The first thing that you should do after a work injury is get medical treatment for your injury as quickly as possible. Depending on how serious your injury is, time is the essence in terms of treatment. Once you’ve determined the severity of the injury and your need for immediate medical treatment, you should report your injury to your employer. Notice of the injury is one of the critical elements that must be established in a workers’ compensation case before the employer is obligated to pay the injured worker benefits. The law requires that notice of the injury be given to the employer within 120 days of the work injury. If not, the entire claim for workers’ compensation benefits can be denied, regardless of the severity of the injury and its impact on your ability to work. The law also says that if notice of the injury is not given within the first 21 days following the injury, then the employer is obligated to pay benefits until notice is actually given. For example, lets assume the injured worker doesn’t tell their employer about their work injury until 90 days after it happened. Even though notice in this example was given within 120 days of the work injury, the employer isn’t required to pay benefits for the first 89 days of the injured workers’ disability because notice of the injury wasn’t given to the employer until the 90th day. The law also requires that notice of a work injury be given to a supervisor or someone in a supervisory capacity, instead of just a coworker. Notice of a work injury is presumed if the employer has actual knowledge of the occurrence of the injury. (e.g., when a worker falls off a ladder at work.)
There are a number of special rules that apply to the notice requirement under the Pa Workers’ Compensation Act depending on the kind of injury involved. You should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after a work injury to find what you need to do to satisfy the notice requirement in your particular situation.