How do I start a workers comp claim in Pennsylvania?

I am often asked, how do I start a workers comp claim in Pennsylvania.  You’ve been injured on the job.  So now what?  A couple of things are quite important in starting a workers comp claim.

When starting a workers comp claim in Pennsylvania, follow these initial steps.

Report the injury

First thing to do when hurt on the job is report the injury to your employer.  The best way to do that is to your immediate supervisor or by following company policy.

Often we get into disputes on whether an injury was reported in a timely manner.  You have 20 days to report the injury in order to be eligible for wage loss benefits from the first day you missed work due to the injury.  Otherwise, you must report the injury within 120 days to be eligible for workers comp benefits, then benefits would start from the date you provided notice.  If you fail to report a work injury within 120 day deadline, then you are out of luck.

Don’t fool around here.  Get it right from the start.  Report the injury when it first happens.  You’ll save headaches and frustration later.  Second, ask your supervisor for an incident report.  If he/she refuses, call us right away at 833-MOONEY4LAW.  We can and will help.

Seek medial attention

Delaying medical treatment due to ‘toughness’ is an absolutely good way to get your claim denied.  Report the injury and ask to treat for the injury.  Ask your supervisor where to treat.  If your employer refuses to acknowledge or provide you care, then go to an urgent care, your family doctor, or the local emergency room, depending on the severity of the injury.

Get treatment right away.  Make sure you tell the doctor that it is a work injury and explain how you were injured at work.  ALWAYS disclose if asked whether you ever had any prior problems with the area you injured at work.  Hiding it makes no sense and only leads to more problems.   Finally, make sure you ask the doctor for work restrictions and then provide those work restrictions to your employer.

Details, details, and details

Start a log.  Write down details about your injury that you remember.  Write down names of co-workers or others that may have witnessed the injury.  Many times, it can be months or more until you enter into litigation in which you would have to testify.  Having notes can help refresh your memory.

Also, keep a log of any discipline or action take against you by your employer that you feel may be retaliation.  If you call in absent due to pain from your work injury, then note it in your log and let your employer know that your absence is because of work-related injury pain.

Count on Mooney

Finally, another good idea is to contact an experienced workers compensation attorney right away.  At Mooney & Associates, we have a full workers compensation litigation practice and have recovered tens of millions of dollars for injured workers across Central Pennsylvania.  I have prior experience on the other side, representing some of the Commonwealth’s largest employers and insurance carriers.  That experience has served me well in understanding and anticipating the next move by your employer.

We have 16 offices throughout Central Pennsylvania to bring our law practice closer to you.  Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION at 1-833-MOONEY4LAW.  Visit us on the web at

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.