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A workplace injury can hurt your income and potentially end your career. Whether the injury only keeps you home for a few days or more than a year, you are losing money because of the company’s negligence. Recovering from your accident is hard enough. How are you supposed to file for workers’ compensation at the same time?
Don’t stress over your income. Follow these steps to make sure the insurance company pays what you need.
Follow these steps to get workers’ compensation
Seek treatment and follow your doctor’s orders
Your first priority after a workplace injury is getting better, which is why you need to go to the hospital and seek medical treatment. However, this isn’t just for your health. You need to prove to your company that you did everything you can to mitigate the injury.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay injured workers. They will look for reasons to prove that the company is to blame. If you decide against going to the hospital or if your injury becomes infected because you didn’t take your antibiotics, the insurer’s law firm might argue against paying your medical bills.
After all, it’s not your employer’s fault that you didn’t seek medical care. If you do have to file a lawsuit against your employer or the insurance company, you need to prove that you followed directions clearly and did everything right. This could make or break your workers’ compensation case.
As soon as you are injured, seek medical care. You can include any medical expenses in your workers’ compensation claim.
Speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer
Once you have received medical treatment, look for a law firm that can help you with the workers’ compensation process. You need to find a lawyer who specializes in workplace injury claims.
Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean you are using your company. Your lawyer will advocate for you and navigate the insurance process to make sure you receive the money you need. They understand workers’ compensation contracts and benefits. By hiring them, you are placing yourself in good hands.
If you live in Illinois, here are a few Chicago worker’s compensation attorneys that you could work with. You can request a free consultation to review their processes and their plan to file a work injury claim on your behalf. Look for a firm that has years of experience and a proven track record of successful personal injury cases. You want to be prepared in case the insurance company refuses to pay or tries to lowball you for what they owe.
Document secondary costs from your injury
Most people think their worker’s compensation claim will only cover their hospital bills and missed wages. However, your claim might cover much more. First, consider any lifestyle changes that are caused because of your company’s negligence. Do you have to give up a favorite hobby or use a wheelchair because of the injury? Do you have to cancel a vacation or miss a wedding because you are in recovery?
These issues have tangible costs (like the airfare you can’t get back) along with intangible costs (the depression caused by missing your daughter’s wedding). Your legal team will take all of these factors into consideration when building your claim.
Your documentation doesn’t stop after you leave the hospital. Any injury-related expense or change should be sent to your attorney. This also includes long-term treatment and physical therapy.
Too often, company negligence goes unpaid because the injured worker doesn’t know how to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have recently been hurt on the job, seek help and then seek representation. Find a law firm that can make sure you are taken care of after your workplace accident.