If you were injured on the job, then you might need some financial compensation to cover your medical expenses and/or lost wages. Workers' compensation offers you a simple means of securing that money. To help you get a better understanding of how the process works, here is a general overview of workers' compensation:
What is workers' comp really?
Workers' compensation refers to a group of social safety nets that exist on the state and federal level. Most employers will use a state workers' comp program, which means that they pay some amount of money to the state each year. This is effectively an insurance premium. In the event that an employee is injured and successfully files for workers' comp, they will be given money by the state. Federal employees are an exception and instead deal with a federal workers' comp program.
One of the most important stipulations of workers' comp is that it prevents you from filing a lawsuit against your employer for the injury in question. Workers' comp will generally be smaller than a successful lawsuit payout, but it is much easier and more reliable to file workers' comp.
What should you do when you have been injured on the job?
The very first thing that you should do is to confirm that your injury qualifies and to document absolutely everything about your injury. As long as your injury was sustained while performing a function related to your job, you have a decent shot at winning your claim. This evidence can be used to prove that your claim is valid. You'll want to consult a doctor in order to acquire as much evidence as possible to validate the severity of your injury.
Next, you need to notify your employer. Each state has different laws regarding the window of time that you have to notify your employer, but you should do it in less than a month if possible. Your employer will give you the necessary forms, which you will need to fill out and submit them to the proper groups.
At this point, you will simply need to wait for a response. If your claim was accepted, then you are good to go. However, if you were denied, then you still have some options. You may attempt to contest the claim and gather more evidence. You should be ready for a lengthy process and even a court appearance, if your appeal gets that far. Click here for more information.