Workplace accidents happen all the time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 2.8 million nonfatal accidents occurred in 2019 alone, with a case rate of 0.9 injuries per day.
These accidents result in much more than bruises and broken bones, however. They can lead to missing valuable work time, resulting in lost wages that hurt your family’s income, as well as expensive medical bills that leave you in debt.
Keep reading to learn how to file a workers’ comp claim to gain those lost wages, medical expenses, and more!
Meet With Your Employer
The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a meeting with your employer. You may meet with the human resources department, your supervisor, or ideally, both, as it’s HR’s job to start the workers’ comp claim process.
Understandably, this part of the process can be quite uncomfortable. Be honest and upfront about the injuries sustained.
It’s illegal for an employer to terminate your position because of an injury, so don’t worry about speaking out.
At the meeting, go over the exact details of the injury. Address any specifics you can remember about the situation, such as time of day, environmental hazards, and witnesses.
You may also request to see security footage if your employer has cameras set up.
Fill Out the Paperwork
After your meeting, your HR representative will have you fill out some paperwork. This is more of a formality than anything.
In it, you’ll go over many of the same details you discussed at your meeting, plus basics like your contact info.
While it may seem tedious, this plays a crucial part in the process, as it’s often what the company uses to determine whether or not you’re eligible for workplace injury restitutions.
As such, be as thorough as you can when filling out this paperwork. Read each section carefully and don’t skip any details.
Wait For a Verdict
It may take a few weeks to hear back about the status of your workplace injury claim. In some cases, your employer may require additional details, further elongating the process.
It should take no more than two to three weeks, though.
If it takes longer, don’t hesitate to follow up with your employer and inquire about the status of your claim.
Pursue Legal Action (if Needed)
If your claim gets denied and you feel the choice was wrong, you can choose to sue your employer. Find proper legal representation that works specifically in your area, like https://leelawoffices.org/workers-compensation/nc-workers-compensation/, who focuses on clients in North Carolina.
Each state has its own criteria for a workers’ comp case, after all.
And rest assured, you may not need to go to court. A workers’ comp settlement is often a viable option for both employers and their workers, as both parties agree to the terms.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim: A Complete Guide
Though we hope you’ll never need to know how to file a workers’ comp claim for yourself, it’s good to know how the process works. We hope you found this article helpful.
Remember, your best bet is to find legal representation so you understand your options. Especially if your boss tries to fire you due to the injury.
For more info on navigating life’s trickiest subjects, be sure to browse the rest of our blog!