Taking the First Steps in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ Compensation is designed to provide benefits to those who suffer a work-related injury or disease without the need for litigation. The injured worker does not need to prove the employer was negligent and the employer cannot avoid paying benefits by claiming the injury was the fault of the employee. But, there are steps that must be taken or benefits will not be paid.
Step One: Report your injury to your employer so you can obtain appropriate medical care. Comply with your employer’s instructions. If there is an onsite medical provider, seek medical treatment from that provider. If your employer designates a certain provider, you must get care from that facility unless your condition is such that you need to get to an emergency room. Depending on your medical condition, it may also be appropriate to see your primary care physician.
Step Two: Be sure to tell your health care provider that the injury is work-related and provide the name of your employer. The doctor will then know to bill Workers’ Compensation for your treatment.
Step Three: Make an official report of your injury to your employer, manager or business owner as soon as possible. If you are unable to do this, a friend or relative may make the report on your behalf.
Step Four: As soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the injury-causing incident, provide a written statement to your employer including the date and time of the accident and details about what happened. If you are unable to do this, a friend or relative may do it on your behalf. It is important to keep a copy of your statement for your own records.
Step Five: Follow all the instructions from your health care provider. A failure to comply with recommended medical treatment may adversely affect your benefits claim.
Step Six: File the appropriate claim form with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
Workers’ compensation has a complex body of laws. There are a number of different claim forms to choose from depending on the nature of your accidental injury. Details of your medical condition are required as well as documentation that you complied with recommended medical treatment.
There are also times when the workers’ compensation insurer denies benefits or wants to pay less than what the worker and the worker’s physician say the claim is worth. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make the difference in how much you are eventually compensated.
If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or appeal the denial of a claim for a work-related injury, condition or disease,contact Campbell & Associates for assistance from one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys.
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