Workers compensation is a form of insurance that employers must carry to cover lost wages or medical bills that result from being hurt on the job. If you are injured at work, you are entitled to file a workers compensation claim. But like so many forms of insurance, the companies managing these policies want to pay out the smallest amount possible, so it is important to follow a certain protocol to ensure that your claim is accepted and paid out properly. If your workers comp claim is denied, you may have to hire an attorney who specializes in these types of cases. Use the following tips to increase the likelihood of your workers compensation claim being accepted:
Report Your Injury Immediately
Whether you're gushing blood from a serious wound, or have just suffered a minor fall, it is extremely important to report your injury to your supervisor as soon as it happens. Your supervisor will be required to fill out a detailed incident report which will serve as evidence that your injury did happen while you were on the clock. Do not go home and then report the injury the next day when you're feeling pain, as this can make it much harder to prove that you were injured at work and not at home or during your own personal time.
Get Medical Care Promptly
In an emergency situation, your supervisor should call 9-1-1 or transport you to a local emergency room at a hospital. If you need medical care, but it is not an emergency situation, ask your supervisor if you need to seek care at a specific clinic; some employers are contracted with clinics for work related injuries, and you will need to go to one of these clinics for care if you want your medical bills covered. While receiving care from a doctor, make sure that he or she knows that you were injured at work. This information will be included in your medical records, which will be reviewed along with your claim. If you need ongoing care, make sure to attend every appointment-- failure to do so can make your injury seem less serious than it actually is.
Do Not Speak with the Workers Compensation Insurance Company
Your supervisor will have a documented incident report, and you may be asked to write an accident report in your own words. In some cases the insurance company may request a tape recorded statement-- this is not in your best interest, especially if you do not have a lawyer, so politely decline the request. Written documentation of how the injury occurred will suffice, and it can not be twisted or misinterpreted as easily as a recorded statement.
For more information on getting the compensation you deserve for your workplace injury, contact a workers compensation attorney at a law office like Parker & Frey.