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How Long Do I Have To See A Doctor After A Work Injury?

Posted on February 27, 2024

Suffering a work-related injury in Pennsylvania comes with responsibilities and timelines, particularly when it comes to seeking medical attention. You are required to see a doctor immediately and, in many cases, it must be a designated healthcare provider specified by your employer.

The Immediate Aftermath After A Work Injury

In the immediate aftermath of a work-related injury, it’s vital to seek prompt medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, this may involve visiting the nearest emergency room or a healthcare provider from a list provided by your employer. Prompt medical care not only addresses immediate health concerns but also initiates the documentation process for your potential workers’ compensation claim.

How To Report an Injury to Your Employer

Pennsylvania law requires employees to report work-related injuries to their employer within 120 days of the incident. However, it is advisable to report the injury as soon as possible. Timely reporting ensures that your employer is aware of the situation and it helps initiate the workers’ compensation process.

Do I Have to Go to My Employer’s Doctor for My Work Injury?

As long as your employer has done the following, you must be treated by one of your employer’s specified doctors for the first 90 days after your initial visit. Those include:

  1. Accepts your workers’ compensation claim.
  2. Has a list of at least six healthcare professionals posted at your place of employment.
  3. Provided you with written notice that you are required to treat with a healthcare provider on the list.
  4. Had you sign an acknowledgment of that list when you were hired.
  5. Had you sign an acknowledgment of that list again at the time of your injury.

Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act states that,

Section 306(f.1)(1)(i) 

“…the employe shall be required to visit one of the physicians or other health care providers so designated and shall continue to visit the same or another designated physician or health care provider for a period of ninety (90) days from the date of the first visit…”

After the initial 90 days, you can continue treatment with the doctor of your choosing. Additionally, if your employer’s provider recommends invasive surgery, you can get another opinion from another doctor you choose.

What Happens If I Don't See A Doctor After A Work Injury?

What Happens if I Don’t See a Doctor After a Work Injury?

Workers’ compensation benefits are contingent on prompt reporting of injuries and seeking medical attention. Failure to comply with these requirements may jeopardize your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

Additionally, it creates documentation challenges for a potential workers’ compensation claim. Medical records serve as crucial evidence when establishing a link between your injury and the workplace. Without timely medical documentation, it becomes difficult to prove the origin and extent of your injuries. Your employer’s insurance carrier will likely dispute your claim, arguing that the injury is not work-related or that the delay in seeking medical attention suggests a lack of severity.

Speak to a Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyer

If you encounter challenges in the workers’ compensation process or are denied benefits, seeking legal assistance is highly advisable. A trusted Philadelphia work injury lawyer can provide guidance on the legal aspects of your case and help you receive the benefits you are entitled to.