Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim

After an accident in a work place that requires medical attention the injured worker is going to want to file for their workers compensation benefits. Filing such a claim is much easier now than it has been in the past, with advances in technology, including the internet and social marketing. Most states will now allow the injured employee to print the forms from their website rather than having to go to a Workers Compensation office or their workplace. Though the exact procedure varies from state to state, the basic steps to filing workers comp claim are usually as follows:

  • Report the injury to the employer: The injured employee has a set period of time to report the injury to their employer.
  • Acquire the paper work necessary: After the injury has been reported, the employee then needs to get the forms and documentation to file their claim. If the employer does not have these on hand, they can probably refer the injured employee to the closest state office dealing with worker’s compensation claims or they can fill out the appropriate forms online and either print or send it in electronically.
  • Fill out all the paper work: All of the supporting documents required to file a worker’s compensation claim must be filled out with the employee’s correct information, as well as that of the employer. The paperwork should then be turned in to the employer and the state workers comp agency. If you have any questions regarding your employer’s information, you should speak with a Human Resources representative, or seek assistance from a reputable personal injury attorney that understands how to deal with worker’s compensation cases.

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Though it’s not a requirement, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney, especially if you are required to speak before an administrative or court judge. If the injured employee chooses to contest the workers comp board’s decision then a lawyer would help expedite that process, and in many cases might be able to settle the matter outside of court.

The medical professionals consulted will play a large part in the procedure, as their diagnosis of the injury will partially decide if benefits are granted. It is important for the patient to fully and honestly disclose any possible symptoms of their injury to the doctor, so they are able to make a complete diagnosis. It is illegal to attempt to persuade a medical official to misrepresent a case.

While all the states workers compensation laws are similar, there are some variations. The majority of states have some type of workers compensation program, which will pay the employees benefits or reimburse the insurance company, depending on the state. Every state, with the exception of Texas, has mandated employers to have worker’s comp insurance. In Texas, some employers have been allowed to opt out, but are then left out in the open if any litigation matters arise. Some states including Arizona and Florida, allow the patient to pick their own doctor as long as the patient is not self-insured. However, in states like Kentucky and Texas, the injured employee must pick a medical practitioner off a list of state approved medical professionals.