When you’re injured on a job, receiving medical treatment is just one step in a long and complicated process. An injury claim might be possible if your injuries at work were the result of the actions of a third party other than your employer, and you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. While most people understand this is necessary to receive benefits, such as paid time off and compensation for medical treatment, they don’t know what to expect from the process.
Getting the Ball Rolling
The first thing you must do in this process is to report the incident to your supervisor. From there, you will be asked to fill out several forms, which will detail the accident and inquire about medical treatment you received for your injuries. Once you supply the information and return the forms to your supervisor, your employer will then submit copies of the forms to their insurance provider and the state compensation board.
Typically, this is the start of your claim, and you won’t need to do anything else. You may be asked to supply more information or provide copies of documents, but, as far as initiating a claim, there is nothing more you need to do. You only need to contact the state workers’ compensation board, if your application has been denied. In that case, you may want to find out the steps for appealing the decision.
What Happens After You File a Claim?
After the claim has been filed, it will be the responsibility of the insurance company to investigate the incident and to determine if they will approve your worker’s compensation claim. This process can take up to four weeks and, during that time, both you and your employer may be contacted to answer questions or supply additional information. The insurance provider will use this information to help determine whether or not they will approve the claim.
In either case, the insurance company must notify you of their decision. If a decision isn’t made within the four week period, some states may consider the claim automatically approved. You will have to check the laws in your state to determine if this is the case. Once the claim has been approved, you will begin receiving benefit payments.
Many times, the initial claim is denied, and it will be up to the injured employee to dispute the decision. The complaint can be rejected for a number of reasons. It may be as simple as a missed deadline, or the insurance investigator may doubt that the injuries occurred on the job. If your claim is denied and you decide to appeal the decision, it may be time to consider hiring a lawyer who deals with workers’ compensation cases. An experienced legal advocate may be able to help you get your claim approved. At the end of the day, you might also be looking for a new job, managing your finances, and medical frustrations, so try to take it easy and if needed, definitely contact an attorney.