It’s not a 5-minute process.
How do you get workers compensation? The question seems simple, but there are two kinds of answers that can be given.
How Do You Get Workers Compensation? 1 Question, 2 Answers
1. The Procedural: In order to answer the question ‘how do you get workers compensation?’ we have to start with the basic A-Z process. Although workers comp benefits (whether medical benefits, temporary total benefits, permanent partial benefits, or permanent total benefits) vary from state to state and case to case, certain rules stay the same.
a) Notify your employer as soon as possible.
b) See a doctor or go to the hospital.
c) Get in touch with the workers comp insurance provider.
d) File a First Report of Injury. This paper is indispensable to your claim being treated, and no other can replace it.
e) Within 26 weeks, file a Subsequent Report of Injury. Make sure you don’t miss the deadline.
2. The Practical. In theory, you should be able to follow the above steps and receive all the workers comp benefits you are due. In reality, things get complicated. While workers comp insurance carriers should be protecting your rights as a worker, it often seems they are more concerned with doling out as few benefits as possible. What can you do about it? Easy: hire a lawyer!
a) Hiring a lawyer might seem expensive or out of your reach, but most workers compensation lawyers don’t get paid until you get compensated. And, in most cases, because workers comp law is obtuse, corporate lawyers can talk circles around the average worker. You’ll find yourself puzzling…how do you get workers compensation?
b) Avoid the trap of a lump sum offer. To avoid paying benefits over a period of time (which can really add up!), many insurance companies push for early lump sum settlement. Tom Holland is experienced in evaluating lump sum offers. Early lump sum settlement offers may be encouraging, but Tom Holland will be able to help avoid leaving settlement funds on the table. If the disability continues to be treated without a definitive diagnosis and/or prognosis, prompt settlement may not be prudent.
When and if to settle is your decision to make, but BEWARE. What’s the hurry? Please be cautious of an early settlement offer from a claims adjustor who suggests you do not need a lawyer.
Our law office specializes in representing injured employees, and we know worker’s compensation law inside and out. You are allowed to represent yourself in worker’s compensation proceedings, but remember that the litigation is complex and your employer will be represented by an experienced attorney. Don’t walk into court unprepared and outnumbered. The timing of a lump sum settlement is as important as the settlement value.
Don’t just follow the rules; hire a lawyer! You can do everything right, but in the end experience counts: results matter.