How to File Your Workers Compensation Claim
The vast majority of people today know that their employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance, and that they have the right to file a claim for a job-related injury. However, most employees don’t fully understand the limits of that coverage, and how to actually file a claim when the time comes. Because millions of people will be hurt on the job each year, this is something that everyone should know how to do!
If you have been injured at work, you need to file a claim, so that you can get the benefits you need (like medical care and paid time off, if applicable) to get back on your feet again. Some employers may try to talk you out of filing a claim, or you may fear retaliation for doing so; if this is the case with you, make sure you reach out to a qualified workers comp attorney in Sherman Oaks.
Here are the basic steps on how to file a workers compensation claim:
- Report your injury right away
The first step to getting benefits is reporting your injury. You may have a formal process in your company for doing this, but it’s most often reported to your immediate supervisor. Don’t wait to report your injury, as this may damage your credibility and may also fall outside the legal window. Stop your work, assess the situation, and talk to relevant management as soon as possible.
- File your paperwork
Your employer should have a variety of documents for you to fill out, which they will then file with their insurance agency and the appropriate state workers agency. In most states, this is considered the official beginning of the claim, regardless of when you were injured. You may have up to a year to file your forms, although it’s best to get this process started right away.
- Exams and assessments
The workers compensation process is a formal one, and requires a series of official exams and assessments by third-party professionals. You will be asked to go to an independent medical exam (IME), and may also have your work skills assessed to rate your level of disability. It’s smart to comply with all of these requirements as set by your employer and their insurer, so you can give yourself the best possible chance at winning your claim.
As your claim progresses, you may encounter claim denials and other roadblocks. A qualified California workers compensation attorney will be able to help you move your case forward. Reach out to us at the Employee Defense Group today to learn more.