Workmans Comp Cases:
More than Just Physical Pain
May 13, 2010
Almost four of every 100 people are injured or made ill in the workplace; the number of reported injuries and illnesses in 2008, the last year for which Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled statistics, was 3.7 million. While both of these figures show a decline from previous years, they still translate into millions of sick days, millions of dollars in lost wages, and millions of people whose lives are affected negatively by workplace accidents and illness. Filing workman’s compensation claim, though, may not be the fast and easy solution you need. What should you know about workman’s comp cases?
According to industry experts, about eighty-five percent of workman’s compensation claims are filed and processed easily and relatively quickly. The remaining fifteen percent, however, are delayed or denied for various reasons, including the employers not meeting their obligations to the injured employee.
A recent study conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute looked at twelve different states and found that less than half of claimants in five of these states received their workman’s compensation benefits within three weeks. Depending on your particular situation and your state, your benefits may be delayed or denied altogether. What should you do to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled? Here are some tips:
- Tell your employer immediately of any workplace injury. Do not wait, and certainly do not go home without telling a supervisor and making sure your injury is documented.
- Seek medical attention. If your injury is severe enough to interfere with your job duties, or it could progress into a debilitating condition, you will need workman’s comp, and you will need medical documentation to prove your case. Don’t assume your employer will take your word for it. In fact, assume that they won’t. Have your doctor document your injuries and your level of pain. Pain is not measurable, but if your doctor makes note of it, it does provide a concrete document for your case.
- Fill out any necessary paperwork, including the “First Report of Injury,” “Initial Medical Report Form,” and “Accident Report Form.” Often, these forms must be completed on the day of an injury, so make sure to do this in a timely manner.
- Ask your employer if they need to have their own medical expert examine you or if you can provide documentation from your own doctor.
- Get doctor’s authorization for any missed work days.
- Expect a confirmation that your claim has been received within ten to fourteen days. If this doesn’t happen or if your claim is denied, you may need legal representation in order to get the benefits you deserve.
Legal counsel can be expensive, but it can also be the only way that you can get the compensation that you need in order to pay your bills and compensate for the loss of wages. An attorney can be very expensive; if you are finding yourself in the tough position of having to sue for your workman’s compensation benefits, lawsuit funding may be the solution you need to short-term income problems. Is a settlement advance right for you? Talk to a qualified legal funding company to find out.