Common Myths Associated With Workers Compensation Laws
The Philadelphia workers compensation attorneys of Nass Cancelliere Brenner would like to address the common myths associated with workers compensation laws. The following is a simple question and answer guide intended to dispel false information.
I didn’t immediately report my injury. Am I too late to get benefits from workers' comp?
While some employers might set a time limit for reporting that is quite short, the truth is you have up to 120 days to report your on-the-job injury or job-related illness. Even after that time is up, you may still be able to pursue some benefits, especially if your illness is related to asbestos or other toxic exposure. Still, if you know that you were hurt while working, there is no good reason to delay reporting the incident.
"My employer has a list of approved doctors posted. Can't I see my own doctor?"
You can. However, if your employer has a list and you choose to see someone outside of that list exclusively, your employer can then wait 90 days before paying any of your medical bills, according to PA law.
"I'm an independent contractor who was injured while working at a client's site. Can I still make a workers' compensation claim?"
Since the term “independent contractor” can be interpreted many ways, you may actually be considered an employee under PA law, depending upon the nature of your work, where you perform it, the hours dedicated to a single employer, and other factors. Explain your situation to an attorney and he or she can help you determine your status with regards to workers compensation’s definition of an employee versus an independent contractor.
"I can’t afford an attorney. Can I handle all my workers comp claims myself?"
You should be aware that, under the Workers’ Compensation Act, an attorney is limited with regards to the fee he or she can charge for representation in these cases. Typically, an initial consultation with an attorney is free, anyway, so why not get advice from a professional? While you can represent yourself in any hearings or file your own petitions and other paperwork, you should remember that your employer and their insurer will have a top-notch attorney working to protect their interests. Shouldn’t you?
"My claim is legitimate. Won’t my employer or their insurance company just pay me?"
Maybe, but that isn’t guaranteed. Some may initially deny claims out-of-hand, hoping that you’ll just give up and they’ll save money. Remember, these are businesses, and their primary concerns are their bottom lines, not your health or other needs. You should expect to receive some resistance, at least at first, and prepare accordingly by hiring a skilled attorney to show you are serious about pursuing your rights.
If my claim for workers compensation is denied, that's the end of it, right?
Not at all. There are opportunities to file petitions, request hearings, and appeal any decisions. Don’t give up; get an attorney. Don’t believe in myths; trust in an experienced attorney’s advice. Contact the Philadelphia law office of Nass Cancelliere Brenner for the facts about workers compensation and to defend your claims. Our office phone number is 215-546-8200. We can also be reached anytime by completing the contact web form.