What You Need To Know About Your Workers' Compensation Claim And The Accident Report

Workers' compensation insurance exists to help people who have been injured on the job with their medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. If you do your part, which includes filing an accident report in a timely manner, your benefits could make a huge difference in your financial situation while you recover from your injuries.

  1. While your accident report is important, it is equally important to inform your supervisor of your injury as soon as possible. The reporting timeline and method of reporting varies from state to state, but generally you can inform your direct supervisor verbally or in writing.
  2. Your supervisor should either provide you with an accident report form or fill the form out for you, depending on the circumstances. If you are unable to procure a form from your employer, you may be able to access it online at your state's workers' compensation website.
  3. Take your time and use special care in filling out the form; it may be difficult to amend or change it if you make a mistake after it's filed. Be sure to include complete contact information for all parties, particularly any witnesses. Use medical reports if available. Be concise when describing your injuries by mentioning specific body parts.
  4. Use an expandable file case to keep your paperwork organized during the claims process. Among important documents to keep include medical treatment and lab receipts, the accident report, and any communications from the workers' comp insurance company. If you don't think you need to keep it, keep it anyway.
  5. Once your claim is approved, you are normally eligible to receive payment for all related medical needs as well as a certain percentage of your salary. In some cases, vocational rehabilitation is available if you are not able to return to your former position at work. If your injury is deemed permanent, you may be entitled to a lifetime of benefits.

Conspicuously absent from workers' compensation benefits is a provision to compensate you for your pain and suffering. For this type of compensation, you must file a personal injury suit against your employer. It's important to note that acceptance of any workers' comp benefits could mean giving up your right to seek compensation through a personal injury suit. For this reason, consultation with a workers' comp or personal injury attorney like Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S. before you sign any agreements could ensure that you are not giving up valuable compensation.