Getting Acquainted With Workers' Comp

Posted on: 7 January 2016

If you got injured as a direct result of your employment, then there is a chance that you could get compensation through workers' comp. To help you get an idea of what's ahead, here are a couple of pointers:

How Does the Process Work?

As far as you are concerned, the process isn't particularly complicated. After you are injured, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. They will give you some forms to fill out, which will then be sent to the workers' comp provider. Your claim will be analyzed and you might be asked for some additional proof, such as a medical exam by an independent doctor (not your normal health care provider). Your claim will be approved or denied, and that will be that.

However, there are some bumps that you could potentially encounter along the way.

What If You Don't Report Your Injury Immediately?

If you don't report your injury within a certain period, then you may not be able to file at all. The exact timeframe will depend on your state, but it ranges from a few months to a few years. Of course, this only applies to the elements of the claim that you are responsible for. If you give your filled documentation to your employer, who then fails to properly send it to the provider, you will not usually be held responsible. If you do run into a problem of this nature, there are many specialized attorneys who can help you sort everything out.

What If Your Claim Is Rejected?

In some cases, your claim might simply be rejected for one reason or another. Some problems are fairly easy to fix, such as some incorrect documentation, while others can require a bit more effort on your part. If you feel that your claim was rejected for subjective or incorrect reasons, then you have a strong case and you can appeal the decision.

To do this, you might want to consider hiring a workers' compensation attorney. The appeal process can be a bit technical and confusing, so the extra expertise can't hurt. Even if you don't intend on actually hiring a lawyer, you can still get a consultation to determine the best course of action. A workers' comp attorney can help you sort out all the paperwork that you need and prepare you for any questions that you may be asked in court. It's better to be safe than sorry.