From a worker’s standpoint, one of the hardest things about the workers’ compensation process is determining how to go about starting and filing a claim. Since most people haven’t filed a work comp claim before, they may not know the best ways to get the ball rolling on their claim. Once you’ve been injured, there are four key things you’ll want to do in order to start the claims process. We take a look at those four starting points in today’s blog.
Beginning a Work Comp Claim
Here are the four ways you’ll want to go about starting your workers’ compensation claim after you suffer an injury at work.
1. Inform Your Employer -The first thing you’ll want to do is to inform your employer that you’ve suffered an injury and that you would like it documented. For injuries, employers are required to fill out a FROI, which stands for First Report of Injury. This form must be completed and submitted to their workers’ compensation insurance company within 10 days of the incident that resulted in injury. Your employer is required to give you a copy of the submitted FROI, so if you don’t get a copy after 10 days, inform your lawyer, as this could be grounds for additional lawsuits.
2. Medical Evaluation – Depending on the severity of the injury, this step may actually come first. Once injured, you’re going to want to seek medical treatment or a comprehensive medical evaluation to document the extent of your injuries. The more thorough your doctor is in documenting your injuries and disabilities, the easier it will make filing and winning your claim. Let them know you suffered a work injury and are seeking an IME, or Independent Medical Evaluation.
3. Collect Witness Information – Another way to strengthen your case and prevent any misinformation in your original claim is to collect statements or get contact information from witnesses who can verify your version of events. If there’s video evidence, have security save that footage and see if you can obtain a copy. If you don’t find people who can verify your version of events, it could come down to a he said-she said argument if your employer tries to bend the truth to limit their liability.
4. Call a Lawyer – Finally, to make sure your case starts off smoothly, you’re going to want to contact a lawyer. This allows you to concentrate on your recovery while the lawyer focuses on filling out the paperwork and submitting a strong claim. A lawyer can almost always get you more compensation than you could achieve on your own, so aside from simplifying the process, it can also help you get an even larger claim award. Contacting a lawyer may not be the first step in getting your case off the ground, but oftentimes it’s the most important step in ensuring you win the largest claim amount possible.
For more tips, or if you need help getting your work comp claim filed, please reach out to Dean Margolis and his team at Margolis Law Firm today.
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