What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that employers must have in order to protect their workers and assets. It is a policy that is specific to injuries that occur on the job. In order for workers’ compensation to be given, the injury must happen during working hours or on the job site. For this reason, it is important to file a claim soon after an injury has taken place in order to receive insurance benefits.
How to File for Workers’ Compensation After an Accident
It is vitally important that all workers tell their managers or employers that there was an accident on the job. It is the employer’s responsibility to help with filing a claim, since there is a variety of paperwork necessary to be submitted for review. Necessary medical treatment should also be received within 48 hours, though this time lapse may vary depending on the state the employee is working. Medical staff will also need to write a preliminary report about the incident that will then be filed along with the workers’ compensation claim.
Within roughly 10 days of notification of the incident, it is the employer’s responsibility to file the claim with the suitable insurance agency in order to begin the process of receiving benefits. After receiving the claim, the insurer will send written notice of receiving the claim and whether or not it has been approved. The paperwork you receive in the mail regarding your claim will also outline your benefits and what you should expect from the insurance company.
In most cases, workers’ compensation is solely used to pay medical bills that have accumulated due to injuries sustained on the job. However, it is not uncommon for workers to lose pay due to being out of work for days or even weeks on end, so the workers’ compensation will help with lost wages as well. The best way to ensure that your workers’ compensation claim goes smoothly is to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible and to receive medical care within two days of the accident happening.
Can a Claim Be Denied?
Claims can and have been denied for workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, there are a myriad of different causes for a claim being denied and some of these include:
- You filed the claim too late
- You never received medical treatment or you waited too long to receive medical treatment
- The incident happened while you were off the clock
- Your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance
- Your injury cannot be compensated (stress-related injuries)
- Your employer has disputed the claim
It is completely up to the insurer on whether or not a claim will be approved and the injured receive benefits. If for any reason you are denied workers’ compensation, you should consider seeking legal action in order to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
What Happens if You Need to Hire a Lawyer?
If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, it is a good idea to seek help from a lawyer. In some cases, workers should receive benefits but were denied due to an issue that can be easily explained in a court of law. It is also important to seek legal aid quickly, since medical bills can pile up and lost wages can become a major problem for you and your family. Another reason to consider hiring an attorney is because you may be receiving benefits that are not fully covering your medical bills and lost wages, causing a severe financial problem. Many lawyers are easily able to handle workers’ compensation claims and can have a consultation with you on whether or not they feel you have a case and will have the ability to receive benefits.
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation after a work-related accident never hurts and if you are denied, there are highly-trained and skilled lawyers who can help fight for your benefits. Workers’ compensation was put into place to protect workers who are hurt on the job and because of this, you have a right to file a claim if needed and receive the care that you need without it becoming a financial burden.
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