In the last few years, data suggest that even though our workspaces are becoming safer, cases of accidents do not seem to be coming down. This is more so for industries that are engaged in heavy manufacturing. With industries like energy, iron and steel, and manufacturing contributing the most in terms of accident stats.
Being an employee that has been injured at work can be a harrowing experience. With so many things to deal with, the situation can become a bit overwhelming. In this article, we speak to a leading tampa workers compensation attorney and ask him about the proper process to file a claim. We also discuss the repercussions for workers that have been injured in a work-related accident to push home the seriousness of the issue at hand.
Steps to a Workers’ Compensation Claims Process according to Experts
The following are some of the most important steps that workers need to concern themselves with when filing claims-
- The first and most important step is hiring an experienced attorney that can help you with all the paperwork on your behalf. A worker that has been injured needs to rest and get medical treatment. Getting an attorney can allow them the utmost care.
- It is important to remember that different states have different time frames for filing claims. While in some states the period is put at three months, in others it is only a single one. Knowing about all these dates is important to file the paperwork in time.
- The employer needs to get all the paperwork done, mention the time, place, and event in which the injury was sustained. Following this, they need to get in touch with the insurer and make the process as smooth as possible for the worker.
- An employee needs to formally notify the employer that they are filing for a workers’ compensation lawsuit. This should include the time, date, place, and circumstances leading to the injury. This forms the basis of filing the paperwork for the claims.
Why Filing a Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit is Important for an Injured Employee?
When it comes to workplace accidents and injuries many people feel that the same should just cover the medical costs. However, leading attorneys opine that in addition to the actual medical costs, the compensation should cover the lost hours and wages that an employee will suffer from during the medical recovery stage.
The situation becomes graver if the injured employee is the sole breadwinner in the family. With mortgages, bills, fees, and EMIs to pay off, a compensation plan should look to cover the same. Dependent spouses, children, and elder parents require special assistance in terms of a compensation package.
An insurance company can choose to either honor the claims or refuse them. Here is where you would require a good attorney to fight your lawsuit. They need to force the insurance company to pay up not only for the medical bills but also for the lost wages. The pandemic has added a new dimension to workers’ compensation as well.
What are some areas that Workers’ Compensation does not cover?
Leading attorneys point out that while most injuries on the floor are covered, there are certain exceptions where it is not covered. The following are some of them-
- Mental health stresses and psychological issues arising from work are not covered by workers’ comp.
- If a worker is trying to inflict injuries upon themselves, the same shall not be considered.
- Internal fights that may or may not result in injuries between employees are not subject to workers’ compensation.
- Workers that have been injured because of intoxication like drinking or taking drugs during working hours are not covered.
The Bottom Line
There is a disagreement on the factor of getting injured when commuting to or from work. This is a serious grey that has led itself to differing judgments and compensation claims in different states. By following all the points in the article, you will be in a much better position to file effective workers’ compensation claims.