How to Properly File a Workers Compensation Claim

When you get seriously injured, it can end up costing you a lot of money. Between the medical bills and lost wages from being unable to work, your debt will start piling up fast. But what if your injury happened while on the job?  In that case,  you might be entitled to workers’ compensation. In order to make sure you get what you’re owed, you need to file a claim. So how do you do that? Follow these tips to learn how to get the compensation you’re owed.

How File a Workers Compensation Claim

Report Your Injury Immediately

It’s important that you report your injury as soon as it happens to give yourself the best chance at receiving the full amount you’re owed. Depending on what state you live in, there are different time limits to how long after an injury occurs that you can still file a claim. If you wait too long to report the incident, your employer and the insurance company may be suspicious of how serious your injury is. You should also seek out medical attention right away. Hospital and medical records detailing the time and date of your injury, along with the severity and treatments will go a long way toward proving your case if there are any questions about your claim. Be sure to let them know during your medical intake that you received your injury at work.

File the Necessary Paperwork

Once you’ve reported your injury, you should receive the necessary paperwork to fill out from your employer. Look into the procedures for how filing works in your state. Some require the employer to submit the completed forms to the insurance companies and state workers’ compensation agencies. It’s important to be certain that everything is filed the right way, decreasing the chance of your claim being denied on a technicality. Missed deadlines, improperly filled out paperwork, or questionable responsibility of your employer regarding the injury are all reasons for a claimant being denied.

Appeal A Denied Claim

The insurance company will conduct an investigation into your injury and assess your case before accepting or rejecting it. It’s not uncommon for a claim to be denied, especially in cities like Augusta, Georgie where workers’ compensation cases can be more difficult to prove. If this happens after filing a workers’ comp claim, you should seek help from a professional law firm specializing in these cases. They will assist you with the appeal process, collect evidence to support your claim, and represent you in hearings against the insurance company. A state-appointed commission will hear both your case and that of the insurance company before making a decision about whether to overturn the denial or not. It can be quite daunting if you attempt to represent yourself, especially since most insurance companies have a staff of highly-trained litigators on their payroll. In most states, your lawyers won’t request upfront payment. If you win, they’ll take a cut of the settlement awarded to you, and if you lose, they won’t charge you.

File a Workers Compensation Claim

Sign the Award Agreement

If your claim is accepted, you’ll be sent an Award Agreement that must be signed and returned before you can officially begin receiving workers’ comp. Doing this also protects your rights as an injured worker, so you can return to your job when the injury has healed. An employer is not allowed to fire you or give your job to a permanent replacement while you’re out due to a work-related injury. If the injury is severe enough that you cannot return to work, then you’d be entitled to disability benefits.

Receive Your Workers’ Compensation

After you’ve completed all the necessary steps to file your claim and it’s been accepted, you’ll begin receiving your workers’ comp. This can cover your medical bills and lost wages, assisting you while you’re recovering and unable to earn your normal wages. You can choose to get this money as a lump sum or structured settlement. With a structured settlement, you’ll be paid in smaller installments over a predetermined period of time. It’s possible to receive more money in the end with this option, but when cash is tight and there’s a stack of bills hanging over your head, a lump sum might be a better choice.

Getting injured on the job is difficult enough without having to worry about the financial consequences. The last thing you need when you’re already dealing with the resulting physical injuries is the added mental strain of trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for everything. Use these tips to help you file your claim for workers’ compensation, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

 

 

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