Contacting an experienced law office as soon as possible after a work-related accident will enable an injured worker to confirm that initial necessary steps are followed to file a claim. Failure to file an incident report or otherwise provide your employer with written notice within thirty days from the date of the accident is a basis for the insurance carrier to deny the claim. Every day that elapses between the accident and the date of written notice to the employer increases the chances that the claim will be questioned and challenged by the insurance carrier. It could also increase the chances that the claim will be denied by the Workers' Compensation Board Law Judge. Late Filing in certain circumstances may be excused, but we recommend that all injured workers file a written incident report with the employer, a supervisor, or department of human resources immediately after an accident, and seek medical care as close to the date of injury as possible.
A level of suspicion and mistrust often follows any delay or failure to properly notify all parties, which may damage or destroy an otherwise good employer-employee relationship. Frequently delays in providing proper notice can delay the receipt of wage loss replacement benefits, as well as the authorization for necessary medical diagnostic testing and treatment.
Workers' compensation wage loss replacement benefits are often far less than an employee would have made at their pre-injury wages. Delay or denial of a claim due to lack of notice can be devastating to working families who depend on wage loss replacement benefits to pay the mortgage, keep the lights on, and feed their families. By giving proper notice, an injured worker can mitigate the financial and emotional burden on a worker already dealing with the stress of physical injuries. In addition, a timely filed claim often results in the claimant receiving the proper medical care early on, removing an obstacle to returning to work at full wages.
The worker' compensation system is often poorly understood by those who are injured on the job. Often employers do not even notify employees relative to their rights under the workers' compensation system. Most often, the only exposure an injured worker has to the system prior to sustaining an injury is scanning some poster on the break room wall. There are certain steps to be taken after an injury on the job, the most prominent being written notice to the employer and timely medical evaluation and treatment.
If you have more questions on how work injury incident forms and the workers' comp process, then contact our firm today!