Workers who have been injured on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. First, they must comply with a number of deadlines and procedural requirements. The failure to follow any of these rules could put their benefits at risk.
No Mistakes in the Initial Filing
Injured employees must be careful to report their injury to their employer on time and using the right language. The insurance company is often looking for an excuse to deny the initial claim, so it is better not to give them a reason.
There are very tight timelines that apply to workers’ compensation claims and the law requires notification to the employer within just a few days. It is difficult to know exactly what to say in such a short span of time without putting oneself at risk.
Consulting a work injury lawyer could help an injured worker avoid mistakes on the initial claim. It could also help one learn whether weekly benefits or a settlement is the best thing for him or her.
Legal Help for an Appeal
Sometimes, the insurance company will deny the initial claim. They may claim that the injury was not job-related or that some filing requirements were not met. If one does not already have a lawyer, this is the time to get one.
The insurance company does not get the final say over the claim. Injured workers have appeal rights. They can first file an appeal with a hearing officer. If that is not successful, they can appeal to the district court. Many initial denials get reversed, either through contact and engagement with the insurance company or a successful appeal.
It is crucial to begin working on an appeal right after the initial denial. There are tight timeframes for appeals. Otherwise, one will lose the right to contest the initial decision.
Is There a Personal Injury Claim?
Although employees cannot sue their employers directly except under rare circumstances, an attorney could advise on whether there is a possible personal injury claim against a third party. It is always better to file a personal injury lawsuit because they pay more in compensation. However, there are only rare circumstances where one can file this claim for a job-related injury. This would include situations where the employee is injured in a car accident or by defective work equipment.