Getting Started With Workers’ Compensation

If you were injured at work and think that you have a valid workers' comp case, then you might be ready to file. However, there are some things that you should know about the process before going forward. To help you get a better idea of how the process will work and what you will need to do, here is an introduction to workers' compensation:

What is workers' comp really?

At the most basic level, workers' comp is a state-mandated insurance program. Your employer frequently pays a certain amount of money to a workers' comp provider, and in exchange, that provider covers the payouts for employees that file workers' comp claims. Your employer and the provider will work together to gauge the legitimacy of your claim, a process that often involves gathering evidence.

You might be asked to get a physical examination to determine the severity of your injuries and how they will impact your future ability to work, a key factor in determining the size of your compensation.

So what do you need to do?

If you get injured at work, then the first thing you need to do is notify your employer. If you would like to file for workers' comp, they are required to give you some forms that should fill out. You will then usually return these to your employer, who will send them to the workers' comp provider in a timely manner. Once the provider has taken a look at your claim, they will notify you of any actions that you need to take.

As you can see, there isn't a whole lot that you actually need to do. Aside from filling out the forms and sending them in, you simply need to comply with the requests of the provider. Getting a physical examination can help your case quite a bit, if it proves that your injury is as severe as you claim. You might need to see a doctor other than your normal health care provider, in order to ensure that neutrality is maintained.

How much compensation will you get?

There are three main factors that go into this component: your income before the injury, the severity of the injury, and the pertinent laws in your state.

Your base compensation will normally be calculated as a percentage of your original income, though this may be subject to restrictions by the state government. The severity of the injury will be considered both in terms of how expensive the associated medical care is and how much your future work prospects are impacted. In some cases, you might even be given retraining to prepare you for a different line of work once you have recovered.