An injury at work is not only painful, but frustrating. Many injuries result in the employee’s absence from work during the healing process. Some employees never get back to work if the injury is severe. The workers’ compensation program is in place to help make employees whole after an accident. However, claims may be denied for a variety of reasons.
Here are some reasons why your workers’ compensation claim may be denied so you can avoid them.
Your Injury Did Not Happen at Work
To get workers’ compensation benefits, the injury has to happen at your place of employment doing a job within your job description. Benefits are available to those hurt on the job with no proof of injury required for payment. The only fact you have to prove is the injury happened while you were at work and is in connection with your job.
If your injury occurred during your lunch break or on your commute to or from work, you most likely are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you were working at a different location or were running an errand for your job, you may have a case. The strength of your case depends on how closely related your injury and your job description are.
You Are an Independent Contractor
Employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees, but they do not have to provide benefits to independent contractors. To be an employee, you have to perform work services controlled by your employer. The employer says what you need to do, how to do it, and provides the materials to do so. You then receive payment, less any taxes and benefits available to you.
Independent contractors are not employees of a business. Contractors work for themselves on a retainer or per piece business model. He or she has the rights to choose the job they want and must enter a contract with a customer or client. The customer or client pays the contractor for the work in the agreement.
The person who pays the contractor has a right to ask the independent contractor to do the job in a certain way, but has no right to say how the work is completed. The client is not responsible for any injures which occur in the course of the independent contractor’s work, as they do not have a say in safety requirements or methods.
You Miss Crucial Deadlines
The person injured at work and requesting workers’ compensation benefits must make the request in writing within a specified amount of time. In the state of Arizona, the injured employee has one year from the date of the injury to file for benefits. The employee must also notify the employer of the injury as soon as possible.
If you fail to abide by the deadline, you could miss out on the opportunity to receive the benefits. To file your claim, you need to obtain a Workers’ Report of Injury and file the form with the state. Legal professionals can help you file your claim in a timely manner.
You Had No Witness
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are subject to fraudulent activity. If no one witnessed your accident happen, you could have a disadvantage when you file for benefits. Though your claim may not be denied, you will have to go to extra lengths to help support your claim.
The best course of action is to immediately inform your co-workers and supervisors. You should be as thorough as possible when describing your accident and completing your injury report to provide corroboration for your claim.
If you need assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Matt Fendon Law Group.