28 Nov 7 Tips for Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you’re getting ready to file a worker’s comp claim, make sure you have legal help on your side. Otherwise, one wrong move and you might be facing a denial or unnecessarily drag out the process. There are some best practices for filing a claim, and here are the lucky seven to keep in mind:
• Get medical attention first. Before you even think about filing a claim, make sure you’re safe and secure. Immediately get medical attention and follow the directions provided by your medical team. Failing to get fast medical attention or deviating from your care plan can suggest that negligence on your part played a role in your injury. Make sure your doctor knows this will be a worker’s comp case—they will need to file a report with the Worker’s Compensation Board and your insurance company.
• Know which of the two injuries you have. Worker’s comp injuries can include scheduled or non-scheduled injuries. Scheduled injuries are those on the extremities, eyes, and ears. Non-scheduled include all other parts of the head, the back, and neck as well as specific diseases, and usually, lead to a permanent disability.
• Understand the percentage detail. Contrary to popular belief, worker’s compensation is usually a percentage of wages lost (not always the full salary) as well as medical treatment coverage. A set amount may be paid depending on body part injured. It can be a long, bumpy process without legal help. Don’t sign anything regarding worker’s comp until you’ve talked to an attorney.
• Know that even if you hurt yourself, you may be eligible. Any time you’re injured in a work-related event, you might be eligible for worker’s comp. Don’t assume that just because you were at fault, you don’t qualify.
• However, not every work-related injury automatically qualifies. The accident must be accidental, be work-related, and happen while you’re an employee in some regard. Negligence on your part can make a big difference in the success of the claim. Discuss details with a worker’s comp attorney.
• Plan ahead, even if you qualify for worker’s comp. Since worker’s comp often doesn’t pay your full salary, it’s wise to plan ahead for worst-case scenarios. An emergency fund and supplementary insurance can help.
• A lawsuit might be a better, or additional, approach. Sometimes, if you’re hurt on the job, a lawsuit might be suitable. Often, a lawsuit for injuries incurred on the job isn’t available. However, if your employer intentionally had “Egregious conduct” or doesn’t have worker’s comp insurance, you may be able to sue.