Can I file a workers' compensation claim after 8 months?

by Tiara
(Philadelphia, PA, United States)

I fell at work, down steps that were soaked from snow being tracked in by patients returning to their unit. I fell hard on my left buttocks. My leg numbed out and I had to just sit with my friend (who was with me when I fell) for a few minutes. Then I got up and reported it to my supervisor.

I didn't feel any pain at the time that was a cause for alarm, but now about 8 months later I have severe pain in my lower back and a lump in my back that my chiropractor thinks is a slipped disc.

I spoke to a representative nurse that worked with my hospital's injury reporting system the day of the incident, and she said because I only had a bruise I probably didn't need to be seen by any doctor.

Would I still be able to get workers' compensation claim to get my back worked on? I am having severe pain when walking or sitting, and numbness and tingling in my legs. Is it too late to say that this injury came from that fall incident? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I file a workers' compensation claim after 8 months?":

Tiara (Philadelphia, PA, United States):

It's not too late to seek medical treatment through your employer's workers' compensation insurance. You were injured on the job. File a claim with your employer as soon as possible, and ask to be referred to a company-approved primary care physician.

That physician will evaluate your medical condition and determine what type of treatment you need. Your primary care doctor may also refer you to an approved orthopedist.

Many on-the-job injuries don't manifest themselves for days, weeks, and sometimes even months after the initial injury happened. Your case is not unlike those.

Your initial injury was a legitimate work-related injury. As such, you have every right to compensation for your medical and therapy treatment, your out-of-pocket expenses, and about two thirds of you lost wages. Compensation for pain and suffering is not authorized under workers' compensation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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