Workers’ compensation claims arise when an employee gets injured on the job and files a claim through their employer’s or state’s workers’ comp agency for compensation for their damages. If you’ve been hurt at work and need to file a workers’ compensation claim, keep reading to get a better understanding of what all is involved in the claims process.
Reporting Your Injuries
When you’re injured on the job, one of the first steps you should take is to notify your employer of your accident and injuries. Deadlines for reporting your injury vary by each workers’ comp state agency, but many require you to report your issue to your employer within 30 days or less of the date the incident occurred.
When you file your workers’ compensation claim, your insurer will likely have you undergo an impartial or an independent medical exam. Impartial exams are conducted by a doctor that your state’s workers’ comp agency chooses, for the purpose of providing a nonbiased medical examination. Your impartial doctor’s conclusions are used as binding medical evidence in your case. If, however, the doctor turns out to be biased in some way, the workers’ comp agency removes them from their list of impartial doctors.
Independent medical examinations are conducted by a doctor of your workers’ comp agency’s choosing as well. But your agency generally chooses a doctor they believe will favor the insurer over the injured employee. As with their impartial doctors, if an independent doctor displays too much favor toward the injured employees, your workers’ comp agency normally removes them from their list of independent medical examination doctors.
With either impartial or independent medical exams, it’s important to always be as thorough and honest as possible and to comply with your doctor’s requests as reasonably as you can.
Workers’ Comp Claim Hearings
You may have one or multiple hearings over the course of your workers’ comp claim. The purpose of a hearing is to establish the following:
- Your average weekly income
- Whether you are experiencing a work-related injury
- If your current injury is a new injury, an old injury or a prior injury that was aggravated during your work accident
- The extent of your disability
- How reasonable your medical treatment and medical expenses are and who is responsible for paying them
Contact Lewis & Keller Today
Lewis & Keller have two convenient offices located in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina. Our team of expert workers’ compensation attorneys have experience with the ins and outs of workers’ compensation law. If you’ve been injured at work and are struggling with your workers’ comp claim, don’t hesitate to contact us today to see what we can do for you.