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Employee Checklist to initiate a Workers’ Compensation Claim

03.02.2022 · Posted in Legal Articles

Worker’s Compensation Insurance is mandatory for employers across the United States; rules and regulations may vary with the scale of business, number of full-time employees, and employment status. Therefore, if an employee gets injured or ill at work (or due to the nature of their work), the company’s workers’ compensation insurance policy is supposed to compensate their damages. Most of the time, the insurance policy covers cost of medical treatment and missed wages that were incurred because of the work-related injury. Workers’ compensation is similar to a personal injury case, which is why you should be aware of your legal rights, the claiming process, and statute of limitations.

If you want your claim to be successful and receive reasonable compensation for your loss, abide by the workers’ compensation checklist for employees:

1. Report the Accident or Injury

It is important to immediately inform the supervisor or manager of the work-related incident, as well as the injuries it has instigated. In case they are not available at the time, you should communicate with other witnesses who can vouch for you later on. Once you have reported the injury, the company should provide you with the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC-1) within 24 hours. Your employer will then forward the paperwork to their insurer for processing.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Many companies require injured workers to be examined by a doctor or medical facility they have partnered with. Healthcare reports from another healthcare provider may not be accepted, so you must request your employer to schedule a consultation with their chosen practitioner. In case of emergency, you may get treated at the nearest ER, and later follow up with the ‘company clinic’. No matter how negligible or serious the injury looks, do not refuse immediate medical attention.

3. Complete and Submit Documents

Apart from the workers’ compensation form provided by your employer, you will also need to submit copies of other personal documents and medical reports. Errors in the paperwork or missing information may lead to claim rejection, so obtain professional guidance to avoid this.

4. Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney

It is essential to hire an experienced legal representative in order to deal with the insurance adjuster. This is also necessary because you need to know your legal rights, the value of your claim, and your obligations in the claiming process. Claimants who are not accompanied by a lawyer are often sidetracked by bad faith insurers. Insurers are not able to deny a valid claim or impose an unfair settlement in the presence of attorney. Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Huntington Beach, CA, will protect your interests and maximize your benefits.

5. Keep in touch with your Employer/Supervisor

Keep your employer updated about your injury/health status while you’re off work to recover. If you are receiving treatment from the company’s doctor, make sure you don’t miss any appointments and follow-up visits. You must also provide a medical and/or return-to-work release to notify the employer of when you will return to work.

6. Filing an Appeal or Lawsuit

Most workers’ compensation claims are settled quickly by the employer and their respective insurer. However, problems can arise if the company lacks insurance or the claim is denied for some other reason. Under these circumstances, your attorney can help you file an appeal or lawsuit to acquire the compensation you deserve.

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