>> Jan 28, 2016
Employees injured on the job may be entitled to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. By law, most employers are required to carry insurance that covers any accident-related expenses should one of their employees be injured while on the job. In order to be successful in this type of claim, injured workers must follow the exact procedure for filing a claim as specified by their state laws.
Initiating a Workers’ Compensation Claim
After an on-the-job accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If your employer is not aware of your accident at the time it occurred, you must let them know about it right away. Of course, your main priority should be meeting your healthcare needs. But once you have sought medical treatment, your next step should be to alert your employer about the accident.
Each state has different time limits workers can report an on-the-job injury. The majority of states have a month-long window, but some states may only allow just a few days for injured employees to inform their employer. Because of the various timeframes, it is in your best interest to report the incident as soon as you possibly can.
Making an Incident Report
Once your employer is aware of your accident, they will have forms for you to fill out. These forms are commonly referred to as an incident report. This paperwork will collect important details regarding the circumstances surrounding your accident including the date and time it occurred as well as the nature of your injuries.
After you have filled out an incident report, your employer is responsible for filing the paperwork with their insurance carrier. From there, your Workers’ Compensation claim will be reviewed by the insurance company.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
If the insurance company finds you have a valid claim, the next step will be gathering all of your medical bills and other supporting documents. You will need to submit these in order to receive payment for your expenses.
In some cases, the employer may dispute the validity of your claim or the insurance company may deny you coverage. In the event this happens, your best line of defense is speaking with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney with experience in Workers’ Compensation claims will be able to fight for your rights to benefits. This may include gathering evidence that supports your claim as well as documentation that shows the extent of your injuries and medical expenses.
Receiving Compensation for Your Claim
Once your claim is approved, you can be issued payment from the insurance company. The amount of compensation you receive depends on a number of factors. For minor injuries that do not affect your ability to work, you will only be entitled to payment that covers your medical bills. If you are temporarily unable to work, you can also receive compensation for lost wages. For more serious and debilitating injuries, your claim may include payment for immediate wage loss as well as compensation for reduced capacity to earn in the future.
Remember, each state has different requirements injured workers must meet when making a Workers’ Compensation claim. Always follow the correct procedures in order to increase your likelihood of being successful in your claim.