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Published On: Mon, Oct 24th, 2016

Document Everything: Why Timing Is Crucial For Worker’s Compensation

No one plans on getting injured at work, but unfortunately, it happens. And more often than you may think. Hundreds of thousands of workers file workers compensation claims each year, but others miss out because they wait too long to make their claim.

When you are hurt on the job, there are certain time constraints that you must follow in order to get your just compensation. Not only that, you must make sure that you fill everything out correctly, or the insurance companies may not be willing to pay what they owe. Getting hurt on the job is a tough break, but there are things you must do in order to make sure you receive what you are owed.

In addition to seeing a personal injury attorney, here are some things to remember when making a worker’s comp claim.

File on Time

Timing is very important in all workers compensation claims. Different states may have different times when forms need to be filled out, but as a general rule, you have anywhere between 30 and 90 days to make your claim.

Even if your state give you a lot of time before you are required to file, it’s best that you at least make a report of any injury you receive at work as soon as possible. This can be as simple as reporting the injury to you superior — even if it’s a minor one — so that you at least have a record of the incident for future reference. This will head off any claims by the insurance company that they are not liable because there was no documentation of the injury.

It’s important to document any injury, because even a seemingly minor injury, like a sprain or a bruise, can turn out to be much worse a few days later. Getting your incident on record quickly is a safe way to protect yourself.

Once you fill out the initial incident report, get the compensation claim papers as soon as possible so you can get the claim moving.

 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

There are Exceptions to Time Limits

While you should always file as quickly as possible to ensure fair compensation, there are times when you are given more leniency.

If you are in a coma or otherwise unable to fill out the claim yourself, or with help from a trusted person, you may have more time to complete your filing. This includes things like serious burns or extensive surgery that can hinder your ability to file claim in a timely manner.

The timing also changes when you contract an occupational disease like mesothelioma that takes years to show up, or a prolonged injury like carpal tunnel syndrome that is not readily apparent. In cases like these, you should file claim as soon as you are diagnosed to avoid any future contentions from the insurance companies.

Find A Good Lawyer

You should never go into anything as important as worker’s compensation without good representation from a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. While you may think that worker’s comp claims are straightforward, you can often run into problems that you will not be able to deal with on your own.

Find an attorney who specializes in worker’s comp cases. Lawyers like these have often worked for the insurance companies in the past, so they know what to look for and how to get you the compensation that you deserve. If you wait to get an attorney that can help you, you may find yourself in the middle of a losing case if there are any discrepancies or problems with your claim.

Many attorneys will even only charge you a contingency fee in cases like this, where they only receive payment if you win your case. Then they get an agreed upon percentage of the claim.

Keep All Documents

It is very important that you keep good records of all of the reports that you fill out and any document that you sign during the course of your claim. From the moment you are injured, you should at least have a copy of the incidence report, the worker’s compensation forms and any other material that your employer, attorney or insurance company has you sign.

This will enable the judge to make a more informed ruling when the time comes, rather than having to rely on your word against the insurance company’s. More times than not, this will end badly for you rather than the insurance company.

Timing is crucial after a workplace accident, so fill out the forms in a timely manner in order to receive your compensation.

Guest Author :

Joseph Watkins has spent most of his career in the loans and finance sector. He is also a father of 2 teenagers and knows how difficult it can be for young families to budget for the future. Joseph enjoys sharing his ideas through blogging.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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