Workers’ compensation is insurance coverage you might be entitled to if you are injured at work. Most employers are required to hold a policy, and fault doesn’t matter in most situations. If you are injured at work, there are certain steps that must be taken if you wish to utilize this benefit. The first step is reporting the accident to your employer.
Making the Initial Report
As soon as you are injured, you should let your employer know. If your employer was there at the time of the accident or was the one who made a call to 911, he or she obviously already knows, but making a report will be playing it safe. There are some states that require this report to be made in writing, but other states allow it to be a verbal notice. Even if your state allows verbal notices, you may want to make it in writing anyway, just so it’s more easily trackable.
You don’t generally have a hard due date for which to make the initial report of your injury. Most states just require it to be reported “as soon as possible.” In any case, waiting too long could prolong compensation, so you’d probably want to make the report quickly regardless of the requirement.
Reporting to the Workers’ Comp Board
When you report your accident to your employer, he or she will need to provide you with a claim form. It’s your job to fill the form out, and until you do, it’s not going to get filed with the workers’ compensation insurance company. There are some instances when an employer is not on the ball. If your employer does not have a claim form, you’ll need to report the incident to the state’s workers’ comp board to get the forms you need. After you’ve done your part, your employer will fill out a section and get the paperwork sent off to the insurance company.
There’s also a chance your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation. While it’s required for many employers, there are some exceptions. If your employment doesn’t qualify for an exception, and your employer still doesn’t have coverage, you can file a complaint with the workers’ comp board and a lawsuit against your employer.
If you don’t get your claim filed on time, the statute of limitations could expire, which eliminates your right to receive compensation. If you’re injured at work, it may be most beneficial to contact a work injury lawyer, like from Hickey & Turim SC, for help getting started.