Where Should I Go to Fill Out a Workers' Compensation Form?

Where Should I Go to Fill Out a Workers' Compensation Form?

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Where Should I Go to Fill Out a Workers' Compensation Form?

When you're convinced that a dangerous condition at your workplace is the primary reason for your injury, you may be eligible for compensation. However, to receive compensation, you will have to file a claim with your employer's workers' compensation insurance company or an approved state agency. So if you're asking yourself, “Where should I go to fill out a worker's compensation form?” – you are not alone.

Many victims of workplace-related injuries are never sure of where to file their claims. Believe it or not, some victims give up along the way because the process of filling out a workers' compensation form is not easy. 

The truth is, there is no standard procedure to fill out a workers' compensation form. Rather, the filing process varies from state to state. Fortunately, the US Department of Labor has an online tool that allows users to search for workers' compensation officials by state. All you have to do is select your state's abbreviation from the provided list to view the contact information of state officials who can help you find the forms you need to file a claim. 

However, in almost all states, you must inform your employer about the injury right after it happens. In addition, many states give workers up to 30 days to report workplace-related injuries to their employers. If they do not report the injuries within 30 days, they may not be eligible for compensation. 

When you report the injury to your employer, they should give you all the forms you need to file a claim with their insurance company. Once you fill out these forms and submit them to the insurance company or your employer, it officially marks the beginning of the claims process. 

It is also important to note that federal employees have a different workers' compensation claims system. Therefore, if you are a federal employee, you can file any of the following forms when seeking compensation for workplace-related injuries or illness.

Form CA-1: Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation

You would need this form if you suffered a traumatic injury due to a dangerous condition at the workplace. Some examples of traumatic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation
  • Concussion
  • Spine fractures
  • Falls
  • Burns

Examples of dangerous conditions at the workplace include: 

  • Lack of or inadequate warning systems
  • Lack of or inadequate safety guards
  • Blocked emergency exits
  • Slippery floors
  • Poorly-maintained equipment
  • Malfunctioning or faulty equipment
  • Hazardous materials, such as biological and chemical hazards
  • Unsanitary conditions that increase the chances of illnesses 

Form CA-2: Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation

You'll be required to file this form if you develop an occupational disease. Such diseases result from constant exposure to dangerous working conditions, such as asbestos. To prove this, you may be required to demonstrate that you worked more than one shift at that particular job.

CA-35: Evidence Required in Support of a Claim for Occupational Disease

When you file form CA-2, you will also be required to file form CA-35, providing evidence of the dangerous condition at your workplace, among other requirements. After filling out these forms, you can file them with your employing agency if you are still employed by the Federal agency where you worked when you sustained the injury.

Your employing agency will fill out their portion of the forms (CA-1 or CA-2) and then submit the entire packet to the Office of the Workers' Compensation Programs. The OWCP will provide you with a claim number which you will use to track your claim. 

The OWCP office will then review your claim and determine whether there is enough reason to adjudicate it. If they deny the claim, you will receive a letter advising you on the next steps forward.

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Morgan & Morgan

  • When Do You Need a Workers' Compensation Attorney? 

    The workers' compensation system is usually administrative, meaning it is designed to be easy to navigate for most workers. However, this is not always the case, given that some cases are more complex than others. 

    Most workers usually need an attorney when filing claims that involve injuries that:

    • are clearly work-related;
    • don't require expensive and extensive medical treatment;
    • don't require long periods of recovery time away from work, and; 
    • don't lead to permanent injuries or disability.

    Remember, you can always consult a workers' compensation lawyer if you are unsure whether you need an attorney. You have nothing to lose but so much to gain in most cases. For instance, at Morgan & Morgan, we offer a free, confidential case evaluation for victims of workplace-related injuries. 

    Bear in mind that insurance companies will always protect their interests, even if it means downplaying your injuries to avoid spending money on your medical expenses. So if the insurance company disputes your claim, chances are they know you do not have legal counsel. 

  • How a Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help

    There are so many ways a workers' compensation lawyer can help. Here are a few examples. 

    Investigating the Incident 

    When the insurance company denies your claim, you need someone who will fight for your rights. Unfortunately, most insurance companies are bullies; they will frustrate the claims process by citing reasons that might seem valid theoretically but not legally. For example, the insurance company could claim that the injury is not work-related.

    They know that you may not have the skills and resources required to investigate such incidents. That is where a seasoned workers' compensation attorney from Morgan & Morgan comes in to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

    Since we are the largest personal injury law firm in the United States, we have more than enough resources needed to investigate such claims. When you contact us for a case evaluation, we will evaluate the reason for denial and then advise you on the way forward. If we believe that the insurance company owes you compensation for your injuries, we will investigate the claim by collecting substantial evidence required to prove them wrong. 

