Each year in the US, thousands of workers are injured on the job. These injuries can be devastating, as they can lead to piles of medical bills and the inability to work while healing. Thankfully, if you’ve been injured on the job, and the injury was caused by the negligence of your employer, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim to help you recover your losses due to the injury.
So, what does the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim look like? The process is a bit more complicated than say, filing an insurance claim after a car accident. In addition, the process can vary slightly from state-to-state, so you will want to check the specific laws for the state that you live in. That being said, there is a basic process that most workers’ compensation claims follow.
The first step is to take quick action as soon as the injury occurs. You will need to notify your employer right away. You will also want to get medical treatment quickly, and you will need your doctor to document your injuries. You may need to visit a doctor approved by your company, so check with your employer before you make your medical appointment.
Once your employer gets the notification of your injury, they should respond by sending you the appropriate paperwork to file your workers’ compensation claim. In some states, you will also need to file paperwork with your state’s workers’ compensation agency, so check your local laws. This paperwork should be filed quickly, as every state has a deadline for how long you can take to file a workers’ compensation claim. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to make your claim.
Once you’ve submitted your claim, your employer’s insurance company will look at it. This process can take a few weeks, and during this time, the insurance company will look at the evidence surrounding your claim and decide whether your claim will be accepted or denied. If your claim is accepted, they will notify you, and you should begin receiving benefits usually within the month after your claim is accepted.
If your claim is denied, all hope is not lost. You can file an appeal if you think the insurance company made the wrong decision. The length of time you have to file an appeal varies from state-to-state. If you find yourself having to file an appeal to get compensation you feel you rightfully deserve, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer with a good track record of settling claims. An expert workers’ compensation lawyer will know the state laws inside out and be able to help you win your appeal.