When a worker’s compensation claim is filed, there are several steps that injured workers and lawyers need to follow. There are several routes you can take to make these claims viable, but you’ll also need to know what to do when or if the claim is denied. You should also understand how to approach the situation when you feel as though you cannot file a claim. Continue reading to learn what needs to happen the moment you’re injured.
Injuries must be reported as soon as possible
A workers’ compensation lawyer will ask if the injury has been reported. Workers should know the chain-of-command and report the injury to their immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Because workers’ compensation is handled at the state level, every state has a statute of limitations for reporting the injury and receiving retroactive benefits. There’s a statute of limitations for reporting the accident to receive benefits through insurance, and there’s a statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.
If the worker didn’t report the injury, reporting is a good place to start. If a victim feels they’ll lose their job by doing so, they can ask a lawyer to help them. It’s illegal for businesses to retaliate when a worker files claims for injuries, harassment, or discrimination.
If you have further questions about legal actions regarding your injury, you can go to LiveLawyers.org to connect you with a licensed attorney near you for a free consultation. This would be a good place to start as the lawyer can guide you what to do as soon as possible.
Is there evidence?
A workers’ compensation claim will be processed by the insurance company. The insurance provider will need to know if anyone was present at the time of the accident. While workers’ comp is a no-fault system, the insurance company is taking on liability for the business. Because of this, they can deny claims at any time. The worker should have witnesses who can come forward and attest to the severity of the injury.
A lawyer will make sure that the evidence aligns with the worker’s injury report. A patient can provide that information to the business or insurance company.
Was the worker pressured into not reporting?
If the worker was pressured into not reporting their injury, a lawyer needs to investigate the hostile work environment within the company. This is a separate matter, but it must be handled if the worker would like to be compensated for their injuries and/or lost wages.
A lawyer can interview employees who work for the business in question to determine what happened, and they can use that information to show why the injury may not have been reported. The business might not have workers’ compensation insurance, and that’s a violation of the law. In cases like these, the lawyer can report this violation, sue the business for the worker’s injuries, and request compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, disability, and even death.
How does the worker get treatment?
When a workers’ compensation claim is filed, the worker will visit an approved doctor who can provide treatment. That doctor can continue to provide treatment for the worker following the initial visit. Even after one or more doctor’s visits, a worker can’t return to work until they’ve been approved for work by their physician.
There are instances where a business might pressure the worker to come back to work, despite medical advice. Some workers may even lose their jobs if they can’t return to work on a strict timeline, due to their injuries. If the doctor isn’t acting in good faith and is advising a patient to rush back to their work duties before making a full recovery, a lawyer can file suit against the doctor or the insurance company that pressured the worker to return to work prematurely.
What sort of benefits should be provided?
The worker should be provided with a percentage of their salary, based on state law, while they’re recovering. The worker should also have all their medical bills paid for through the insurance company. The business should handle these claims, and the business should never send bills to the worker after the fact.
The workers should also be compensated for any physical therapy they need. Their treatment plan might even continue after the worker returns to their regular work schedule.
Note: there’s a distinct difference between being approved for work and being fully recovered. The doctor can speak to this, and the insurance provider should continue to provide treatment so long as the worker suffers from injuries they sustained on the job, whether they experience chronic pain or recurring bouts of fatigue.
Why hire a lawyer?
You’ll need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible when you believe that you’ll have problems with your workers’ compensation claim. You should not complain to your employer or the insurance company. Allow an attorney to uncover the truth because they’re qualified to pinpoint what has happened, who was at-fault, where the system broke down, and investigate the case thoroughly. A letter from a lawyer notifying a business or insurance company of a lawsuit will be taken seriously. Random phone calls from injured workers can be dismissed, which is why recruiting professionals is so essential.
Hire a lawyer and receive the compensation you deserve
You should hire a lawyer and seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. There are quite a few workers who aren’t offered coverage because they don’t understand that they’re entitled to workers’ compensation, or they don’t understand they’re allowed to report their injuries.
A lawyer can ensure that you receive the medical care you need. These trained professionals can even fight for death benefits if the negligence of a business or insurance company causes an injured worker’s death. Don’t allow an employer or insurance company to deny you compensation. Advocate for your rights or hire a lawyer who can advocate for you.