Why File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When you are injured on the job, state law may require your employer to cover the costs associated with your recovery. These costs can include compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, loss of wages and benefits and any other necessary expenses.
The problem is that many employers attempt to sidestep responsibility under law to avoid paying the amount of workers’ compensation your claim entitles to you. That is why the help of a qualified and experienced employment rights attorney is always the best form of assistance for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
Finding the Best Attorney for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Employment law covers the gamut of employment right issues including discrimination based on age, race, color, national origin and more, as well as labor law issues like those involving workers’ comp claims.
When you feel your rights to compensation for an injury you experienced on the job are being compromised, you’ll need a good lawyer to help with the filing process. Search for an attorney with the experience in filing these particular types of claims you need. For instance, a good workers’ comp attorney should be familiar with the worker’s comp laws of your state as well as the processes and guidelines for filing a claim.
Once you’ve selected a capable attorney, the process for filing can progress in ways that won’t limit your ability to recover all the compensation that’s entitled to you.
Quick Tips for Filing Workers’ Comp Claims
Contact your employer.
The very first step for filing a successful workers compensation claim is always to contact your employer. Your employe may be required under state law to work with an insurer that specifically handles workers’ comp claims.
Once you report your injuries and your desire to file a claim to your employer, your employer should then pass the claim along to the insurer for the claim to be processed. contacting your employer puts the company on notice that an injury has occurred and triggers the employer’s responsibility to provide the appropriate responses. Failure to do so could result in liability for violations employment rights protections.
Visit your doctor.
When filing a worker’s compensation claim, it’s always wise to pay a visit to your doctor for an examination of your injuries. Obtaining a doctor’s official report can justify your claim. It can also get the process moving if you have not already reported the injury to your employer.
Be sure to keep a record of all medical examinations and appointments and to follow any instructions your doctor gives you. For instance, your doctor may refer you to another medical professional who is qualified to handle workers’ compensation claims. If so, you’ll need to act on the referral as soon as possible to keep your claim moving forward.
Read up on deadlines.
As with any legal matter, filing workers’ comp claims requires doing your research. Doing your homework is particularly important in legal matters like workers’ compensation claims that involve deadlines which must be carefully observed in order to be successful.
Some states may not have deadlines for filing a claim but may require a certain amount of time to report on-the-job injuries to your employer in order for your claim to be successful. Other states are more specific about the amount of time to file, and still others have set deadlines for both situations.
The important thing is to be aware of the deadlines for your state. Each state has its own laws for filing workers’ comp claims, so you’ll need to speak with your attorney specifically about the laws pertaining your state.
Check for more information with your state workers’ comp organization.
Most state constitution equip state governments with departments and administrative units for handling workers’ compensation claims and benefits. For instance in California, the Department of Industrial Relations contains a Division of Workers’ Compensation which ensures that employees receive benefits for on-the-job injuries.
In some instances, it may be possible to file a workers’ compensation claim online through the state government website. Even if online filing is not possible, state workers’ compensation sites contain a wealth of information about filing claims, deadlines, the claim procedure and the rules and regulations outlining the types of benefits available.
Consult with Your Attorney
Not every worker’s compensation claim filed will be approved. An employer may deny the worker’s compensation claim based any number of reasons. A claim denial does not have to end the process, however. Employees can challenge a workers’ comp benefit denial, and doing so could require the assistance of an attorney.
In fact, the assistance of an attorney throughout the entire claim filing process could prove to be invaluable should you run into aspects that are beyond your level of expertise and experience. This is often the case since the laws, rules and regulations concerning workers’ compensation claims can be quite specific and complex.
A good workers’ compensation attorney has a working knowledge of these laws and knows the best ways to strategize a successful outcome for your claim.
Filing Workers’ Comp Claims
In addition to state resources, a number of other sources for assistance and research are available concerning workers’ compensation claims. This nifty list of state resources identifying the best links for information on workers’ compensation organized by state may come in handy.
This Department of Labor map may also help. It lists contact information for workers compensation officials in each state which enables employees to know where to go for help and information with just the click of a mouse.
Further, organizations like the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute can provide resource material for more in-depth research into workers’ compensation issues.