Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Quickly
If you are a worker who was hurt on the job, then it can be traumatic for you as well as your co-workers and the employer. Giving the injury proper medical attention takes first priority, of course. But, post that, it is important that the second step of filing a claim for workers’ compensation is not forgotten.
When you report a workers’ compensation claim at the earliest, post an employee’s injury, it shows all your employees that your employer cares about their employee’s well-being and that they want them to be compensated for the injury. It also shows that the employer is making an effort on their behalf to follow the law in the right spirit.This will definitely impact the morale of the employees positively.
Swift and responsive handling of the entire process means that the employee can return back to the workforce that much quicker. This also reaffirms faith in the process for everyone and shows that the employer leads by example.
Investigation and Evidence
The sooner the claim is filed, the quicker it is for the insurance carrier or work injury lawyer to investigate and get all the necessary evidence for the claim. Same in case of a dispute.
Considerations such as the cause of injury and the extent of the injury are best determined at times closest to the incident.
This can also help prevent fraudulent claims. It can help identify; if say the claimant was under the influence of drugs or other substances which impaired his or her ability to work. Waiting too long would mean processes like blood work to identify such conditions or gathering reliable information from eyewitnesses with a reliable recall of the incident will get all the more difficult.
Cost of the Claim
The more the delay in filing the claim for workers’ compensation the more the claim will cost. According to this study, delays in claim filing by 2 weeks to a month caused an increase in the cost of the claim by as much as 30%.
If the time to register a claim was beyond 4 weeks, the cost went up to over 50% higher than the lowest median cost; which was when the claim was filed within the first week.
Hence earlier reporting is important not only to ensure timely medical attention but also avoid higher claim costs.
With reference to the same study, claims that have faced delays are the ones more likely to have attorney involvement. For example, while claims reported immediately had only 13% attorney involvement, for claims delayed by 4 weeks, the attorney involvement was higher at 32%.
While there is nothing wrong with getting a legal opinion, in most cases a swift resolution is best for all parties involved.
Employers are required to let the state’s department of labor know about workers’ compensation claims filed by their employee. Each state has time limits, which must be adhered to. Also, there are certain injuries like the loss of a limb that must be reported to the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) within a certain period of time. Some states can also penalize the employer for not meeting timely reporting requirements.
Employer’s insurance may have a time limit on the claims that are made to be considered. If this deadline is not met, then the claim may not go through. This may also cause more severe repercussions such as higher premiums or canceled policies.
For all of the above reasons, it is important that work-related injuries or occupational illnesses are reported promptly.
If the employer is made aware of any safety issues, then they can proactively work towards implementing measures to prevent recurrence of the incident. This will also help keep the costs related to workers’ compensation down.
Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
The Law Offices of Goldberg & Wolf can help. If you or someone you know was injured at work or has a workers’ compensation case, contact the experienced attorneys at Goldberg & Wolf. Call us at (856) 651-1600 to speak with a dedicated member of our legal team.