If you’ve suffered an injury while on the job, there is no guarantee that you’ll automatically receive workers’ compensation benefits. The burden of proof is squarely on the claimant to prove that he was indeed injured while working. Unfortunately, claiming workers’ compensation benefits is not a straightforward process. This is why many injured workers lean on the expertise of workers’ compensation attorneys to help expedite their claims and obtain the benefits that they deserve.
Proving A Causal Relationship
Although you may have been injured while working, there is no guarantee that a workers’ compensation judge will believe you. Your employer’s insurance premiums will likely rise if the injury gets covered by worker’s compensation. As a result expect your company to fight your claim. If you can prove that your workplace actions are the cause of your injury, you’ll have established the causal relationship that is necessary to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. This is often much easier said than done.
Plenty of employers, insurers and judges will attempt to frame your injury as one suffered while away from work. This is due to the unfortunate fact that many workers’ compensation claimants try to use the workers’ compensation system to pay for their hospital bills. As a result, this fraud has made the process much more challenging for those who really were injured while performing job related activities.
Proceed With Caution
The first thing that you should do in order to qualify for workers’ compensation is notify your employer of your injury. Once you feel the pain, stop working and immediately tell your boss as well as HR about the injury. Explain how it occurred, where the pain is and how bad it is. Then document all of these details in writing to further document your workers’ compensation claim. If you fail to notify your employer of the injury, you risk non-payment of benefits. While you have up to 1 year to report an injury suffered at work to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you should not wait. The sooner you report your injury, the better your chances of filing a successful claim will be.
Inability To Work
Once you’ve reported the injury, it must be determined whether it prevents you from performing your typical job duties. You’ll likely have to be examined by a doctor in an independent medical examination (IME) to prove that you aren’t capable of performing your regular job duties. If possible, your employer will then consider whether there is light duty work available that you can perform. If this type of work is available, you’ll likely have to accept it in lieu of workers’ compensation payments. If such work isn’t available, you’ll have to prove that your injury is causing you to lose income. If your employer still pays you when you are not working, your claim for income benefits will be denied but your claim for medical benefits will still be considered.
John Snyder Law
Often times claiming workers’ compensation benefits is an uphill battle. This is a complex legal challenge involving plenty of paperwork, intricate laws, medical examinations and more. Contact us today for a consultation to get you the benefits you need.