Many workers get injured in the line of duty but aren't compensated for their injuries. In part, this is because of their ignorance and also because of the weakness of their case. If you sustain injuries while working, you need to consult a worker's compensation lawyer. Here are some steps involved in making a worker's compensation claim.
Reporting Your Injuries
Many employers have workers' compensation insurance for their employees. However, there may be an exception depending on the industry and the number of workers employed in an organization. All the same, if your employer has workers' compensation insurance, they'll give you a claim form.
Consult your attorney to help you fill out the form. Your lawyer will gather information from the hospital and from the scene of the accident to help prove your claim. Your attorney will also ensure that the form is submitted to your employer within the statutory limitation period.
When you submit the claim form to your employer, they'll submit it to the insurance company. Before you receive any benefits, the insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine your claim's validity. One of the reasons for the investigation is to determine the extent of your injuries and whether or not you're liable for the accident.
If the insurance approves your claim, you can expect to start receiving benefits. However, if your claim isn't accepted, you can file an appeal. Some reasons an insurance company will deny your claim include issues about missed deadlines, liability questions, and your health condition before you sustained the injuries.
Filing an Appeal
After the insurance company denies your claim, your first step is to submit an appeal to the workers' compensation board in your jurisdiction. Before you file an appeal, you and your lawyer should meet with your employer or the insurance provider to determine whether the issue can be resolved without the need for an appeal.
If you decide to proceed with an appeal, make sure you meet the statutory limitations. The deadline for filing the appeal will also vary from one state to another; however, in most cases, the deadline is between 14-30 days from the date you get a notice of denial. With an attorney by your side, you don't have to worry about meeting the deadline for filing an appeal.
There are additional levels of appeal beyond the initial hearing by the workers' compensation board. You may have to undergo a second medical examination. Your lawyer will help you get the necessary documentation and make a strong case for you during the appeal.