Without workers’ compensation, it might be difficult moving on after suffering injuries at your workplace. You might not pay your bills, go to the hospital and maintain other financial needs. Unfortunately, when many employees suffer injuries at work, they don’t follow the proper procedures or make costly mistakes limiting their compensation chances.
It is essential always to understand your responsibilities and legal rights when you suffer an accident at the workplace to avoid losing the compensation. This article will discuss worker’s compensation and the step you need to take to win your claim successfully. Read on for the details.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers compensation is a government-initiated plan that takes care of the employees when injured at work. With this system, employees continue to earn their dues and other monetary benefits when they are injured or become disabled at work. In simpler terms, you can refer to workers’ compensation as insurance covering an employee when they get injured partially or permanently at their workplace.
However, when an employee accepts workers compensation, they forgo their rights to sue their employers even when they are responsible for the accident. It would be best to get a workers’ compensation attorney who will help you understand this rule better and help you in your compensation case. You should note that workers’ compensation is not the same as disability insurance or employment benefits.
How To Successfully Win Your Workers Compensation Claim
If you are injured and don’t know where to start filing your workers’ compensation claim, this guide will help you. It will give you all the processes, starting from reporting the injury to the last step of appealing a denial when your claim gets rejected. It would be best to read the steps keenly to avoid messing up your claim. Here are the steps.
Immediately report your injury
When you get injuries at your workplace, you must take the first step of reporting the accident to your supervisor or employer. There is a time frame when you are supposed to report this accident, meaning you have to do it quickly. When you miss the deadline, you might fail to get the benefits. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the dates and when to fill the form before time lapses.
Get medical treatment
After you have reported the accident, you should seek medical care or have some checkups if you are not injured. A quick medical treatment or checkup enables you to recover fully and quickly. The treatment and checkup report also serve as evidence that you got injured during the accident. You can represent the same report to get compensated. When you fail to get medication immediately, the insurance company can claim you were not seriously injured or faked the injuries.
Change your doctor is possible
Sometimes, some insurance companies may state that you get treated by their designated hospital or doctor. When your insurance company has this rule, and you get treated by another hospital, such might create a conflict of interest.
However, some doctors may not be good at treating you, making it necessary to find your preferred doctor or hospital. Suppose you feel it is a must you should choose your doctor. In that case, it is essential to notify your insurance company, giving details where possible. The insurance company might also give its conditions, which you need to follow to increase your compensation chances.
Understand the available compensation benefits
It is essential to understand the workers’ benefits you will get from a workers’ compensation claim. While many states have different benefits, the below are some of the common ones.
- Medical treatment – takes care of the treatment of the injuries.
- Temporary disability benefits – Getting paid while recovering from home
- Permanent disability benefits – get compensated for long-term impairment caused by the accident.
- Vocational rehabilitation – helps find a job within the restrictions after suffering an accident.
- Mileage – compensated you for the expenses involved while seeking treatment.
Get prepared for independent medical examination
Your company might hire an independent medical examiner who will review your medical report, injuries, and other health records before giving a report. This report will summarize your diagnosis, restrictions, and injuries. Most insurance companies will do this when they want to reduce your compensation claims. It is crucial, at this point, to avoid tricky questions from the examiner.
Keep off from public
This step requires you to keep your activities off public and beware of private investigators and surveillance. These individuals will watch you in your home and public places, hoping to get something that contracts with your claim to help them reduce or nullify your compensation. For instance, if they see you carrying luggage and have a severe leg injury, that will be an issue to tackle.
Have detailed records
You have to keep proper records of your injuries, treatments, and all other expenses you incur while treating the injuries. Other important documents to safeguard are job restrictions, employer contracts, letters, accident reports, and insurance reports. Some of these records will help you prove your case and get compensated for the injuries.
Consider Appealing a denial for benefits
While you are supposed to get your compensation claim in full, the insurance company will try restricting it. However, when you are not satisfied with the amount, you can appeal it until you are satisfied. Some individuals opt to receive the stated workers’ benefits before appealing for the extra amount.
How does one appeal? Many states require you to appeal by writing a letter to the insurance company. However, it is essential to note the deadline before appealing as late applications get rejected. When you appeal, the judge will schedule a hearing to represent your case why you feel you deserved more. It is essential to attend all legal proceedings and summons.
Hire a compensation lawyer
While it is possible to handle the case independently, it might be complicated. You might not receive the total amount, depending on the injuries. You are more likely to hire a lawyer when the insurance company denies you the benefits, shortchanges you, or when it ignores your information. A lawyer will help you handle all the legal processes, ensuring you get fully compensated for the injuries.
While workers’ compensation is necessary for any employee injured at their workplace, it does not come easily. It is essential to follow the procedures listed above and hire a competent lawyer to get the best amount from your claim.