Yes, you have you file a claim/No, your employer is not going to do it for you.
I can't tell you how many people we see who tell us "I didn't know I was supposed to file a claim" or "I thought my employer supposed to file a claim for me" or "No one told me I had to file a claim."
I'm just going to put this out there – YOU have to file a claim.
No matter how nice your employer is, no matter how caring they are and even if they promise to take care of you, you should still file a claim. In the end, you are the one who runs the risk of being left without benefits if a claim isn't filed.
If you are injured on the job, in order to preserve your potential to get benefits, you have to do two things right away and you should probably do a third.
- 1. Report your injury to your employer (in writing please)
- 2. File a claim with the Industrial Commission
- 3. Seek medical attention
Not necessarily in that order, of course.
If you do not report your injury in a timely manner, your claim could be denied. For example, you hurt your back at work, you mention to your boss that you're going to take a couple days off. You are hoping it will get better. Even though the pain from your back still goes down your leg, you return to work because you want to work. The pain doesn't go away. Eventually, 6 weeks later, you can't take it anymore and go to the doctor. Although it is totally understandable that you are hoping nothing is seriously wrong, you don't want to cause a problem with your employer, you certainly don't want to be injured, and you are hoping everything would get better, you have put yourself in a tough spot. When you do get around to filing a claim 6-8 weeks after the injury, your carrier is likely to deny the claim because of the delay in reporting.
What can you do to protect yourself from having this happen?
First, when you initially feel that tweak in your back, or pop in your knee or twist in your ankle, shoot your employer an e-mail. Just say "Hey, I was working today, and I did something to my back, I'm going to take a couple days off and maybe see a doctor." Or you can text it (as long as you save the text).
Next, depending on how you are feeling and how serious your injury could be, seek medical attention. Make sure that you tell your doctor where your injury happened and how your injury happened.
Step three: Call us! We would be happy to talk with you about your potential claim.
Another reason to get things moving as close to the date of your injury as possible is that the system doesn't always move at the pace that you hope it will. Once you file a worker's report of injury with The Industrial Commission of Arizona, it can take up to two weeks for them to process the paperwork and formally notify the insurance carrier. From the date that the insurance carrier is notified, they have 21 days to accept or deny the claim. You are looking at up to 5 weeks from the time that you file the paperwork to find out if your claim is accepted or denied.
The bottom line is that despite their best intentions, your employer is not going to be able to help you get all of the workers' compensation benefits you are entitled to. It is up to you to tell the employer when you are injured (keep a record) and it is up to you to file a claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
If you have any questions how to file a workers' compensation claim, where to file a worker's compensation claim, when to file a worker's compensation claim, or if you should file a worker's compensation claim, please feel free to call Fendon Law Firm for a free consultation. At Fendon Law firm, we treat our clients like family because we are family.