When you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may go into the process thinking that you’re prepared, you’re ready for what’s to come, and that you have everything in order throughout the process.
Think again – the workers’ compensation process is long, it’s challenging, it’s frustrating, and it’s a labyrinth of paperwork, medical records, bills and a paper trail a mile long of other files and forms that need to be filled out by you, your lawyer, your employer, and your doctor.
It’s something that can take hours, days and even weeks to get in order. You’ll need to keep all of your files organized and in order, and you’ll need to make sure that you stay on top of submitting the forms in a timely manner to the interested parties who need them.
Feel like you’re ready to take that on? Maybe not. So, we’re here to help you understand what you need to file and who you need to file it with in order to submit your claim properly, and on time.
Here is everything you need to file in order to submit your workers’ compensation claim.
After your injury or accident, you need to report immediately to a health care provider who can provide you with the treatment you need, and a recommendation on how or when you should return to a normal operating capacity at your job. If you don’t feel like you need immediate medical attention after your injury or accident but are still planning to file for workers’ compensation, then this is still an important step in the filing process. Just because you feel you don’t have a visible or serious injury does not mean you don’t need to see a doctor.
Filing a medical report is an important part of the process, and the medical report will serve as an official record of your injuries during the claim process. This will also be the basis for any workers’ compensation reimbursement.
After you’ve gone through an accident or injury at work and have had a visit with a health care professional, the next step is notifying your employer in writing about the injury or accident.
Even if your employer, colleagues, or a hundred other people witnessed the moment when you received your injury, this does not count as official record and you should not guarantee that your employer will report the accident the same as you. You should provide, in writing, notice about the accident, including what happened, who was there, what time of day it was, where it took place, and any other details that you can provide.
Another important thing to note about the employer notification is that even if you’ve been in an accident at work, and you don’t feel like you’ve been injured, you should still report the accident to your employer in writing. This is so that later on, if you end up having an injury that you didn’t notice or feel at first, you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Official Claim Form
Next, you should file a workers’ compensation form. Generally, you can receive these forms from your employer, but if you don’t get one from your employer then you can request one from the workers’ compensation board for your state.
Not sure how to contact them to get the form? Your lawyer can help with that!
On the form, you’ll need to provide more detailed information about the accident and how it happened. It’s good to document details that you may not initially think are the most important to include, such as details about the weather the day of the incident, what you were wearing, who was there that day, and how you were feeling before, during and accident.
The form will request:
- The type of injuries you sustained, and where on your body you sustained them
- The date, time and location that you sustained your injuries
- Who was involved in the accident, and who witnessed the accident occur
- What the situation surrounding the accident was – how did it happen, what went wrong, whose fault was it
- What medical treatment you’ve received for the accident so far
You’ll want to provide any and all receipts for anything you’ve paid for since the accident that are related to your injuries – any medical supplies, doctor’s appointments, or other items that you think are pertinent to your case, you should keep the receipts. These can come in handy when you’re filing your forms, because you may be compensated for the money you’ve paid for what you need.
Overall, with just the basic files listed above that you’ll need when filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may already be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up with all of the paperwork and ensuring that you’ve filled out everything correctly so that you can make sure that your claim is accepted.
This is a complicated process, and one which workers’ compensation lawyers are highly trained to help with. They can help guide you through the process and make sure that in the end, you’re paid what you’re owed by your employer and that you are represented fairly in court, if it comes to that. And, they can make sure that you’re receiving the benefits you deserve – big companies and employers are used to making these types of cases go away, doing whatever they have to in order to win their case. So, they’re used to finding loopholes and taking advantage of employees who aren’t sure of the process and who aren’t used to keeping detailed records or don’t know exactly how and when they should be filing their forms.
Instead of dealing with the stress and potential loss of your workers’ compensation benefits, it’s best to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can make sure that you’re represented fairly and that you receive everything you deserve from your employer and the insurance companies.