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Work-related injuries can be complicated, but if you’re smart during the workers’ compensation process, you can avoid losing your income and potentially losing your job. We understand that on top of suffering from a work-related injury, the stress involved with paying bills and caring for your family can be extremely overwhelming. Here is how to help ensure your job security and maintain a steady flow of income during your workers’ compensation case.
If you are seriously injured and need to go to the hospital, do not wait, call 911 immediately.
As soon as possible after the incident has occurred, contact your employer to explain what happened during your work-related accident. Describe the event, who was there, what happened and how you were hurt.
After your employer is notified of the event, ensure that a formal document is drafted detailing your work-related accident. Have your immediate supervisor prepare an incident report and make a copy for yourself. Finally, make sure you file notice of the accident in a Form 18 within 2 years of the incident.
If your employer refuses to provide you with adequate medical attention, and your condition warrants it, seek medical treatment on your own. In the case that you have to seek medical treatment on your own, take detailed notes of the appointment and hold onto any documentation that you are provided.
Explain the situation in full detail to your doctor, including any current or previous injuries to the same part of your body and information about all current and previous injuries. If your injury prevents you from returning to work, be sure to get a work status note to give to your employer and make a copy for yourself.
Work-related injuries can be complicated, but if you’re smart during the workers’ compensation process, you can avoid losing your income and potentially losing your job.
Meet with an attorney before providing any statements requested by the insurance company. Providing any form of information without the advice of an attorney can seriously impact your workers’ compensation case. What you say — and the way you phrase it — can make or break the credibility of your statement.
Often, insurance adjusters try to lead you into saying something that indicates your case was not a work-related accident. They may attempt to make it seem as though your workplace was uninvolved in the injury, and therefore, they will not be responsible for your injuries. In other instances, insurance adjusters have led claimants to describe the incident in such a way that the claim will be denied. A simple recorded statement could talk you out of a claim. For this reason, we recommend that you talk to a board certified workers’ compensation attorney before you say anything or sign anything that may jeopardize your rights.
Make a copy of any forms or receipts you send to the insurance company. When you receive payment from your employer, record the date and amount found on the check and keep all of your check stubs.
Any time you pay for a medication, make of a copy of the receipt and fill out an IC Form 25P. You are also entitled to reimbursement for expense associated with traveling to your medical appointments, if the round trip is more than twenty miles. Ask for this compensation or complete and submit a Form 25T. You are also entitled to compensation for any medical mileage twenty miles or more round trip to your treating physician.
Benefits will be two-thirds of your average weekly gross wages for the 52-weeks prior to your injury. Your gross wages should reflect the total amount you are paid before taxes, insurance payments, deductions, and any other payroll withholdings. Calculate what your benefits should be, and keep track of whether you are receiving the right amount of compensation.
Stay organized during the workers’ compensation process to provide an accurate account of your work-related injuries and build a convincing case. Making copies of any documentation you provide and diligently taking notes will help your attorney work efficiently and effectively.