Suffering an injury at work isn’t something we ever expect, but occasionally it does happen, especially with dangerous jobs such as construction. When disaster strikes, it can be difficult to know how to proceed in the proper manner.
Many people are uncertain how to begin filing a worker’s compensation claim, and the truth is the process of obtaining a fair settlement can be daunting. That’s why a little preparation and planning i absolutely essential.
Knowledge Is Power
Firstly, a basic understanding of liability and how insurance claims work will be helpful to the claimant. Liability can be established by considering three different points: Did the individual who caused the accident have a legal duty to prevent the injury? Did the person fail to act in that manner? And as a result of that failure, did someone suffer an injury or damages? Asking these questions can help the injured party determine if he or she has a claim.
Worker’s Compensation Claims
In the case of worker’s compensation claims, the law is on the side of the victim. Insurance coverage for injuries incurred on the job is mandatory. However, it also protects employers from being sued by those that suffered damages, so the system is really beneficial for everyone involved.
Filing a claim involves the employer, the employee that was injured, the insurance provider, and various medical specialists. The benefits received usually consist of medical costs and some restitution for lost income, which normally amounts to 50-70% of the employee’s compensation. Most employers have a process in place for submitting worker’s compensation claims.
The Process of Filing
Generally, the employee will want to receive medical attention as soon as possible if the wound is serious. The next step is to inform the employer of the injury sustained as soon as possible, because most states impose a one-month time limit on the worker. Once made aware of the problem, your employer will more than likely have claim forms that must be filled out and submitted.
It is the employer’s responsibility to turn this paperwork in to the insurance provider. Some states require a separate claim be submitted to the state worker’s compensation agency. Provided the claim isn’t disputed, an adjuster will contact your or your employer to inform you on how to receive payment.
Getting Legal Help
Most people may find it helpful to hire a worker’s compensation lawyer to assist with this procedure. Having someone knowledgeable about the particular laws of the state that the incident occurred in can be very helpful.
Moreover, if the claim is denied or disputed, your lawyer can advise you on the next steps to take, such as filing a complaint. If your case is clear and obvious, there might not be a need for legal advice, but if there is any question about liability, it would be wise to seek counsel.
Having someone to negotiate on your behalf and wade through some of the more opaque aspects of the paperwork could be a great help to someone who is already suffering physically. No matter what you decide, be sure you do your research on your legal obligations and be prepared to prove your case.
If you need help with a worker’s compensation claim, our attorneys can help. Call us at 855-272-6992 for a free consultation.