In most cases, workers’ compensation is the sole remedy available to workers injured on the job. Given the importance of workers’ compensation benefits, it is important for injured workers to understand their obligations when they are injured so that they don’t miss out on critical benefits.
When a worker is injured on the job, the first thing that needs to be done is to immediately inform the employer and seek necessary medical treatment. The employer must be notified of the accident in writing as soon as possible within 30 days. The employee must also file a claim with the workers’ compensation board, though this doesn’t technically have to be done until two years after the accident or within two years after the employer knew or should have know that the injury was work-related.
The initial reporting of a workplace accident gets the claims process rolling and it is critical for injured workers to be prompt in doing so to avoid loss of benefits. If this is done, a preliminary medical report is supposed to be sent to the workers’ compensation district office within 48 hours of the accident. Then, within, 10 days of notification of the accident, the employer is supposed to report the injury to the board and to the employer’s insurance company.
A written statement of the injured workers’ rights is supposed to be provided within 14 days of the receipt of notice of the injury. Payment of benefits is supposed to begin within 18 days of receiving a workplace injury report, unless the claim is in dispute. In our next post, we’ll look at what happens when there is a dispute about claim coverage and how an experienced attorney can help.