Written by attorney James Mitchell Hoffmann

Workers’ Rights - What Steps To Take In A Workers’ Compensation Case

Understanding Workers' Compensation

Many people do not understand how workers’ compensation works in the context of their job and where they work, and who their employer’s insurance company is. This can make filing a claim after experiencing an injury very confusing, and if your employer or their insurance does not cooperate, the experience can be exhausting and very complicated. Dealing with the stress of an injury, being unable to return to work for a period of time, seeking medical treatment, and the physical and emotional stress of being injured, are enough for you to worry about after being injured on the job.

A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to alleviate the stress of dealing with insurance companies and any issues that may arise. Workers’ compensation cases involve different sets of deadlines, and its own court system and procedures, which makes finding a workers’ compensation attorney in your area very important. Rules and deadlines, as well as what compensatory benefits you may be entitled to, will differ from state to state, so finding a workers’ compensation attorney with expertise in workers’ compensation law in your state, will be crucial to protecting your rights and getting the benefits that you deserve.

What to Do If You Are Injured on the Job

1. Report Your Injury to Your Employer.

There are deadlines for reporting injuries. Looking into what the state deadlines are can help inform you about your case. But if you report your injury to your employer as soon as it happens, or as soon as you begin noticing pain or other symptoms, you should not experience problems. Statutes of limitations also come into play. Reporting the injury does not mean that the insurance company will accept the claim, and there can be statutes of limitation for how long this can take. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to make sure that your claim has been properly filed within the given time frame.

2. Seek Medical Treatment.

The next step will be to see a doctor and get medical treatment for your injury. For a period of time after your injury, your employer may be able to determine what doctors you can see. You should be given a list of doctors you can see when you report your injury. Once this initial period is over, you should be able to see your own doctor if you would like a second opinion. Once you have been treated you must again notify your employer in writing in order to receive benefits. It is important to document every step of the way in order to protect your claim.

3. Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney.

After you get medical treatment for your injury, it may be in your best interest to find a workers’ compensation attorney who can advise you about how to file a claim. If your case is ongoing, your injury is serious, or if you are getting resistance from your employer or the insurance company, it is even more important to have an attorney who will be able to fight for you.

Workers Compensation Benefits

You should be able to receive compensation for medical treatment, temporary or permanent disability, lost wages, death benefits, or vocational rehab. Your attorney can advise you on what other benefits you may be entitled to in your particular circumstances.

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