Knowing how to file your claim for workers’ compensation after a workplace injury is very important. If you do not follow the proper procedure for filing, your claim may be denied, or you may be barred for recovering any compensation. Here is a step-by-step list of what you should do after being injured on the job in Arizona.
- Seek Medical Attention Immediately
As soon as you sustain your on the job injury, you should seek medical attention. If you do not seek medical attention and then later claim an injury, your delay in receiving treatment may seem suspicious to the insurance board. Be sure to document all medically related items, including dates and times of doctors’ visits, copies of your medical records, prescriptions, and medical bills that you receive. When you are treated for your injury, be sure to inform the treating physician that you were injured on the job. Your doctor should give you a slip known as a “pink form.” The pink form serves as your Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury; this is the first step of your workers’ compensation claim, and commences the process. The physician should send a copy of the form to you, to your employer, and to the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
- Follow The Doctor’s Orders
As important as seeking medical care as soon as possible after an injury is incurred is filing your doctor’s, or doctors’, instructions to a T. If you do not follow a prescribed treatment regimen, your injuries may seem hyperbolic, and the workers’ compensation insurance company may wonder whether or not you really need compensation for the injury.
- Report Your Injury to Your Employer as Soon as Possible
It is imperative that you report your injury to your employer as soon as it is possible to do so. If you do not report the injury to your employer within a reasonable amount of time, then you may be barred from recovering benefits. The sooner that you report your injury to your employer, the sooner that your claim will be considered by the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
- Follow Up With Your Employer
Your employer is required under law to notify his or her workers’ compensation insurance carrier of your injuries as soon as your report them to him or her. Further, your employer should also notify the Industrial Commission of Arizona of your injuries. Your employer is legally required to notify the Industrial Commission of Arizona of the workplace accident within 10 days of receiving notification from you.
- Fill Out Worker’s Report of Injury Form
If you forget to tell your doctor that your were injured on the job or do not fill out a pink form at his or her office, no worries – you can still fill out your own Worker’s Report of Injury form. You should send your Worker’s Report of Injury form directly to the Industrial Commission of Arizona. You should follow up with your employer and ensure that he or she has done these things. Further, your employer should provide you with important information about your claim, including your workers’ compensation carrier, policy number, and date of expiration for coverage.
- Wait to Hear from the Insurance Commission of Arizona
Once the Industrial Commission of Arizona has received notice of your claim, the Commission has 21 days from the date of notification to make a determination about your workers’ compensation benefits. You should receive notice in the mail.
- Accept or Appeal the Decision
If the decision issued by the Industrial Commission of Arizona is not within your favor, you have the right to appeal. Your appeal must be filed within 90 days of receiving notice about your claim from the Industrial Commission of Arizona. To file an appeal, you will request a hearing. You can request your hearing by filing a Request for Hearing with the Industrial Commission. From here, you will attend a hearing (the appeals process is discussed in more detail above).
- Hire an Attorney
You may want to hire an attorney from the moment that you are injured on the job, particularly if your injuries are especially serious. And, if your claim is denied, then hiring an attorney is certainly within your best interest. Claims are more likely to be successful when filed by a legal professional, and an attorney can help you to understand the appeals and hearing process.
If you have any questions about any of the above steps and how to file your claim for workers’ compensation, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel.