If you’ve been injured at work, your first instinct might be to call a lawyer. While there are cases where you should seek legal advice, if your workers’ comp process proceeds as it should, you may not need to speak to a lawyer at all. So how does workers’ comp work?
The workers’ comp process begins as soon as you report to your employer that you’ve been injured at work. You may be required by your employer to complete certain documentation or report your injury through specific channels. It is crucial that you report an injury as soon as possible, preferably as soon as it happens. This reduces the likelihood that your claim will be disputed and that you will further injure yourself or fail to receive proper medical care.
Then, you will need to seek medical attention for your injuries, to both treat your injuries as well as evaluate the extent of your injuries, the estimated medical expenses you’ll incur, and whether you’ll have to take time off work or have work restrictions until your injury has healed. Your employer may choose to send you to a specific healthcare provider which they have selected; if this is the case, be sure to seek a second opinion from your primary care physician or another provider. If your chosen provider does not concur with the company provider about the severity and extent of your injuries, it may be time to speak with a lawyer. In standard cases, however, the medical opinions should be in agreement.
Your employer will then file a workers’ compensation claim with their insurance company. The insurance carrier will either accept the claim and provide the agreed-upon compensation, or will deny the claim. In the case your claim is denied, you can appeal this decision with the state industrial commission or workers’ compensation board, with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer.
While being injured at work is a painful experience, the workers’ compensation process shouldn’t be an added burden for you. There are times when you may consider suing your employer for damages related to your injury, but if all goes as it should, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should provide you the compensation you need, without having to resort to legal action.
Have you been injured at work? If you’re concerned that your workers’ comp claim is not proceeding as it should and you’d like to consider your legal options, the dedicated attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm are here to help. Contact us to set up your free initial consultation.