If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. State law requires virtually all employers to ensure against employee injuries. However, trusting your employer to compensate you for an on-the-job injury can be a big mistake. Employers may be reluctant to report workplace accidents to avoid increases in their insurance premiums. That is just one reason it is critical to obtain quality legal representation as early as possible after your injury. Another reason is to ensure that you are in compliance with the statute of limitations so that you do not jeopardize your claim and your family’s financial future.
The statute of limitations is the length of time an injured party has to formally file a Workers’ Compensation claim. In Pennsylvania, the limitations period prohibits claims brought more than three years from the date of injury. In other words, if you have been injured on-the-job and denied medical benefits or lost wages, you must file a Claim Petition within three years of the date you were injured, or forfeit your chance to recover benefits. This is why if you are injured, you should seek medical treatment and notify your employer immediately.
In addition to the general statute of limitations, there are many special rules that apply to specific types of injuries. For instance, if you suffer from occupational hearing loss as a result of long-term exposure to hazardous noise levels, you may bring a claim within three years of the last day you were exposed to excessive volumes at work. Occupational hearing loss can also occur as a result of exposure to a sudden, intense burst of noise. The relevant statute of limitations depends on the specific nature of your work-related injury.
If you have been injured as a result of exposure to dangerous chemicals or toxins, you may be entitled to compensation. Workers who were exposed to the following have filed successful Workers’ Compensation claims:
For occupational exposure injuries, the disability period must begin within 300 weeks, roughly six years, from the last day you were exposed to the hazardous chemical.
Employees who have been given some sort of payment or benefits “in lieu of compensation” have three years from the date the last payment was made within which to file a claim.
Additionally, if your employer has paid your medical expenses related to a work injury, the three-year limitations period may be tolled during the time payments were made, as long as your employer intended to satisfy their obligation under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation law.
With certain types of injuries, if an employer or their insurance carrier misrepresents that a claim has been approved, the three year limitations period will not begin running until the injured worker realizes (or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have realized) that they were injured, and that the injury was work-related.
If you have an injury and suspect that it be work-related, it is important to contact the experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, as early as possible after your injury. We will make sure that you are within the statute of limitations and help you to preserve your claim. The rules regarding the statute of limitations for Workers’ Compensation claims in Pennsylvania are nuanced and rife with exceptions. You need an experienced lawyer in your corner. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 267-589-0090 or at 215-512-1500, or complete our online contact form today.