Many people never consider the importance and value of workers' comp coverage until they need to use it. Once you are injured on the job, you will quickly come to appreciate the way that it covers all of your related medical expenses and gives you a portion of your salary while you recuperate at home. You must do your part to get things started, however, since your coverage is not automatic or guaranteed. Read on to learn more about reporting your injury or illness and proceeding from there.
What Is Covered?
You may be surprised at what your employer's workers' comp plan covers:
- All injuries that occur at work
- Illnesses or other medical conditions (such as repetitive stress injuries) caused by your job
- Injuries that occur when you are doing company business, even if you are not physically at your workplace
- Preexisting medical conditions that were worsened by your work or a work related injury
How Should You Inform Your Supervisor?
While the actual time restrictions for reporting vary, do your best to report your situation to your direct supervisor as soon as you can. You can do this by phone, email, by mail or in person, but do so right away since you cannot begin to earn benefits until you do so.
What Should You Include in the Accident Report?
The exact procedure can vary from state to state, but in most cases your direct supervisor is responsible for filling out the accident report, with your input of course. Some reports have sections for both of you to fill out. If you must, most states have a claim form available on the workers' comp board website to fill out and submit. Since this insurance program is state-run, your state's website will contain a lot of valuable information about claims and coverage.
Make sure the report is as accurate as possible, and be sure you don't sign or agree to anything that is not correct. This report is the insurance carrier's main source of information about your injury, and issues with that report could cause your claim to be held up or even denied. Don't hesitate to ask for help from family or friends if you are not in any condition to complete the report yourself.
What Can You Expect Next?
If your workers' comp claim is approved, you will begin to receive your partial wage salary benefit immediately. It should be noted that you don't need to wait for claim approval to seek medical care; just let the medical facility know that you have a workers' comp claim pending and you should not need to make any payments for your care.
If you experience any bumps along the way, be sure to consult with a workers' comp attorney via resources like Oxner + Permar, LLC.