If you’ve been injured at work, you may be wondering how to go about filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is a system in the United States and many other countries that provides benefits to employees who are injured or who contract an illness at work. The process can seem daunting, but compensation can be achieved. Here are 5 steps to ensure a successful workers’ compensation case.
Report the Injury or Illness to Your Employer
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to report your injury or illness as soon as possible. In some jurisdictions, you have just 30 days from the date of the accident to notify your employer. This step is critical because it starts the workers’ compensation process and allows your employer to take the appropriate steps to protect your health and safety.
Get Medical Treatment
Again, this may seem like common sense, but it’s important to get prompt medical treatment after an injury or illness. In addition to making sure that you get the treatment you need, this step will also create important documentation that will be used in your workers’ compensation case. Be sure to keep all receipts and records of your medical treatment.
File a Claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board
Each jurisdiction has a workers’ compensation board that is responsible for processing claims. In order to start the claims process, you will need to file a claim with the board. You can usually do this online or by mail. Once your claim is filed, an adjuster will be assigned to your case and will contact you to gather more information.
Cooperate with Your Employer and Insurer throughout the Process
It’s important to cooperate with your employer and insurer throughout the workers’ compensation process. For example, you may be asked to submit to a medical examination by a doctor chosen by your employer or insurer. It’s important that you cooperate with these requests in order to avoid delays in your case.
Hire a Lawyer if Necessary
If you feel that your employer or insurer is not treating you fairly, you may want to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you navigate the process and protect your rights. While a lawyer is not required in every workers’ compensation case, they can be incredibly helpful if you’re having difficulty getting the benefits you deserve. Hiring one early on in the process can also save you time and hassle down the road.
Hopefully, these five steps have provided some clarity on what to do if you’re injured at work. While workers’ compensation can be a complex system, following these steps will give you the best chance for a successful outcome.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.