Despite most employers’ best efforts, accidents do happen. Workers’ compensation is designed to protect employees should they receive an accident at work that wasn’t their fault. It allows the employees to access benefits they might need to aid their recovery. The process itself can differ from state to state, but it generally follows the below structure, so keep reading to find out more about how to make a claim.
Alert the Company
First things first, if you experience an accident at work that leads to injury or illness, then you need to alert the management team and human resources department as soon as possible because an incident report will need to be made. Obviously, if your injury is severe and requires medical attention, then the management team will likely already be aware of this. The window for reporting your accident and making a claim can vary by state, with some being as small as three days and others lasting as long as a year.
Some policies will only cover accidents or injuries that resulted in medical treatment. You will need to check both the state’s stance and your company’s policy to ascertain whether or not you need a medical report to back up your claim. Again, some injuries will need medical treatment anyway. In most cases, you will be expected to pay your medical fees upfront before being reimbursed should your claim be successful.
Filing the Claim
Often, to file your claim, you will need the help of a legal team like Leo Trial Group. They can help you when it comes to filling out the forms and gathering all of the evidence you need to make your claim, especially if your employers are trying to absolve themselves of any guilt or culpability. Claims can be disputed by your employer, and again this process is subject to your state and its requirements. If the claim proceeds, you can expect to begin receiving payments that go towards your medical bills, any rehabilitation needs, and any lost wages.
Returning to Work
After a recovery period, you will likely be expected to return to work. However, your injury might have limited your capabilities to do so. In which case, your doctor or health care provider will be able to suggest the best course of action for you to take. This might mean returning to work on a part-time basis or limiting your hours while you adjust or until you are able to make the transition back into full-time work, should you be able to. If you do have to go back on a part-time basis, then your wages will obviously be affected, but this may be subsidized by your worker’s comp settlement. Your employers are also responsible for adjusting their policies and practices to ensure that other workers do not experience the same accident that injured you. Therefore, they should also make any adjustments necessary to accommodate you on your return to work.
The Bottom Line
As an employee, you have your rights, the very least of which is to be and feel safe in your place of work. While accidents are not totally unavoidable, if your employer hasn’t taken every necessary precaution to keep you safe and you find yourself injured, then they are liable. In addition, filing a workers comp claim ensures that you are not too heavily financially impacted by the accident.