If getting injured on the job wasn’t stressful enough, you now have to file for workers’ compensation — a daunting task to say the least. Understanding the legalities surrounding a workers’ compensation is quite difficult if you don’t have legal experience. That’s why it’s not uncommon for perfectly good claims to be denied due to minor mistakes, like missing a deadline or using the wrong doctor.
If you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim, be sure to follow these steps:
1. The Importance of a Work Accident Report
The first thing you should do after experiencing an accident at work is to get a detailed account of the incident in writing — a.k.a. an accident or incident report. Without this report, it’s almost impossible to file a claim, let alone have it be accepted.
Though the guidelines can differ from business to business, it’s typically the responsibility of your company’s Human Resources department to fill this out. Once it’s complete, make sure they include:
- The date of the incident
- Names of witnesses who were there
- Where the incident took place
- Immediate injuries or illnesses you suffered as a result of the incident
2. Choosing the Right Doctor
Unfortunately, your primary care doctor may not be equipped to handle a workers’ compensation injury. Not only does your choice of doctor need to be able to medically treat you, he/she also has to understand the workers’ compensation procedure. If he or she does not fill out certain paperwork or file it on time, you may lose your case.
3. The Importance of Meeting Deadlines
Workers’ compensation claims are heavily dictated by deadlines. If you don’t file paperwork by the deadline, the insurance company has grounds to reject your claim.
4. What to do When the Insurance Company Contacts You
Within 48 hours of filing your claim, the insurance company will call you. It’s important that you answer this call but do so with a healthy amount of skepticism. Remember, insurance companies try to avoid a big payout at all costs, therefore they’ll be looking for reasons to deny your claim. If you say something that doesn’t match your incident report, your claim could be in jeopardy.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the confusing world of workers’ compensation claims and get you the money and peace of mind you deserve. The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC understands the frustrations that come with filing a workers’ compensation claim. Call us at (210) 807-3178 to discuss how we can help with your case.