Filling out forms and following procedures are not the first things on your mind when you are the victim of a workplace accident. If you lost consciousness or suffered a debilitating injury, you may be transported by ambulance to a hospital.
If your injury needed immediate remediation, such as a deep cut requiring stitches, the urgent care or emergency room would be your first destination. Even though you’re primarily paying attention to recovering from your injuries, it’s important to be mindful of your rights under workers’ compensation law.
It’s the Law
Your employer is required by law to have workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. If you become injured at work, you will need to rely on this coverage because your regular health insurance policy will not pay for injuries that happened at work. Here is a brief explanation of the initial application process for workers’ compensation, from right after you are injured to when you hand in your claim form.
Tell Your Employer
As soon as possible after your accident, notify your supervisor that you have been injured. Your boss should give you a claim form to fill out within a day of learning about your injury. Fill out your portion of the application, make a copy for yourself and give it back to your employer as soon as possible.
Keep Good Records
In addition to keeping a copy of the initial claim form, you should also get another copy of the document after your employer fills out the company’s part of the form. Keeping records of this claim application will help you preserve your rights to medical care covered through workers’ compensation. The insurance company should notify you of your claim’s status within 14 days.
Since the workers’ compensation insurance company is in business to make a profit, they may try to delay payments or not provide you with the compensation you deserve. In these cases, legal consultation may be necessary to protect your rights.