, workers are required to begin the Workers’ Compensation process by notifying their employer of their job-related injury or illness. That notification generally includes the date, time, and description of how the injury occurred. Witness accounts of accidents or injuries should also be included when available.It is crucial that workers file claims immediately after a job-related accident. Workers’ Compensation insurance carriers see lengthy time periods between the time the injury or illness occurred and time they are reported as red flags and are more likely to question or dispute these claims.
Claims for Cumulative Injuries and IllnessesThere are some cases where workplace illness or injuries develop over time. For example, mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to toxic asbestos fibers. For many workers, exposure to asbestos happened decades before the dangers of the mineral were fully understood. Mesothelioma generally presents symptoms anywhere from 10 – 50 years after initial asbestos exposure. With diseases that do not present symptoms for years, a timely Workers Compensation claim is not possible.Repetitive motion injuries caused by performing the same task or movement on a regular basis for long periods of time is another example of a Workers’ Compensation issue that has no easily defined date. In these cases, workers should document when they first became aware of the problem, when they first saw a physician, when they were diagnosed, and when the injury or illness was first associated with their job.Legal Guidance for Workers’ Compensation ClaimsIn most cases where the link between work and the injury is not obvious, the worker filing the claim has the legal burden to prove that connection. Clear medical testimony is usually required in these cases. Also, because of the urgent nature of job injury claims, workers are advised to seek the guidance of a Workers’ Compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Injured workers often forfeit their benefits because they wait too long to report injuries, or fail to provide all of the necessary documentation.Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross File Effective Claims for Injured WorkersThe guidance and knowledge of a Workers’ Compensation lawyer can make the difference between a denied claim and a claim that provides the benefits workers need. Employees who navigate the Workers’ Compensation system without professional help risk losing these benefits. To schedule a consultation with a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross, call 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500 or complete the online contact form. Jeffrey S. Gross and his team serve workers throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.