Applying for Workers’ Compensation: 5 Tips for Employees
According to research, instances of workplace injuries increased by 7.3% in 2016, and continue to rise year-after-year. Much of these workplace injuries are attributed to workplace violence, transportation, and falls.
Moreover, workplace injuries cost the U.S. economy close to $151 billion each year, due to lost wages and a slump in productivity.
As consumer demand increases, this places a huge amount of pressure on workers of all kinds, across an array of industries.
The reality is that workplace injury happens on a daily basis, so here’s what you need to know when applying for worker’s compensation.
Defining Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a system set in place to ensure that employers pay all medical bills, living expenses, and lost wages in the event you are injured on the job.
What’s important to keep in mind is that almost any type of injury or illness qualifies for workers’ compensation, provided it’s job-related.
You just need to know how to apply in order to receive the compensation you deserve – this is where an experienced attorney can help!
5 Tips For Applying For Worker’s Compensation
In order to file a valid claim for an on-the-job injury or illness, here are 5 essential tips to keep in mind:
1. Report the Event As Soon As Possible
As soon as you are hurt or fall ill, you should seek medical attention right away. Ensure you obtain a detailed medical report of the injury or illness you have sustained from your doctor.
After this, report the event to your employer in earnest. They should issue you with the right forms to fill out in order to file for workers’ compensation.
Generally, you have a limited time-frame in which to report your injury or illness to an employer, before you are eligible for adequate compensation.
Each time frame differs from state-to-state. But in Massachusetts, you have up to four years to file a claim after you become aware of a work-related injury or illness.
2. Gather All Important Documents
After visiting your doctor, you may need thorough amounts of proof of the injury or illness you have sustained.
Make sure to keep a copy of all medical reports and doctor’s notes. Keep prescription letters, bills for prescribed medications, physiotherapy reports, and other injury or illness related paperwork.
This could all come in handy if your compensation claim is denied and you wish to appeal the denial.
3. Follow Up With Your Employer
It’s important to ensure both you and your employer are on the same page and at the stage of a filing a workers’ compensation case.
Once you have filed all necessary claim and paperwork, follow up with your employer to ensure they have done the same!
4. Closely Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
This is extremely important in the first few days and weeks after sustaining an on-site injury or illness. Why? Because no one will be able to question whether your injury was aggravated by your own actions after it took place.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s advice, especially if you’ve had to visit more than one doctor. Attend all follow-up appointments, always finish prescribed medications, and attend physical therapy sessions if needed.
5. Hire An Attorney
Filing for workers’ compensation is stressful enough, so help from an expert can help to simplify this process. An experienced attorney will make sure everything is filed correctly the first time and that you get the compensation you deserve.
What if you’ve already filed a claim and have been denied? The workers’ compensation appeals process is complicated. If you’re in this situation it’s time to hire the expertise of an attorney for your appeal.
Claim Your Compensation With Fitzpatrick & Associates
If you’re looking to navigate the complicated terrain of applying for workers’ compensation, the experienced team at Fitzpatrick & Associates is here to help.
Contact our office at (617) 825-0965 to schedule a free consultation today!