Injured at Work? Here’s What You Need to Do
Were you recently injured at work and now don’t know what to do? Navigating the confusing path of workers comp alone can be daunting at times. There are timelines, locations, and paperwork to file for your claim, not to mention recovering from your injury. If you’re unsure what your next step should be, consider if a worker compensation lawyer could help move your claim along.
Are Workers Compensation Claims Difficult to Get Approved?
Before we discuss how to get a claim approved, it is important to take a look at the people who end up needing to use their workers comp and see what types of injuries that case them to file a claim. In the year 2013, there was a recorded 917,100 occupational injuries and illnesses that resulted in an average eight days of missed work. About 327,000 of those occupational injuries were in the form of a muscle tear, sprain, or muscle strain. Just over 229,000 were the result of a fall, slip, or trip. Nearly 170,500 caused a back injury.
What to Do After Being Injured at Work: Timeliness is Crucial.
Depending on what state you live and work in, you might have a time window in which you are legally required to see a doctor about the injury and report the diagnosis back to your boss. Some states only give a window of a few days, while others may allow a month or more to path. Double check this information on your state’s labor website. This is also find the time limits for filing the actual claim with the state, which is usually between 30 and 90 days. You’ll want to write down the deadline date to file and place it somewhere prominent. Doing this helps you keep on top of your paperwork.
As stated above, you will need to see a doctor soon after your injury to receive a diagnosis, as that will need to go on your official claim. The paperwork from the doctor needs to clearly state the specifics of your injury. It’s a even more helpful if the paperwork clearly states physical limitations, and the projected time of recovery. Every piece of information needs to do one of the following: clarify the exact injury such as a sprain; where it occurred and at what time; and how the injury will prevent you from fulfilling your professional duties. This will help the claim be approved, but also help you receive the compensation you deserve, such as payment for medical bills and missed work. Workers compensation can pay 100% of related medical costs, and after a three to seven day waiting period can cover the costs of missed pay from time off of work as well.
How Can a Worker Compensation Lawyer Help Me with My Claim?
The best case scenario for a worker becoming injured at work is for their claim to go uncontested, and for the worker to receive their benefits quickly and without delay. This is unfortunately not always the case. Very often a worker finds that need to prove the extent of their injury. At times the worker may even need to fight to prove that the injury occurred at work, and during normal working hours. If this sounds odd, consider an employee BBQ or baseball game, or maybe the time before a worker clocks in or is on their lunch break. These are sometimes considered grey areas, and some employers will fight a workers compensation claim that falls within them.
A worker compensation lawyer can be helpful for this reason. Remember, you’re recovering from an injury. You’ll want to be resting at home, not worrying about paying for medical expenses, or the money you’re missing out on by taking time off from work. Fighting paperwork may not be your area of expertise, so if you should find yourself with some pushback concerning your claim, a consultation with a worker compensation lawyer may be beneficial.
If you were recently injured at work, the process of filing for workers comp might be confusing. To make things clearer, consider meeting with a lawyer to discuss your options. You’ll want to get back on your feet sooner rather than later.