When you file for workers’ compensation, you’re filing for the benefits that are due to you due to an injury that occurred on the job. You might think filing will be easy, but it’s far from it. The process can be frustrating and confusing and often leads to a lower settlement than if you had adequately prepared beforehand. There are several things to consider before you file for workers’ compensation.
- Be Sure You Qualify
Before starting the claims process, ensure you meet the qualifications to file for workers’ compensation. Make sure a valid injury and disease are covered under your jurisdiction’s law and that it occurred at work or on the way to or from work, etc., as defined by your state’s law following Title 42 of the United States Code section 901(a). If you don’t meet the qualifications, you won’t receive benefits.
- Appeal If Necessary
If you feel you’re not receiving fair treatment from your employer, seek out an advocate to help you in the process of appealing your company’s decision. Your state’s department of insurance or workplace safety commission will have a toll-free number that you can call to receive help if needed. If you want to get workers compensation in Canada, then make sure to hire a professional lawyer.
- Gather Your Evidence
You’ll need to provide proof of your injury to your employer as soon as possible following the incident. If you feel your employer is not taking your damage seriously, document everything by writing down when it happened, what happened and who was present at the time of the incident. Keep copies of any correspondence (example: doctor’s reports, letters from representatives) that might help with your workers’ claim. Save all receipts and documents related to medical bills or expenses if they were incurred while recovering from an on-the-job injury or illness and received treatment due to job-related circumstances.
- Wait For Your Company to Take Action
For most companies, huge ones, it can take some time to respond to a claim. So you’ll need to follow up with your employer if you haven’t heard anything by the week after you filed for workers’ compensation or be prepared for months or even years before your employer will start paying benefits.
- Get Medical Attention If Necessary
You’ll want to keep track of any medical treatment you receive by adding a copy of each doctor’s report to your file. This can give the company a better picture of your health and the severity of your injuries. You’ll also want to keep a log of your medications and any other health issues that arise from the injury or illness.
- Consider a Personal Injury Lawyer
You might be tempted to go it alone in filing for workers’ compensation, but unfortunately, you’ll have difficulty doing so. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate filing for workers’ compensation. These people can also assist you with legal actions if necessary; so don’t hesitate to speak with them if necessary.
Even if your employer was at fault for your on-the-job injury, you might still not receive benefits from them. Several states have laws that preclude employers from receiving workers’ compensation from employees who are fired or terminated due to “wrongful discharge.