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Work injury question Pennsylvania

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  • Work injury question Pennsylvania

    I sustained a back injury at work in May of this year. I was carrying a generator up a hill and through a fence when i slipped and twisted my back. It popped and I was in pretty bad pain. The pain got much worse over the next week to the point where I was lying in a fetal position and taking ibuprofen just to be able to get a little sleep. I reported it to my supervisor who was with me at the time I injured it, and I have the whole thing documented, but he never reported it. It's been hurting ever since (dull pain that gets worse when I bend or lift, etc) until today when I was lifting a pump at work and now it hurts really bad like it did before. I can hardly walk, now.
    I didn't see a doctor before, but I am definately going to now. I was wondering if my prior injury at work should be the one I use as the injury for a claim, or if i should use the most recent one? Also, my company has disability benefits, so should i file that way or through worker's comp? I'm kind of confused about this whole thing, and I don't really want to do either, but I also don't want to end up getting fired or something because I can't do my job and then have nothing to help me get better. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Whether the prior claim is the one they file this under as an aggravation or whether the two are treated as separate incidents is for the insurance company to decide. Incidentally if you never sought treatment for your back before, there was no need to submit it to the insurance company. There is nothing to pay out on a claim like that. It would be similar to filing a claim with your health insurance for a cut that you put a bandaid on and never saw a doctor about.

    If you seek treatment now it may be considered an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. In PA you have 120 days to notify your employer that you had an injury and are seeking treatment for it. As it has not been 120 days since the first incident, I'd let your doctor guide you on whether this is a reaggravation or new accident. You do need to inform your employer if you are seeking treatment under the May incident.

    If it is the result of a work injury, you need to seek benefits under WC. Most likely your STD carrier will kick out the claim if they find it is work related. WC does not really change anything with regard to whether your employer can fire you or not. Filing a claim is not "insurance" against being fired if you otherwise would be.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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