Workers’ compensation benefits are available in Indiana for most workplace injuries, but there are some hoops to jump through to get them. Failing to follow the proper procedures when filing a workers’ comp claim could result in denial of benefits. In some cases, even doing everything correctly could still result in claim denial. It is important to understand how to file a workers’ comp claim and the best way to get your claim approved.
No matter what type of industry you work in, employees should reasonably expect healthy, professional, and safe working conditions. Whenever an accident occurs, regardless of who is at fault, you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, receiving fair compensation for your workplace injury is not always as simple as it should be.
The experienced team at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys has been putting clients first for over 50 years. Located in Evansville, Indiana, we have recovered over $500 million for clients in the tri-state area. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.
Considerations When Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Most injured employees are not familiar with the workers’ compensation process, while many employers and insurance companies are. Filing a workers’ comp claim without the help of a skilled attorney is not impossible, but it could certainly result in a denied claim due to a number of factors. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney early in the process can get you faster results with greater monetary compensation.
Countless injured employees settle for less than they are entitled to or accept the denial of their claim because they think they have no other choice. Don’t be one of them. You have a right to fair compensation for your workplace injuries.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
The first step in achieving a settlement for your workplace injury is to file a claim. It is never too early to seek legal counsel. Whether you choose to hire professional assistance or go it alone, it is a good idea to understand how to file a workers’ comp claim.
Seek Medical Attention
The most important thing is your health. If you are injured at work, seek necessary medical attention. Make sure to tell the attending physician that the accident occurred at work. This will be helpful when your claim is reviewed. The longer you wait to be seen, the more difficult it may be to prove how the injury occurred or the timing of the injury.
Notify Your Employer
When determining when to file a workers’ comp claim, you should know that you need to notify your employer within 30 days of being injured or becoming ill at work. You will need to insist that they file a written report for the workers’ comp insurance company. Failure to provide notification within 30 days may result in the denial of your claim. Your best bet is to provide notice both orally and in writing to the company’s human resources department.
Receive the Employer’s Report of Injury Form
Once your employer has been notified about your injury, they have seven days to fill out an Employer’s Report of Injury Form. This form is sent to the insurer, and you should also receive a copy. If your employer does not file the report, you should consider taking legal action.
Acceptance or Denial of Claim
The insurance company has 29 days to approve or deny your workers’ compensation claim. It is important that you understand the true value of your claim to avoid settling for less than what you need to be financially stable while recovering from what you have been through.
If you don’t agree with the insurance company’s decision, you have the right to seek review. To do so, you must file an Application for Adjustment of Claim within two years from the date of the workplace accident that caused the injury.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
If your workers’ comp claim is accepted, there are three main types of benefits you can receive. Your settlement amount will be largely based on the severity of your injuries and how long you will be away from work.
These include actual costs related to care such as doctor visits, physical therapy, medication, and transportation costs to and from the doctor.
Wage Replacement Benefits
The amount of these benefits is dependent on the nature of your injury, including severity and prognosis as well as your current salary and estimated earning potential. This is paid in weekly installments. It is typically two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Wage replacement benefits may be short- or long-term, depending on your injury and how it affects your ability to work.
These are benefits paid to the dependents of an employee whose death was caused by a work-related accident or illness.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
Many employees do not realize that they have the right to appeal the decision if a workers’ compensation claim is denied or the insurance company’s offer is insufficient. The sooner you can involve an experienced legal professional, the better.
You or your attorney will need to reach out to your employer’s insurance carrier to learn their reason for denying the claim or not paying your claim in full. Sometimes mistakes happen that can be remedied with supporting evidence regarding your injuries. In other situations, you may need to negotiate for the benefits you deserve. You may ultimately need to file an Application for Adjustment of your Claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Once you submit your claim, a hearing will be set so that you can argue your case in front of an administrative law judge.
Workers’ Comp—File a Claim
It is important to start the workers’ compensation claim process as soon as possible. If you hesitate and miss the deadlines around when to file a workers’ comp claim you may be barred from receiving the benefits you are entitled to. At Gerling Law, we have been putting clients first for over 50 years. Contact us to learn more about how to file a workers’ comp claim and what we can do to help you get the best possible settlement for your injury.