You can make the need to file a workers compensation claim much easier on yourself and streamline the activities necessary by your employer and their insurance company. You hope that it never happens that you become injured on the job or develop an illness due to your work. If it does occur though, you have an easy way to address it – the workers’ compensation insurance process.
Your employer must legally carry a worker’s compensation insurance policy to protect all employees. This is a legal requirement at the federal level. While each state may add its own requirements to the workers’ compensation mandates, they cannot relax the requirements.
This guarantees that you have a method of addressing an on the job injury or illness incurred via exposure on the job. You do need to act quickly though and adhere to a few simple tips to get the most out of the workers’ compensation experience.
- Immediately report your injury to your employer. They need to know to get the paperwork started on your claim. This insurance pays for your medical treatment as well as compensating you for lost time from work. Most states let you have a 30-day period in which to report an injury, but some states shorten the informing period. If you miss the cut off time for reporting the injury, you will not receive compensation.
2. Go to the doctor before the claim gets processed. Immediately visit the doctor. You need to document the injury as soon as possible and as completely as possible.
3. Also, complete a visit with the doctor the insurance company requires. In some states, you must complete all of your visits with this doctor, while in other states, you have the right to use the workers’ compensation insurance coverage payments to see any doctor you want. If you were told to see a doctor the insurance company recommends or requires, do so only for as many visits as required. You may then switch if the state in which you reside allows it. Doctors who have an agreement with the insurance company may not act in your best interests and could minimize your injuries so that the insurance company needs to pay less.
4. Know the benefits available to you under the worker’s compensation in your state. You would have access to temporary disability, permanent disability if necessary, medical payments for treatment, mileage for traveling to and from medical appointments, and vocational rehabilitation to help you obtain training for a new career in the same or a different field.
5. Remain vigilant and aware of surveillance and private investigators. While this may sound outlandish, in reality, many insurance companies do employee such means as a way to avoid large payouts and to refute injuries in a court of law. You may try to carry on your usual life, but this could lose you your workers’ compensation claim. That innocent pick up game of basketball with your child or carrying groceries from the car to the front door can result in photographs that in court make you look fine. You may have had three doses of painkillers in you at the time, but the court will only see you shooting hoops or carrying bags.
6. Contact an attorney as soon as possible when you receive an on the job injury. This lawyer helps you document your side of the injury and you can better fight a disreputable insurance agency.
You should not let an on the job injury sideline you. Know the process ahead of time so you can get the treatment you need.