Top Five Tips For Collecting Workers Compensation Benefits
If you've been hurt at work, follow the five steps to collect your workers compensation benefits. These steps are extremely important and can make or break your case.
1. Go See A Doctor
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Visit an emergency room or urgent care to have your injuries treated by a doctor. Its recommended that you see a doctor the same day as your injury. Make sure you tell the doctor what caused your injuries and that they document your responses in their records.Its also vital to notify the doctor of ALL body parts that were hurt and not just the most severely injured body part. Injured workers sometimes fail to mention a body part because they consider it minor, however, pain and symptoms can develop a few days later so it is important to tell your doctor of all body parts hurt.
2. Notify Your Employer
You need to report your injuries to your employer as soon as possible. After you sustain an injury, its vital to notify your employer even before you seek medical attention. If your injury is severe and needs immediate medical attention, seek medical attention first, and then notify your employer as soon as possible. Make sure to notify your boss or supervisor. Notifying a co worker may not be sufficient. When you talk to your employer, ask them to make a written report. Even if you think your injury is minor, you still need to inform your employer. Failing to do so can impact your eligibility for workers’ compensation.
3. Make Sure To File A Claim
You will need to file a workers compensation claim. You can get the proper forms from your employer. Some states require the employer’s insurance company to file the claim. If you are getting no where with your employer or if you seem to be getting the run around from them, then its best to file your claim on your own. You can do this by locating your local division of workers compensation field office and filling out paperwork in person. After your claim has been filed, you need to follow it up with the insurance company. The insurance company will have the opportunity to investigate your claim and decide if it should be accepted or denied.
4. Follow Doctors Orders
Refusing treatment or failing to follow your doctor’s medical advice can result in you losing your right to workers’ compensation benefits. If your doctor says you need to take time off from work, work reduced hours, or have work restrictions, you need to let your employer know. Do not try to work outside those restrictions given. Insurance carriers can use this against you in court. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for requesting accommodations for your injury.
5. Keep Good Records
When it comes to workers’ compensation cases, it is important to keep copies of the forms you submit and any correspondence with your employer and its insurance company. You should keep a folder or binder with the following information: Witness names and contact information, descriptions of your injury symptoms and recovery process, names, dates, and addresses of all the doctors you visit, dates of missed work due to your injury, notes from the conversations you have had with your employer’s insurance company.