Is Workers’ Compensation the Same in Every State?
If you are wondering how Worker's Comp works and what to do if you need to file a claim, the post below from CareerMetis will be a great source of information for you.
The simple answer is no.
However, for the majority of states, the differences between the laws regarding worker’s compensation are quite minor. Most of the differences from state to state regarding workers’ comp are in what groups are not covered by the law. The biggest workers’ compensation law difference is in Texas, which is the only state that does not require private employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Read more about the specifics of Florida’s workers’ compensation system and if you are eligible to file a claim.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance employers are generally required to purchase to protect their employees from harm. Workers’ comp protects both workers and their employees. With this insurance, workers have a relatively quick and easy path to compensation when hurt in an accident.
Employers, on the other hand, are protected from lawsuits that could cost them significantly and put their businesses at risk.
In addition to these protections, workers’ comp also frees up the courts from the massive number of lawsuits that would otherwise be filed every year by workers hurt on the job.
Steps to Take When Injured at Work
When you suffer a workplace injury, there are a few steps that you will have to take in order to receive compensation. The first step is to report the accident to your supervisor immediately. However, if your injury is severe, then medical treatment takes precedent. Go to the hospital and receive medical care first, then report your accident afterward.
Once you have notified your employer of your injury, they will give you a claim form to fill out. In cases where you did not require emergency treatment, you will then receive a recommendation for an approved physician who can treat your injuries. After submitting your claim, you will be contacted by the insurance agency representing your employer.
Following contact from the insurance company, your claim should be approved, and you should begin to receive workers’ comp benefits. These benefits will cover your medical expenses as well as money that covers part of the cost of your lost wages. When the injury is severe enough that you are unable to ever return to work, you should receive a large settlement that covers your future lost income and other expenses.
What to Do if Your Claim Gets Denied?
Although workers’ comp is designed to be relatively quick and hassle-free, you have to remember that you are still dealing with an insurance company. The undeniable fact about insurance companies is that they hate to pay out on their policies. There will be an investigation into your claim, and if the insurance adjuster is able to find anything that gives them grounds to deny you benefits, they will most certainly do so.
There are a variety of reasons why a claim might get denied, and your next step will depend on what grounds the insurance company used to deny your claim.
Some of the reasons an insurance company might deny a workers’ comp claim include accusations that you:
· Were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
· Were fighting.
· Were playing games rather than working.
· Did not suffer your injury at your workplace.
· Exaggerated your claim.
If any of these accusations can be proven, then you are really out of options. These are all legitimate reasons for denying your claim. However, if any of these accusations are falsely made, you will want to hire a lawyer and appeal the denial.
Many of the other reasons that claims get denied are less to do with a dispute about the injury and more to do with bureaucracy.
Some of the reasons that you might be denied benefits on a technicality include:
· Failing to inform your employer of the injury in time.
· Failing to file your claim paperwork in time.
· Not receiving medical treatment from an approved medical provider.
· Missed doctor’s appointments.
· Failed to follow medical advice.
When your claim is denied for one of these reasons, you will once again want to hire a lawyer and file an appeal. You have to be prepared, though, because you need a legitimate excuse for why you failed to meet the requirements in order to have much chance in an appeal.
Though the claims process is fairly simple, some people will bring on a lawyer straight away to avoid falling into one of these pitfalls of a missed deadline.