If you’ve experienced a work-related injury or illness, Worker’s Compensation can afford you the resources necessary to get back on your feet without having to worry about financial ruin. Benefits include medical care, part of your lost wages while you are recovering, and if the injury or illness has left you dealing with long-term consequences you could be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits.
Notify Your Employer of Your Injury
The first step in filing a claim is to let your employer know that you were injured. Your employer is then required to provide you with information about its worker’s compensation insurance carrier including the name and address of the company, the date of expiration of coverage and the policy number. Your employer is then responsible for notifying the insurance carrier. While the employer is also supposed to notify the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) of the injury by filing an Employers Report of Industrial Injury, there is no penalty for it failing to do so. You are the person required to file the claim.
Determine Whether You Need an Attorney or Not
If you’ve been injured at work and it’s a minor injury that requires only a short period of time off from work or doesn’t result in permanent damage that affects your ability to earn, then you may not need legal representation. However, if complications arise, such as an employer that won’t acknowledge your injury or if you’ve suffered a serious injury that prevents you from working for a long period of time or prevents you from performing your job again, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to receive and deserve. Additionally, having a lawyer on board from the beginning can help you increase not only your chances of approval, but also the amount of compensation you receive. At Schiffman Law, we offer a free consultation to help you determine whether legal representation might benefit you. You can reach our experienced team at (602) 266-2667.
File Your Claim Quickly
Every State law varies on deadlines for filing claims, but in Arizona you are supposed to promptly report your injury to your employer and you must file your claim within one year of when you knew or should have known of the injury and its relationship to your work activities (the discovery rule). This entails completing one of two forms: either a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury or a Worker’s Report of Injury. If you do not file within the year of the injury or the date you should have known of the injury and its relationship to your work activities, then you forfeit your rights to compensation. Once a claim is filed, the insurance carrier then has 21 days to accept or deny a claim. Obviously, the sooner a claim is filed, the sooner you can start to receive compensation, so time is of the essence, especially when you are unable to work.
Denial of Claim
If your claim is denied, you have 90 days to file a Request for Hearing. If you have not already sought a lawyer’s guidance by this point, you will want to seriously consider this option as they have in-depth knowledge of the laws, utilize trained negotiation skills and are aware of various tools that will assist in ensuring your case has a strong backing that will make it significantly more difficult to deny.
Questions? For more information, contact us today at (602) 266-2667 and our team will be happy to help you with your workman’s compensation claim.