5 Tips to Get the Most From Your Workers Comp Claim

by Josh Biggs in Tips on 30th December 2020

Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

American employers are required to hold a specialized form of insurance that kicks in whenever their employee is injured on the job and unable to come back to work immediately. 

This insurance is called workers’ compensation or workers’ comp for short and is the result of laws passed over a century ago aimed at protecting the rights of workers in the US. 

Injuries at work that can qualify you for compensation include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • A car crash while performing your job duties
  • Sustaining broken bones from falling machinery
  • Receiving chemical burns or other types of burns
  • Serious cuts from equipment

Workers compensation functions as payments you would receive the same way you would normally receive your paycheck and should come very soon after you have filed your workers’ comp application. 

Also included in this category are certain one-time payments that you might be able to claim for specific injuries, such as permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of a limb. Find out more here about the types of payments you can receive if you are the victim of a work-related injury.

Tips to Get the Most out of Your Claim

Here is a rundown of the 5 things you can do to make sure your claim is processed on time, you’re not denied benefits, and receive the most you possibly can.

#1 File Right Away

Not only should you file your claim as soon as possible, but you also need to notify your boss immediately after getting injured. If you were injured off-site and wake up in a hospital, your boss needs to be your second phone call right after telling your family that you’re ok. 

#2 Get to the Hospital ASAP

It is critical that you get medical care without delay. The obvious reason is that the sooner you get your wounds taken care of, the better off you’ll be in terms of making a faster recovery. Less obvious, the quicker you get to the hospital, the sooner you can start the application process.

Workers’ comp claims are going to be treated as suspect if the applicant has waited a long time to get treatment for their workplace injury, as it implies that the injury may not be that serious. So don’t wait!

#3 Look Up Your State’s Worker Benefits

An insurance claims adjuster will contact you after you’ve filed your claim to discuss benefits options. These guys work for the same company that is paying your benefits, so their primary goal is to give you as little money as possible. 

Therefore, make sure you know what you are entitled to, which may be temporary disability benefits or permanent disability benefits depending on the nature of your injury. 

Additionally, and again, make sure you know what your state’s laws are, you can also be entitled to compensation for all your medical bills, including physical therapy, mileage reimbursements for your travel to treatment centers, and job retraining if your injury means you need to switch to a less labor-intensive career. You can read more on special benefits and considerations here.

#4 Document Everything!

In addition to keeping a copy of all your medical bills and medical reports, make sure you also hold onto such records as diagnoses, x-rays, MRI results, and blood analysis. It is also helpful if you write down a detailed after-action report on exactly what happened that led to your injury and describe the injuries in detail. This may be useful if you are involved in follow-up legal action later.

#5 If Denied benefits, Appeal, Appeal, Appeal

Just like insurance claims adjusters will try to give you less than you are really owed, insurance companies often deny injured workers their compensation benefits. This is not fair, but it is realistic and expected for a for-profit organization that is aiming to save money. 

If you have been denied your workers’ compensation benefits after suffering an injury, don’t accept it. Appeal the denial. If your appeal gets denied, consider hiring a lawyer and filing suit. 

Categories: Tips