If you are hurt on the job, consider filing for workers compensation. Before you file, you should know that there are numerous steps involved with filing and even being eligible for workers compensation in the first place. You can't just simply receive workers compensation; oddly enough, there is plenty of work involved in actually becoming eligible for workers compensation.
This brief article will discuss the steps you need to take for a successful workers compensation claim. The steps are not too terribly laborious, thankfully.
Know the Notice & Report Deadline
Just because you received an injury on the job in the past does it mean that you are eligible for workers compensation. Rather, you must adhere to a strict schedule, which means reporting your injury before a certain deadline expires. The legal required deadline varies from state to state, although, generally speaking, it is approximately one month after your purported injury took place, but you could have as long as two years to file a claim.
For example, if a large rock fell on your head during a construction job, you would have 30 days to report this injury to the proper channels before you would become ineligible for workers compensation. If you exceed that timeline, you will not be able to file for workers compensation.
Independent Medical Examination (IME)
The next step involves your employee's insurance agency. The insurance representatives will require you to take what is called an Independent Medical Examination, or IME. It should be noted, first and foremost, that this examination is, in fact, not independent. The physician that you will be visiting is being paid by the insurance company.
This physician is on their payroll and works on commission; said physicians also work by receiving references and recommendations to other insurance companies and employers, so he or she will have motivation to downplay your illness or symptoms and anything you say to this physician does not fall under the same restrictions and jurisdictions as do normal patient/physician relationships.
In other words, the physician can tell his or her employers what you have said. That being said, you will have to have a lengthy discussion about what injury or illness you received at the physician's office. It might be in your best interest to speak with an attorney before taking your Independent Medical Examination. You can contact some through resources like http://www.nccompspecialist.com/.
The final step involved in a workers compensation claim is the hearing itself. Depending on the state in which the accident took place, the state might require that everything be resolved over the course of one hearing. In other states, several hearings will take place over the period of perhaps several months.
During the hearing, the first thing that will be established will be whether or not you actually received an injury, and if you did, if the cause of that injury actually occurred on the job. Going back to the large rock example: your employers may argue that you were, indeed, injured, but the rock falling on your head did not happen on the premises of the business or rather, it did not happen at a site where the construction company was hired to perform work.
If you are found to have been injured on the job, other things that will be established during the hearing are the extent to which you were injured and ultimately, how much you are owed.
Receiving workers compensation can be a bit of a laborious task and it can take a number of months to properly resolve. Having said that, it is important that you thoroughly understand what goes on during the proceedings of a workers compensation case and you be well versed as to how to conduct yourself during said proceedings. If you have already had a hearing and were denied worker's compensation, consider hiring a worker's compensation attorney to help you fight to get the worker's compensation you deserve.