Each state has specific workers’ compensation laws, but the general requirements and processes to get approved are the same. The keys to getting approved for workers’ compensation the first time include notifying your employer of your work-related accident, filing a workers’ compensation claim within the legal deadline, and adhering to your recommended medical treatment.
If you have issues securing the benefits you need, you can partner with a workers’ compensation lawyer near you.
Seek Medical Treatment, if Necessary
As with any serious injury, it’s imperative to get medical attention as soon as possible. If you need emergency medical treatment, do not hesitate to obtain it. This is important for your care and the documentation of your injuries.
If you are injured but do not require emergency attention, you must see a doctor in your employer’s insurance network. You should always think twice when visiting a medical provider; if you see a doctor that’s not approved by your employer, it might not pay for those losses.
See the Doctor Your Employer Selected
In most states, workers’ compensation law allows the employer (or their insurance carrier) to select the physician that will treat you. Failing to see an approved doctor could result in the denial or discontinuation of your workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are unsatisfied with the assessment the selected doctor provides, you are entitled to a second opinion from another doctor once the request is approved by either your employer or the insurance company.
Your treating physician provides updates and reports on your treatment and progress as a part of your workers’ compensation claim. You may be assigned to a doctor before your workers’ compensation claim is approved. If they report that you are not following their treatment plan, your benefits could be negatively impacted.
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Notify Your Employer of the Accident Right Away
After suffering harm, you must notify your employer of the accident and the injuries you sustained as a result. You should do this immediately, but each state provides a window of time in which you can give notice.
Residents of North Carolina generally have 30 days to inform their employer that they have had an accident, per G.S. § 97-22, while South Carolinians are typically given 90 days to notify employers, per S.C. Code § 42-15-20.
There are exceptions to these deadlines, but it is best to tell your employer right away if you were hurt on the job. That way, the insurer can start processing your claim, and you protect yourself from any allegations that could threaten your case.
Make Sure You Notify Your Employer of the Accident in Writing
When reporting your on-the-job incident, notify your employer in writing. Be certain to include the date of the accident, the injuries you’ve suffered, and how the accident occurred.
In addition to notifying your employer, you should keep all communications between you and the insurer on hand. We can use any information provided in these messages to support your case.
File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Filing Form 18 is the official start of your workers’ compensation claim. In general, you have two years from the date of your workplace accident to file a claim in North Carolina, per G.S.§ 97-24. This is not the same as reporting the incident to your employer; that has a much shorter deadline.
A two-year filing deadline also applies to people in South Carolina, per S.C. Code § 42-15-40. Again, it’s best to file immediately to get the ball rolling. That way, you can get the benefits you need in a timely manner and prevent any accusations regarding your case’s validity.
You Can Partner with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
A lawyer who is well-acquainted with the requirements and procedures of workers’ compensation law can help you fight for the workers’ compensation you need.
An attorney can assist you with:
- Meeting deadlines
- Satisfying your claim’s legal requirements
- Scheduling and keeping doctors’ appointments
- Gathering evidence of your injuries
- Negotiating for the benefits you are entitled to receive
- Settling your claim with your employer or his insurance company
Additionally, an attorney can help you appeal if you were unduly denied benefits. You have every right to appeal an unfair decision.
Why Would My Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Denied?
Your workers’ compensation case could be denied if your employer thought that you were intoxicated, engaging in horseplay, or off the clock when you got hurt. Our lawyers will show evidence to refute these allegations and pursue what you need.
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC Can Assist with Your Claim
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for any help you want with your claim. Our team will do everything in its power to secure compensation for your injury-related losses. In addition to managing your workers’ compensation claim, we can also evaluate whether filing a third-party claim or lawsuit could benefit you.
We offer free case reviews where you can explore your options at no obligation.