If you are injured on the job, it is important to follow the right protocol for filing a workers' compensation claim. Your employer and the human resources department will have their own guidelines for what to do following an injury and how to file a claim. To be sure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible and you receive the benefits you are owed, make sure you perform the following steps to getting that claim filed:
Inform Your Employer
The first thing you should always do after getting injured on the job is inform your employer. Never assume it is a minor injury or that you can worry about letting them know later. There are limits on filing a claim after an injury, and if you miss it because you failed to let your employer know, you could lose your workers' compensation benefits. Every state has their own guidelines, typically with a limit of a few months to a year or longer.
Seek Medical Attention
After letting your employer know, seek medical attention. Your employer might have a doctor they want you to see who is approved for workers' compensation cases. If it was an emergency and you needed to go to the hospital before letting your employer know, don't hesitate to do so. It is essential that you get medical care as soon as possible following an injury. You can work out the workers' compensation details later in an urgent situation.
As you get medical attention for your injury, always remember to save documentation and receipts from medications prescribed, co-pays, and forms explaining your diagnosis.
File a Workers' Compensation Claim
Once you have received adequate medical care for the injury, you will file a workers' compensation claim. You can get the forms and information from your employer. You will fill them out, and the human resources department will likely inform you of what to do next. If the employer is already refusing to cooperate, call a workers' compensation lawyer to get help right away. Your employer is the one that lets their insurance carrier know, but if there is an issue, a lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve.
After Filing the Claim
Once the claim is filed, you will need to wait for the insurance adjuster to review the form and approve it. If it is approved, you will get benefits including your medical care covered or reimbursed, and possibly income assistance if you need to miss work for your recovery. If they do not approve it, it is time to call that workers' compensation lawyer. They can help you with the rest of the filing process and help you get benefits.
For more information, contact Dunnigan & Messier P.C. or a similar firm.