ABCs of Filing a Workers Compensation Claim

When a person slips and falls on a slippery surface at work or an individual of a warehouse suffers a back and neck injury from over-lifting, extreme pain and suffering could ensue. The inability to work, medical treatment, disability, and emotional anguish might be a few things you experience after being injured on the job.

According to the 2016 report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by the private sector in 2015. This equates to about 3 in 100 full time workers. In the same year, there were 4,836 reported fatalities as a result of a work injury. Over the last 13 years, this number has declined in part to do with stricter precautionary measures being taken by employers.

Such accidents can occur at any workplace and at anytime. Often, the injured worker is unsure of what to do following the incident. The following is meant to help you understand the basic steps to filing a workers’ compensation claim.

A: Accept Medical Care

Medical treatment should be a top priority. If the accident is considered to be a medical emergency, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room. Your employer must allow you to seek emergency medical care if you’ve been injured and require treatment. Wherever you go, be sure to tell the doctor or medical staff the injury or illness is work-related. Do not delay an examination or assessment, and keep any paperwork you receive to document your injuries.

B: Brief Your Employer

Following your injury, you should report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. If you’ve suffered from something that has developed over time, you’ll want to report it as soon as you believe or discover the cause being linked to your job. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against any employee who is injured on the job and wishes to file a workers’ compensation claim.  

C: Claim a Workers’ Compensation Payment  

In general, states have made the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim as easy as possible. Although every state has a different set of steps to follow, the first thing will be to fill out a form within a certain period of your accident. Many states, such as California, expect this form to be handed in within one working day from notifying your employer of the injury or accident. Once your claim has been filed, you might expect between three and 15 days or more before being compensated.

If your accident or illness is complex or has many underlying factors, it could be beneficial to have a worker’s compensation lawyer on your side.