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Board Rules that Notice Was Not Provided in Injury Claim

Board Rules that Notice Was Not Provided in Injury Claim

If you are injured on the job, it not only makes good sense to notify your employer, it is the law. Pennsylvania law requires injured workers to notify their employers of workplace injuries within 120 days of the accident in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

This requirement was especially important in the matter of Barry v. Nog, where a bartender was seriously injured by broken glass. Court documents reveal that he was engaged in a heated argument with another bartender, when he punched the glass pane in a door. The glass broke and cut a main artery in his arm. Another employee who used to be a nurse pinched the main artery until the claimant was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Barry sought workers’ compensation benefits based on his injury.

However, no one else actually witnessed the incident that caused Barry’s injury. While the workers’ compensation judge granted his petition for the limited purpose of recognizing a work injury, the Workers’ Compensation Board ruled that the judge did not have sufficient evidence to support its finding that he provided notice of his injury within the required time period. In reversing the judge’s ruling, the board explained that no one other than Barry actually witnessed the incident, and that merely the witnessing the aftermath did not constitute proper notice.

If you have suffered a workplace injury, providing written notice is critical to workers’ comp eligibility. Employers also have a responsibility for filing a report detailing the injury, and the employer’s account can be especially important in the disposition of a benefits claim. While the preceding is not intended to be legal advice, an experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and options.