What to Do When Injured in the Workplace
Most of us report to our jobs every day because we need them to provide for our families. We don’t have the luxury of taking long periods of time off without pay. So when you sustain an occupational injury that affects your ability to do your job, you might feel understandably disheartened. The stress of your financial situation can affect your mental state and even inhibit your recovery.
Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance exists to provide financial relief to injured workers until they can return to their old job duties. Collecting your benefits, however, requires that you follow certain procedures. Here’s what to do when you sustain an injury on the job:
1.) Report the Incident to Your Employer
The number one reason for claim denials in Arizona is that employees did not report the incident to his or her employer in time. Tell your employer what happened as soon as you notice symptoms of an injury. This helps assure that you don’t miss any filing deadlines for collecting your benefits. When reporting the incident to your employer, be sure to include:
- What you were doing when the accident occurred
- When it happened
- What symptoms you’re experiencing
If there were eyewitnesses to your accident, be sure to include their names in your description. They could be important to your claim later.
2.) Seek Medical Attention
Getting appropriate medical care is more than just essential to your recovery – it’s also an important part of getting your benefits. Your employer might want you to see a doctor within their insurance network. Remember, if you don’t agree with your assessment, you have the right to a second opinion.
3.) Follow Up
Once you report the incident to your employer, they must write a claim that they file with their insurance carrier or the state workers’ compensation board. Make sure your supervisor files these papers in a timely manner, so you don’t lose your right to benefits.
4.) Comply with Your Doctor’s Orders
Be sure to keep all your follow-up appointments and do everything you need to get better. Failing to follow your doctor’s orders could do more than just impede your recovery – it could ultimately affect or terminate your benefits.
5.) Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation law in Arizona can be complex and difficult to navigate. Claim denials are more common than you might realize, and appeals require expert guidance. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Cruz & Associates have 25 years of experience in helping Phoenix injured workers collect their benefits and get on the road to recovery. Many of our attorneys are former defense lawyers for insurance companies, so we know how they evaluate claims and the most common reasons for claim denials. We put this experience to work for you and help you collect fair compensation for your occupational injuries.
Cruz & Associates offers a free initial consultation, which allows you to review your legal options in a risk-free and confidential manner. If you sustained a work injury and want to protect your right to fair compensation, please contact us.