If you have suffered from a workplace injury, your employer's workers' comp insurance will cover you and benefit you in a number of ways. For example, you can visit the doctor for your injury and pay nothing for any medical expenses, as long as the visit is related to the accident. Additionally, if your injury was more severe and you are unable to go back to work, you may be paid a certain portion of your regular salary while you recuperate. It's important to be aware of the timing of certain actions, so read on to learn more.
Workers' Comp is a State Program
Each and every state will have their own special rules regarding workers' comp coverage, so check with the workers' comp board in your state for information on exact deadlines and procedures for filing. Most states have similar rules, however. Another issue for hurt workers is that if you are a federal employee, your workers' comp program is administered separately by the Department of Labor.
Taking Immediate Medical Action
Regardless of where you work or live, make sure that you get medical help for your injury or illness as soon as possible. If your injury is so minor that you don't need medical attention, then it is unlikely to qualify as a workers' comp injury. On the other hand, if a minor cut gets infected later on, don't hesitate to seek medical attention as soon as you notice a problem, no matter how much time has passed since the original injury.
Inform Your Supervisor
As soon as you can do so, let your immediate supervisor know about the injury or work-related illness. If you wait too long to alert them, it may make it appear that your injury is not that serious. In most cases, there are no set deadlines for reporting, but doing so as soon as possible will get the ball rolling on your claim and get your the benefits you need faster.
Filing the Claim
In most states, it is your supervisor's responsibility to file a workers' comp claim for you. In some places, workers are allowed to file a claim and may get claim forms on the state board website. In any case, make sure it gets done by verifying it with your supervisor. Read the claim form carefully before you sign it and be as accurate as possible with details like dates, times, names of witnesses and more. Mistakes here can cause your claim to get "kicked back" to you, and may even get denied, both of which will delay your benefits.
If your claim has been denied or you have a more serious injury, speak to a workers' comp attorney, like one from Neifert Byrne & Ozga, as soon as possible.