If you’re an Arizona resident who has recently been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers compensation, even if it wasn’t necessarily your fault. But how do you find out what you’re owed? What should you do first? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. In 2013, there were over 917,100 occupational injuries and illnesses in the United States. It might seem like a daunting process to approach but asking for workers compensation should not be something to be afraid of. Here are the steps to take to make sure you confidently receive the workers compensation you deserve:
The first thing you need to do is make your employer aware of what happened and file a claim with your insurance agency. Your employer is also required by law to report the injury to the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Be sure to inform your employer about the incident immediately. Usually, you only have a few days to report it in order to qualify for compensation.
Your next step is to make an appointment with your primary care physician or another neutral healthcare provider. This may be chosen for you by your employer, based on what type of insurance they have and is known as an Independent Medical Examination (IME). Any billing is usually issued directly to the insurance company by the doctor or you can be reimbursed if you pay out of pocket at the appointment. You can also receive what is known as time lost wages, if your injury puts you out of work for over a week.
In the event that you do not agree with the workers compensation claim or you believe you have not been fairly paid for missing work or for medical bills, it’s time to request a hearing and hire a workers compensation lawyer. One thing to remember when choosing an attorney is that workers compensation law is a highly specialized area so be sure to select a firm that has extensive experience (and success) specifically related to workers compensation claims.