If you get hurt while working, you can count on your employer's workers' comp insurance to cover you. You really don't need to sign up or even pay for this coverage; it's yours free of charge and takes effect automatically from your first day on the job. You must take action, however, if you get injured. Read on to learn more about the procedure for filing for workers' comp benefits.
Take Action Right Away
1. As soon as you know you're injured, seek medical attention. If you feel that the injury is too minor to merit a trip to the emergency room or the doctor, then it's probably too minor for a workers' comp claim. Additionally, if you fail to seek medical care for your injury, you will never get workers' comp to approve your claim.
2. Inform your supervisor about your accident and follow up to ensure that they complete an accident report. Every state has different rules about this process, but in most cases it is up to your boss to file the report, although with your input. You can access your state's workers' comp board online where you should be able to view the procedure, and in some cases, find blank claim forms.
Be Accurate and Timely
1. The sooner you file for benefits, the sooner you can begin to get them. Usually, you can expect to get paid a certain portion of your salary (such as 66.6% of it) while recuperating in the hospital or at home. You will also be able to have 100% of any related medical bills covered, as long as you let the provider know that your accident or illness is work-related.
2. Whether you fill out the form or your supervisor does, read it over carefully before you sign and submit it. Be as accurate as possible with times, dates, witnesses and other details. It often doesn't take much of an error to have your claim rejected for a mistake, which will only add to the time it takes to get your benefits started. If possible, use medical terminology when describing your injury and stay factual and concise.
It's a good idea to get an expandable file folder to keep your important paperwork in once you get injured, particularly if the injury is serious and you think it might be permanent. You'll have a handy location for your documents like receipts, reports, letters from the workers' comp insurance carrier and your employer and more.
Talk to an Attorney
You are entitled to benefits if you are injured on the job or your injury or illness was related to your job. For example, if you traveled on business for your employer and were hurt during the trip, you are covered. If you encounter any snafus with your claim, you might need to seek help from a workers' comp attorney. You will find it vital to speak to an attorney if your claim is unjustly denied, your employer is refusing to file a claim on your behalf or if you have a permanent injury and are being offered a settlement. Don't allow anything to get between you and the benefits you rightly deserve.
Contact a law firm, like Shay & Associates, for more help.