No one hopes to be injured on the job, but sometimes there’s nothing you could have done to prevent an accident. Some work environments are, by nature, more dangerous than others. However, no matter what caused your workplace accident, it is possible for you to collect workers’ compensation.
In most states, even if you were responsible for your own accident, as long as it occurred at work, you can still collect work comp benefits. You do need to file your claim within the appropriate time frame, and you must fill out the paperwork in the proper fashion if you hope to have an approved claim.
Be aware that insurance companies don’t want to pay out on claims. So, the more you follow the rules and do everything right, the less chance they have to deny your case. Follow this checklist, and you should be well on your way to having an approved work comp case, followed by your first worker’s comp cash payment.
- Seek medical attention for your injury at once, and create a medical paper trail that proves your accident occurred at work, as well as the extent of your injuries. Make sure to attend all follow-up visits with your doctor, and follow all medical advice your doctor gives you. Failure to follow medical advice can lead to a claim dismissal.
- Keep track of all medical records, and get your doctor to provide detailed reports as to how you were injured, and how long you’re expected to be unable to work. Documentation of your workplace accident, including witness statements, is also important to proving your claim.
- Notify your employer within the designated time frame, and follow your state’s rules regarding notifications and time frames.
- File all paperwork carefully and accurately. Nothing gets a worker’s comp case dismissed faster, or leads to more delays, than inaccurate or incomplete paperwork. It is best to avoid the enormous headache that paperwork mistakes will cause you by doing everything right the first time.
- Contact a workers’ comp attorney who can help you file for workers compensation. An attorney is apt to work on a contingency, which means that you don’t pay the lawyer upfront; rather, the attorney’s fee comes out of your worker’s comp benefits package. You’ll be getting experienced legal help, and a higher chance of a claim approval.
- Don’t speak with insurance companies without your attorney’s approval. Insurance companies will often take advantage of you, or try to get you to admit that your injury didn’t occur at work. They will look for reasons to deny your claim. If you have your lawyer communicate with the insurer on your behalf, this often works out better than speaking to them on your own.