How To File a Worker’s Comp Claim
Do you know the steps that you have to take to file for worker’s compensation? If you get injured while you’re working, worker’s comp can cover your medical bills and lost wages while you make a recovery.
However, you don’t get these benefits automatically. There is a set process that you have to follow in order to get worker’s comp. Failure to follow these steps in a timely manner can lead to you paying for medical expenses out of your own pocket.
It is important therefore to know the specific steps you must take when you’re applying for worker’s comp. To file a worker’s compensation claim, you must follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention. This may be a no-brainer, but you must receive treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. If you don’t seek medical attention right away, your injuries may exacerbate and this can lead to receiving less money because you haven’t taken the necessary precautions to minimize injury. You’ll also want to have some medical paperwork when you submit your claim.
- Notify your employer. The next step is to notify your employer of your injury and that you intend to file for worker’s compensation. We advise that you do this on paper so that everything remains documented. In some states like New Jersey a written notification isn’t necessary but we still recommend that you write one. State laws may also specify a time frame for filing your claim. Usually the sooner you do it – the better.
- Fill out the claim form(s). After you’ve notified your employer comes the next step: filing out the necessary worker’s compensation claim forms. Your employer should have a blank one for you but you may also want to check with your state’s worker’s comp agency – they may require one as well. Ask the state agency about the time limit that you have to file the claim form. This is different from the time limit you have for notifying your employer.
- Wait for a response. If your injuries aren’t serious, it’s possible that you will receive a check covering part of your costs in the mail. Once you’ve filed the worker’s comp claim form, it’s time to wait for a response. After the claim has been approved, you should have a response within a month. It’s also possible to receive a reply sooner (a week for example).
Need further assistance?
While many worker compensation claims are clear and direct, the process does not always go so smoothly. If your claim is denied or if your employer doesn’t agree to your terms then the next step would be to consult an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Hiring a personal injury attorney is a way to receive compensation for the injuries that you suffered.