If you have been injured on the job or fallen ill at work, you may wish to file for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation can pay for rehabilitation, medical expenses, and some lost wage if you have to miss work because of your debilitating injury or illness.
To receive these benefits, you need to file a claim and follow your state’s procedures as carefully as possible.
Filing a Claim with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The first step you should take following a workplace injury is to seek medical care immediately. You must then inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible to avoid issues with statutes of limitations regarding the number of days you have to notify your employer; keep in mind that in most states, the limit is one month, but it can range from as little as a few days to two full years.
Fill Out All Necessary Paperwork
Normally, your employer will provide you with claim forms that you need to fill out and submit, and then it becomes your employer’s responsibility to file the paperwork with the appropriate insurance carrier.
Depending on state law requirements, you may need to file an individual claim with your local workers’ compensation agency. The limit for this is typically a year, but your state may have a tighter limit.
Once you have filed a claim, the insurance company will approve it and an adjuster will normally contact you or your employer to provide instructions regarding how to submit medical bills for payment. However, you should know that this process isn’t always smooth.
The employer, in an attempt to avoid workers’ comp rate increases, may fight your right to benefits. You can prevent this by producing adequate documentation, including all medical records of your treatment and injury.
If your injury isn’t permanent and doesn’t result in lost income, getting compensation for your medical bills will probably be as far as your claim goes. If you are temporarily unable to work following your injuries, you can also receive checks to cover your lost wages, typically within two weeks of getting your claim approved.
Your employer will notify the insurance company to cease sending you checks for wage replacement as soon as you fully recover and can return to work.
Locating Your State’s Workers’ Comp Office
If you want to learn more about your state’s requirements for workers’ compensation, you should locate your state’s workers’ compensation office to get information about statute of limitations and more. And you can learn more about work injury cases here.
These offices can also provide you with a guide that details how to go through with your claim and pursue compensation for any medical expenses and lost wages. You can also contact a workers’ compensation attorney to determine whether or not you have a case if the process doesn’t work out the way you want it to.