Pennsylvania Workers' Comp Statute Of Limitations
If you have been injured at work, there are many reasons why it is critical to act quickly. In addition to helping your lawyer gather evidence and get ahead of the workers' compensation insurer, prompt action can help you stay within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations refers to the length of time you have to formally file a workers' compensation claim.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for workers' compensation claims is three years from the date of injury. If you have been injured at work and denied either medical benefits or wage loss benefits under the workers' compensation law, you must file a Claim Petition within three years of the date of injury. If you do not file your petition within that time, your claim will be barred forever, preventing you from collecting any workers' compensation benefits for your injuries.
At Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Coleman, L.L.C., our job is to protect your interests and help you pursue maximum benefits after a workplace injury. We will help you stay within all legal time limits to strengthen your claim and pursue fair treatment from your employer and insurer.
Other Time Limitations Under Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation
Assuming you have satisfied the time limits involving giving notice and filing your Claim Petition, there are a variety of other time limits that apply under the law. For example, you are required to seek treatment with a doctor from your employer's list of approved medical providers for the first 90 days after your injury.
There are also other, specific, time limits that apply to specific types of injury claims. For example, for a loss of use of hearing from the long-term exposure to hazardous noise, a claim must be brought within three years of the last exposure to hazardous noise. On the other hand, with regard to an occupational disease contracted from exposure to a workplace hazard or toxin, disability (lost wages) must occur as a result of the occupational disease within 300 weeks (approximately six years) of the last exposure to the hazardous toxin.
Exceptions To Notice
As with the law pertaining to the time to give notice, there are certain exceptions that apply to the three-year statute of limitations. Consequently, if there have been actual payments of compensation benefits, or similar payment "made in lieu of compensation," then you have three years following the last payment within which to formally file a claim. Similarly, the three-year statute of limitations may be tolled if your employer has made payments on medical expenses to treat a work injury, so long as the payments were made with the intention that they satisfy an employer's obligation under the workers' compensation law.
The time limitation may also be extended by certain specific actions of an employer (or its workers' compensation insurance carrier), which deceive an injured worker into thinking a claim has been accepted; with regard to certain types of injuries in which the nature of the injury or its relationship to the employment is not known, the time for filing a claim will not begin to run until the employee knows or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known of both the existence of the injury and its possible relationship to the work or workplace.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
Take the first step and protect your rights. Schedule a free initial consultation at our law firm offices in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. We can also travel to your home, hospital or union headquarters if you are unable to make it to our offices.
Please send us an email to receive a prompt response from one of our attorneys, or call us at 412-567-1232 in Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania, 215-792-6153 in Philadelphia or Eastern Pennsylvania or toll free at 866-466-5789. We take workers' compensation claims on a contingency basis, which means any fee we collect will come out of your benefits award.