While you don’t always see accidents in the workplace, they happen more than you think. With over one million accidents happening every year, you never know when you’ll suffer from an accident at the workplace and need to file an insurance claim.
Suffering from a workplace accident can be a confusing and hectic time, so it pays to know how to handle the situation correctly. Below are all the steps you need to take when filing your workers’ compensation claim.
Check With Your Doctor
While it may make sense to check with your employer as soon as your accident happens, that isn’t always the right choice. Even if your injuries don’t seem serious at the moment, you never know what hidden impact your accident had on your health.
Make sure that the first thing you do after your accident is go on a trip to the doctor’s office. You want to get a clear picture of what happened to your body and its impact on your life.
It’s also essential to get an idea of what kind of medical treatment you’ll need to help heal your injuries. You’ll need all this information when you’re filing a claim with the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Notify Your Employer
Once you get back from the doctor, it’s time to contact your employer to let them know what happened. To do this, you’ll need to file an accident report.
Don’t wait too long to complete this task. Many states have laws that tell you how long you have to notify your employer of your injury. If you wait too long, you’ll be out of luck on your accident claim.
Don’t do this verbally, either. You need a written record of your notification. Send an email or notify your employer in writing about the accident.
File an Accident Report
After you notify your employer, you’ll need to file an accident report with the insurance company. You usually can’t reach out to the workers’ compensation insurance company to do this yourself. You’ll need your employer to help you with this process.
Ask your employer to give you the form needed to file the claim. They should have these in the office, so it shouldn’t take long to get the form to you. When filling out this form, try to fill out as much information as you can.
Here are a few things to include on the claim form if you can:
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- Cause of the accident
- Witnesses to the accident
- Medical issues caused by the accident
- If the accident was preventable by the employer
- Any additional documentation you collect
- Lost wages because of time off
The more information you give the insurance provider, the more information they have to process your claim successfully. Try to include everything you can the first time, so they don’t have to return to you for more data.
Once you complete your paperwork, hand it back to your employer. They’ll send the claim to their insurance provider to start the process.
Wait for the Insurance Decision
Once you turn in your paperwork, it’s a waiting game. Luckily, most states have laws that tell insurance companies that they can’t wait too long to give you a decision. It should happen within a few weeks in most cases.
If an insurance provider waits too long to tell you your decision, they may automatically have to pay your settlement.
While you wait for your decision, keep track of changes that happen while you’re waiting. These changes include additional doctor appointments, medical expenses, medical complications, and lost wages.
Without this information, an insurance company won’t have everything you need to pay out the total settlement amount you deserve for your case.
Get Your Settlement
In most cases, you won’t have an issue with an insurance company resolving your claim. When this happens, you’ll have a few options for your payout.
If you want to get your claim settlement all at once, you can get it with a lump-sum payment. You’ll get your whole payment amount at once and not have to wait on any of the money.
You can also get your settlement in staggered payments. You’ll get a check every month for several years in this case. If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with a lot of money at once, this is an excellent option for you.
Bring on a Lawyer
Even though you’ll often get your settlement in a workers’ compensation case, that won’t always happen. In these situations, it pays to bring on a lawyer.
One reason to bring on a lawyer is when you don’t get the settlement amount you need. A lawyer can look through your insurance case to see if the insurance company is trying to save money by reducing your payout.
There are also cases where the insurance company denies your claim entirely. Luckily, states have windows that allow you to file appeals with insurance companies. A lawyer can help you through this process and make sure you have everything you need to appeal your case with success.
View this lawyer to learn more about how one can help with your insurance claim.
Do Things Right When You’re Involved in a Workplace Accident
You can’t afford to make a mistake when you’re involved in a workplace accident. While your employer may try to do everything they can to help, that doesn’t mean the insurance company will do the same. You need to do things the right way to make sure you file your workers’ compensation claim successfully.
Do you want to learn more great tips that will help in the workplace? Head back to the blog to check out the latest posts.