Hello, today we will talk about when and how one should file a worker’s compensation claim.
To file a claim, you need to get injured at work. Work injury usually means either a workplace injury or an injury while performing work related activities. If you are outside, driving or at a third-party location, but performing job related functions, that counts. Be aware of extended outside lunch breaks, or driving to and from work, that may not be covered. Job caused stress is work related. If you got infected with COVID-19 also known as coronavirus with health complications while at the work place or performing work functions that might also count as work related if the business you work for is considered essential or was operating under certain conditions.
You are the judge of your circumstance. But do not delay the filing of a work comp claim, because you only have one year. After a year the employer may contest your claim as belated and barred by a statute of limitations.
After you know for sure that you got injured or have a reason to believe that you got injured at work you need to immediately notify your supervisor or manager at work about your injury, if you made a decision to bring a claim. You could check with human resources or assigned work comp agents on the issue as well. Please do not delay, because then you will object yourself to all sorts of delays, denials and discoveries by the employer. Your employer has a duty to provide you with a claim form to fill and sign. If that does not occur, one is available online in the internet and is called Form DWC-1. You should fill it to your best and hand it to your employer as soon as possible. Be smart also to build medical record of your injury right away by seeing a doctor, that might help even if you brought a late claim after one year passed.
If your employer, that includes supervisors and managers, knows or has a reason to know about your injury, the employer has a duty to advise you of your workers compensation rights in a letter form. If you can prove that the employer knew, you may be successful in denying the employer the one-year statute of limitation argument, for they now had a duty to provide you with a claim form, but failed to do so. They may also not be able to deny the compensability of the claim because of the fact that you yourself delayed the filing of the claim.
When you file a claim, the employer has 14 days to make the first benefit payment, or in the alternative, to issue a notice of delay, explaining the reasons behind the delay. If the employer does nothing after 90 days of your filing of the claim pass, now your claim by law is presumed accepted and compensable. The employer may choose to deny the claim before or exactly after 90 days pass. However, that does not mean that you are completely barred, because you may try the issue in front of the judge for liability or produce a medical record proving the work- related nature of your injury.
For any nuanced approach or in case you are confused you need to resort to legal representation, and The Law Offices of Farley and Ketendjian are here to help you with the claim filing process, and thank you for your attention to this matter.