Most people hope that they will never get an on-the-job injury. However, it can happen in almost any industry or position. Even seemingly safe job positions such as working at a desk can result in injuries. Employees should not fear getting injured at work because most employers have a legal duty to have workers' compensation insurance. The insurance is designed to cover the medical expenses and lost wages of injured employees.
The laws governing workers' comp vary from state-to-state. However, the process of filing a claim is nearly the same in all states. There are forms that need to get filled out and proof of injuries is a part of the process. The following points represent things that can complicate the process of filing.
Delayed or Lack of Reporting Injury
Ideally, an injured employee will report an injury as soon as they are aware of it. However, there are a number of reasons that employees do not report their injuries. Some individuals dismiss the seriousness of their injuries. Even if an injury turns out not to be severe, it needs to be reported. This ensures that a medical professional makes a diagnosis. There is also fear of being responsible for the injury. Lack of reporting is worse than delayed reporting because there is not a record of the injury ever taking place.
Delayed Claim Filing
There are time limits that govern how long an injured employee has time to file a claim. The time constraints vary by state. It is ideal to file as soon as possible. Individuals who do not know how to fill out their paperwork can seek the services of a workers' comp attorney.
Conflicting Accounts of Event
The information on the paperwork needs to match with any interviews or depositions given at a later date. Employees should keep a journal of events and make copies of their completed forms. This will reduce the chances of errors or mistakenly accounting the event again with new or omitted information.
Disregard for Company Doctor's Appointment
Some employers prefer that their injured employees make their initial appointments with a company doctor. Employees need to adhere to the request. If they disagree with the company doctor's diagnosis, they can get a second opinion from a doctor of their choice.
A workers' comp attorney will help you understand the filing process. If your claim gets denied, they can assist with filing an appeal. Sometimes employers attempt to challenge the validity of claims. This can make it necessary to get legal assistance.