Workplace injuries can have devastating effects on both employees and organizations, with implications that transcend a physical injury into financial or even legal troubles. Workers who sustain injuries or contract illnesses in the workplace are entitled to some compensation from their employer. This compensation is granted through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Navigating a workers compensation claim can be complex and tedious for employees and employers but with the help of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer, you can significantly improve the outcome of such cases.
This article shines a light on workers’ compensation claims, how they are processed, and the benefits of having a workers’ comp attorney.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims
In simple terms, workers’ compensation includes the benefits an employee receives after sustaining an injury because of workplace conditions or circumstances. The compensation is facilitated by the employer’s insurance provider covering workers’ compensation.
An employee can file a workers’ compensation claim for several reasons, including injuries sustained after workplace accidents, repetitive stress injuries, and diseases contracted during work.
For an employee to be eligible to file a workers’ comp claim, they first must be employed by someone covered by this type of insurance. Then, you must have sustained the injury in the workplace or in other work-related circumstances.
There’s also a specified time frame in which an injured worker is expected to report a workplace injury or illness. The eligibility requirements vary by state, therefore it’s essential to understand your state laws concerning workers’ compensation before filing a claim.
The Process of Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you’re unfamiliar with the legal process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, the process can feel daunting. However, you can easily go through the process with the assistance of an attorney.
When you sustain an injury at work, the first step you should take is to report the injury to your employer. As an employee, you must ensure a timely report of your injuries as soon as possible to the necessary authorities. Delay may result in your claim being denied.
Once you report the injury or illness, your employer will give you the claims form to fill out and submit. With the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer, the injured employee then completes and files the claim with the workers’ compensation board. Claims paperwork will contain all necessary information about the injury including its nature and the date and time of occurrence. The paperwork will also include the details of any medical treatments you’ve received for the injury.
After the employee submits the claim, the employer’s insurance provider sets off to investigate whether the claims are valid. If your claim is found to be valid, you’ll receive all the necessary compensations according to the workers’ compensation laws of your state. Claims can be denied on account of insufficient evidence, late submission, or other eligibility issues.
Benefits of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
It’s not an absolute necessity for injured workers to hire a workers’ comp lawyer. However, hiring one can have several benefits. Hiring a lawyer helps you understand your rights and gives you access to expert legal advice. An experienced lawyer will help you navigate the claims process and choose the best course of action to take.
Hiring a lawyer also increases your chances of maximizing compensation. The lawyer can better negotiate with your employer’s insurance to help you receive your full benefits.
In the event of a claim denial, a lawyer can represent the employee at hearings to ensure the best possible outcome. All in all, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney gives you an advantage when filing a claim.