In Pennsylvania, companies can choose to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through what is called the State Workers’ Insurance Fund. With workers’ comp insurance, they can then properly meet the needs of employees who have suffered an occupational injury or illness. The following are some of the rules that SWIF has laid down for the reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses.
Employees are to report injuries as soon as possible to their supervisor/manager. Disabling injuries must be reported no sooner than seven days and no later than 10 days after the date that they were incurred. Disabilities are defined as injuries that result in time off work or that may qualify for specific loss benefits. To qualify for retroactive benefits, employees must report their injuries within 21 days.
If no notice is given after 120 days since the date of injury, victims may become ineligible for benefits. Victims may give notice in writing or verbally, and they are expected to provide as many details as possible regarding the circumstances of their injury. A third person may act on behalf of the victim in reporting the incident. One may report to a representative of the employer rather than the employer.
Fatal injuries must be reported within 48 hours. If employers doubt a claim’s validity, SWIF will come in to investigate.
Victims of work accidents, for their part, may want to see a lawyer once they have reported their injury. Filing a claim can be a difficult process, and as mentioned above, employers can have reason to doubt a claim. Victims may even be seen by a panel of physicians. With a lawyer, the process can go more smoothly, and evidence can be gathered that clearly links the incident to the injury and clears victims of any fault.