When you get hurt at work, it’s hard to know what to do next. So many questions run through your head. Do you tell your supervisor? Will you have to take off work? How will you pay your bills? The pain and stress are a lot to process, especially when you don’t know the ins and outs of workers’ compensation law.
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, the injured worker needs to follow the correct steps in the workers’ compensation claim process. From receiving medical treatment to filing claims the right way, you need to be thorough with your actions.
While these steps seem fairly simple to follow, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, such as attorney T. Andrew Miller, can help ensure you navigate the process correctly in order to receive proper compensation for your injuries.
Here is our guide to filing workers’ compensation, from eligibility requirements to what to do if your claim is denied.
Who is eligible to file for workers’ compensation?
While you may have been injured while at work, it doesn’t automatically mean you will receive workers’ compensation. With some exceptions, most workers are entitled to protection under workers’ compensation laws which vary from state-to-state. Before you learn how to file a claim, you need to understand who is eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Here are the requirements for workers’ comp benefits:
- You must be an
- Your employer must carry workers’ comp
- You must have a work-related injury or
- You must meet your state’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing a workers’ comp claim.
There are a number of factors to consider when determining workers’ compensation eligibility, including an understanding of your state’s laws. If you aren’t sure if you are eligible, you can call the Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller to discuss your situation and learn your options.
When should an employee file for workers’ compensation?
If an employee is eligible for workers’ comp benefits, they should file if the injuries were sustained on the job. This includes situations like work accidents, diseases, trauma, injuries, or exposure to dangerous work activities or chemicals.
You should begin the workers’ compensation process as soon as the injury or illness occurs. The longer you delay the process, the harder it will be to get the benefits you
desperately need. If there is a large amount of time between when the injury occurred and when the claim was filed, insurance companies will think it’s suspicious.
Start the process by notifying your employer of your accident as soon as it happens. Of course, if the injury is severe, medical attention could be necessary first. If you need medical attention, you may need to see a medical provider that’s part of the insurer’s network to receive benefits.
The notification you give to your employer should say important details like the date, time, and place of the injury, as well as how the injury occurred. If your symptoms don’t appear right away, report them as soon as you notice them in order to speed up the workers’ compensation process.
If your employer refuses to help you with your workers’ compensation claim, contact an attorney immediately so you can get the benefits you’re entitled to. You have a right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
What Happens After You Notify Your Employer?
After your employer is notified of your accident, they should provide you with the correct paperwork for your workers’ compensation claim. Typically the forms include important details about the event such as the nature of the injury, where and when the injury occurred, details surrounding the incident, medical treatment required in relation to the injury, and more.
Next, your employer should file the claim with their workers’ compensation insurance provider and the state workers’ comp board. After the claim is filed, it’s in the insurance company’s hands. They evaluate the claim and let both you and your employer know whether or not the claim has been approved.
If approved, employees will be told the compensation they will receive, which will help cover costs like lost wages, medical expenses, disability, and more.
What If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, it doesn’t mean you won’t receive compensation. You have a couple of options.
If the insurer denies the claim:
- The employee can ask the insurance company to review the decision
- The employee can appeal
You don’t have to go through this frustrating process alone. Workers’ compensation is confusing to navigate if you don’t have any experience with it. It’s important to obtain experienced legal counsel so you ensure your rights are protected and you get the money that you are entitled to.
When you have recovered sufficiently and wish to return to work, you must notify the insurance company and your employer in writing. Depending on how bad your injury is, the insurance company may continue paying your disability benefits.
Why Is This Process Important?
You and your employer need to follow the correct process for filing your workers’ compensation claim so you can receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. If you don’t, you could be denied benefits, or be offered a lower amount than you are entitled to.
To ensure you make the right move every step of the way, you should obtain legal representation. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you achieve maximum benefits and protect your assets. Don’t risk losing the money you need by doing it alone.
If you’ve been injured on the job, take action now rather than later. The sooner you file for workers’ compensation benefits, the more likely your claim will be approved so you can get the compensation you need to start moving forward with your life.
The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller have experience winning workers’ compensation cases for our clients, and we would be honored to take yours on. We will help you understand your particular case and we will stand by you until you have the compensation you need in your hands.
To schedule your free consultation, contact us today.