Workers Compensation Claims Process
When you’re hurt and unable to work, it can be devastating from an emotional and financial standpoint. The good news is, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and more. Read on to find out how the workers’ compensation claims process works.
Employee and Employer Responsibilities
Employees who get hurt or sick on the job must:
- Report the incident to their supervisor
- Seek medical attention in a timely fashion
- Act responsibly after the injury (follow doctor’s orders to heal as quickly and completely as possible)
- Have workers’ compensation insurance, barring exceptions
- Advise employees of their legal rights
- Provide necessary paperwork for filing a claim
If you’re injured on the job, there’s a limited amount of time to submit a claim and receive benefits. Laws vary by state, but most jurisdictions require that employees notify their employer within 30 to 45 days.
Typically, providing notice is done by notifying a supervisor or manager. In cases where the employer is unable to do so — due to hospitalization or otherwise — the requirement is generally excused as long as the employer learns of or should have known about the incident.
Process for Filing
The process for filing a claim may vary depending on what state the employee works in but generally involves the following steps:
- The employee will report the injury or illness to their employer within the specified timeframe.
- The employer will provide the necessary paperwork for the employee to fill out, including reporting forms for the insurance provider and state workers’ compensation board.
- The employer will file a claim with the insurance carrier.
- The insurer will approve or deny the claim. If the claim is approved, the employee can accept the payment offer — which may cover medical costs, lost wages, and disability payments — or negotiate for a larger structured settlement. If the claim is denied, the employee can appeal the decision.
- The employee will return to work. Barring permanent total disability, the employee will eventually return to work. Depending on the severity and nature of the injury, the insurer may continue paying disability benefits.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
There are many steps involved in filing a workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, not all employers and insurance companies provide workers with the benefits they deserve. Protect your financial future by contacting Morgan & Morgan. Learn more by scheduling a free legal case evaluation now.