    Challenging a Disability Rating

    When you get injured at the workplace and seek medical attention, your doctor might recommend staying off work for a while as you focus on recovery. Once the recovery process reaches a plateau (meaning you cannot recover beyond that point), your doctor will declare that you have reached your Maximum Medical Improvement. 

    After reaching MMI, the next step is to evaluate your injuries and provide a rating. This rating is often referred to as a disability rating. When conducting a disability rating, your doctor will test various aspects of the injury, such as your:

    • Range of motion
    • Ability to lift items
    • Maximum lifting capacity
    • Ability to maintain body balance

    After the tests, your doctor will assign a rating. The insurance company will then use this rating to calculate your income benefits. The rating is usually provided in the form of percentages.

    For instance, in Texas, one disability rating equals three weeks of income benefits. So if you have a 50% impairment rating, you may be eligible for up to 150 weeks of income benefits.  

    If the insurance company disputes the rating, they will most likely have you undergo a different test conducted by an independent medical examiner. 

    When that happens, there is always the possibility of a conflict between the two ratings. And as expected, insurance companies will always opt for the lowest rating to avoid paying you what you are entitled to. An attorney can discuss these ratings with the insurance company while protecting your best interests. 

    Suppose the insurance company refuses to settle for the impairment rating that reflects the true extent of your injuries. In that case, an attorney can help you pursue other legal options at your disposal, including filing a lawsuit against the insurance company. 

    Evaluating a Pre-Existing Condition

    Individuals with pre-existing conditions usually have the toughest time collecting compensation for their workplace-related injuries. This is because having a pre-existing condition gives the insurance company a good reason to deny your claim. They can simply claim that your current injuries are related to a similar injury you suffered previously in an unrelated incident. 

    For example, if you get injured in a car accident and suffer a broken back, you may undergo treatment and recover - partially - from the incident. But if you slip and fall at the workplace and hurt your back again, the insurance company could claim that you got injured in the car accident, not the workplace. 

    They will claim this even when they know that those are two different incidents. So if you or your loved one is in such a situation, it is important that you talk to a Morgan & Morgan workers' compensation lawyer. We might be able to prove that these two injuries are worlds apart. 

    Advocating for the Treatment You Need

    Insurance companies will use different tactics to avoid paying what they owe you as compensation for your injuries. Some will even downplay the extent of your injuries and the kind of treatment you might need to recover from the injury, whether partially or wholly. When an insurance company disputes your injuries or the recommended treatment, a workers' compensation attorney can help fight for your rights. 

    Maximizing Your Benefits

    Half of the time, when insurance companies provide the initial offer, it is usually less than what you may be entitled to. This is because they have claims adjusters whose primary duty is to reduce the value of your claim and serve the interests of the insurance provider. 

    A workers' compensation attorney can help evaluate the actual value of your claim. They do this by including all damages incurred due to the injury. For example, you may need long-term medical care even after reaching MMI. In that case, your attorney can help calculate the cost of care, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve to manage your new life after the injury. 

    Additionally, many people who receive workers' compensation benefits experience a drastic reduction in their Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. If that is what you are concerned about, a seasoned workers' compensation attorney can help you minimize the reduction and maximize your benefits. 

    Fighting Retaliatory Actions

    Employers usually pay a certain amount of monthly premiums for workers' compensation coverage. These premiums increase when an employee files a successful claim against the company. As a result, some rogue employers may retaliate against their employees. 

    Such employees might face demotion, fewer working hours, reduced salaries, etc. Regardless of the type of retaliatory action, a workers' compensation attorney can help protect your legal rights. 

    Suing Outside of Worker's Compensation

    The main idea behind the workers' compensation system is to prevent civil lawsuits against employers. However, there are certain situations where it may be necessary to pursue a different course of action.

    For example, in Texas, employers have the liberty to choose whether or not they will sign up for the state's workers' compensation program. So what happens when you get injured while working for an employer who does not have workers' compensation coverage. Or what happens when the employer intentionally causes your injuries?

    Another example is when you're working as a delivery driver, and another driver hits your delivery vehicle from behind. Technically, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim with your employer and also file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. Again, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your legal options in such situations. 

    Filing a workers' compensation claim is not always easy, especially if the insurance company disputes your injuries. Remember, your employer will most likely choose the insurance provider's side to prevent their premiums from going up.

    When that happens, it will be a case of you against your employer and their insurer. Luckily, with an experienced workers' compensation attorney by your side, you may be able to receive reasonable compensation for your injuries. Call Morgan & Morgan workers' compensation attorneys today at 877-5520-5013 for a free case evaluation. We will review your case and let you know how we can help. Remember, you do not pay us anything unless we win.  

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