Severe injuries on the job could lead to medical bills and loss of income. Except for federal employees, workman’s’ compensation is managed at the state level. As state laws vary, it’s often more complicated than it seems, and getting benefits can be difficult. If you get hurt on the job, there are steps you can take ensure you reach a positive resolution.
Report the Incident
When an injury occurs you should immediately report it to your employer. Sometimes resultant conditions like infections don’t show up until days afterward. Ailments like throat or lung problems from chemicals or other irritants may not show up for years. But the law allows you up to 90 days to report the original incident, and in some states even longer. Failure to report within the given window often means your employer won’t be held accountable, and your claim will be automatically rejected.

See an Approved Physician

In order to make a claim, your specific medical condition must be diagnosed, treated, and documented by a physician authorized to handle workman’s compensation claims. Your employer should provide you with a list when you report the injury. You also have a limited timeframe for seeking medical help that varies by state. Not seeking medical help in the given period will also negate your employer’s responsibility. If your employer doesn’t have a list of approved doctors, you can find your own, but it may delay obtaining benefits.

Request that Your Employer File

This is usually a report of occupational injury submitted to the insurance company handling your employer’s workman’s’ comp insurance. A copy also goes to the state board or bureau overseeing workers’ comp. The insurance company has a fixed period to accept or deny your claim. However, you must usually have been off work and under a doctor’s care for at least two weeks before you can collect. Benefits cease when you are declared fit to return to work by a doctor.

Consult an Attorney

Your employer or their insurer may decide to decline your request for workman’s comp. Also, you should be aware that benefits, apart from medical costs, are usually about 66 percent of prior wages. There is also a limit to how much the insurer will pay in total. You have the right to reject any settlement offer. In the event that you have followed all the steps above but are still without benefits, you should immediately contact an attorney like Bennett & Sharp PLLC or someone similar to explore your legal options.
If you’ve been injured on the job, your employer is generally responsible, even if you were the one who was negligent. You need do whatever is necessary to provide for your family and financial obligations.

Author's Bio: 

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara is the youngest of four. She has two hilarious brothers and one beautiful sister. She also is the aunt of 5 crazy little girls that she loves more than anything!! Kara is not yet able to be a mom, but she loves being around kids and being like a second mom to her nieces. She dreams of the day that she can start her own little family.