by Karl Voigt
Karl just answered this Pennsylvania workers’ compensation question on Avvo.com:
“I was at work and fell at customer site. I tripped and fell on rebar and 2 inch wide bolts sticking out the ground. I bruised my left forearm, cut open my right hand and rehurt my old shoulder injury. Hurt both knees from hitting ground. Hurt lower back.”
– Philadelphia, PA
Sorry to hear about your injury. As others have already pointed out, you have likely a Workers’ Compensation case, as well as one for personal injury.
You need to take some immediate action, and don’t necessarily need a lawyer to get started.
First and foremost, you must immediately notify your employer about the injury, carefully describing each affected area of your body. There are some pretty strict deadlines for advising your employer of the work injury. Once you do, your employer has 24 hours to report it to its Workers’ Compensation insurance company. In turn, the insurer has 21 days to investigate your case and accept or deny liability. As you can tell, the sooner you give notice, the better.
Your next immediate step will be to seek medical care. The sooner the better, not just for your recovery, but also for your case. Any delays in getting medical treatment for a work injury could possibly be used against you.
The best result in your case would be a quick and full recovery. Usually, a lawyer gets involved if that doesn’t happen, or if the insurance company has denied the case. Naturally, it would not hurt to sit down and talk with the lawyer to lay out a plan to address all possible contingencies.