There is a process for workers’ compensation claims that you will follow when you need to file a new claim. It is similar in some states with small variations. This process begins with seeking medical attention for your injury. The documentation created during your visit can be used later as evidence of your injury. Once you have been treated for the injury, report the injury to your employer.
You are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job, even if some of your actions or decisions contributed to the injury. Every employer that offers workers compensation benefits is a method of logging and reporting claims. Some states mandate companies to make this process available to you at all times. The HR department should have the necessary paperwork to file your claim.
After you have filed your claim, it is sent to the insurance company or the appropriate government agency that oversees workers’ compensation claims in your state. They have a specific amount of time to reply to you. Failing to do so could hurt your chances of accessing workers’ compensation benefits. Your claim may also be denied. If your claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. At this point, your claims are processed like a civil lawsuit. You can argue your case, or a judge will make a final decision on the claims.
Criteria for Workers’ Compensation
Each state sets its own criteria to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Some states require that employers be found negligent in some way that contributed to your injuries. There are also stipulations on who can qualify for benefits. For example, in some states, you must be an employee, not a seasonal worker, to file for workers’ compensation.
In some states, anyone qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits from their first day on the job. However, how long you have been working there can affect the level of benefits that you receive. There is usually a grace period before your benefits reach the highest level. This grace period can range from weeks to months.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation programs can cover several of the same types of benefits. These programs cover medical expenses, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There are other types of expenses that may be included on a state-by-state basis.
Some states have a limit to how much income replacement support you can receive. This is especially true if you receive support from multiple programs. It can be difficult to determine how these programs interact. However, you can ask a lawyer for assistance in balancing your benefits for multiple programs to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Know Your Rights
If you are an employee of a company and you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Most companies are required to have workers compensation insurance in some form.
Under the worker’s compensation program, you can qualify for income replacement support. You can receive weekly payments that cover a portion of your average salary before you are injured. While it is not your full salary, it is enough to help you avoid financial problems and maintain your quality of life. On top of this, you can receive support for medical care and help you get back to work.
Once your claim is filed, you may be offered a settlement agreement. You can accept the offer, negotiate for a higher amount, and/or request a second opinion from another doctor. What you choose to do in the situation depends entirely on you. However, you do not have to accept a settlement agreement unless you file your claim in a state where a workers’ compensation judge has the final ruling on claims. In some cases, this ruling is final and non-negotiable.
Call to Schedule a Free Consultation
While the process for workers’ compensation claims might be different in all states and circumstances, there is still a general process that you can expect. Fortunately, you do not need to navigate the workers’ compensation claim process on your own. Your workers compensation lawyers will be there every step of the way until you get the damages you need and deserve.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you write demand letters and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 603-4224 to discuss your workers’ compensation claim with a member of our team during a no-cost consultation to you.