Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Against a Previous Employer in Arizona?
A job injury can leave you in pain, unable to work, and in need of expensive medical treatment. In Arizona, workers’ compensation can help ease this burden by providing medical coverage and replacing some of your lost wages.
Usually, you start the workers’ compensation claims process by notifying your employer. But what happens if you need to file a claim with a previous employer? In Arizona, you can file a claim with a prior employer if you meet specific criteria. An experienced attorney from Matt Fendon Law Group can help determine whether you have a valid claim and assist with every part of the workers’ compensation process. Contact us now for a free case review.
Why Should You Bring a Workers’ Compensation Claim Against a Former Employer?
Arizona law allows most employees to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for job-related injuries. If you qualify, you can receive money for medical treatment, a portion of your lost wages, and disability benefits you need while you heal. The advantage of getting workers’ compensation is that they are no-fault benefits, meaning you do not have to prove anyone was at fault to receive coverage.
You can bring a claim against a previous employer if:
- The injury or illness is work-related.
- The injury or disease is related to work you did for your previous employer.
- You were classified as an employee at the time. For example, independent contractors are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Your previous employer carried workers’ compensation insurance when the injury occurred.
- The statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim has not expired.
In Arizona, you have one year from the date of the injury or illness (or the date of your diagnosis) to file a workers’ compensation claim. If more than a year has passed since you stopped working for your previous employer, you may be unable to seek workers’ compensation benefits from them.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
To start a workers’ compensation claim, you should immediately notify your previous employer of the injury. You should also file an injury report with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. These steps initiate the workers’ compensation process. You should receive notification of the insurer’s decision to accept or deny the claim within 21 days.
Expect to encounter some resistance from your previous employer or its insurer, especially if considerable time has passed since you left the job. Insurance representatives will scrutinize your claim, looking for reasons to deny or dismiss it. For this reason, you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to manage the claims process from start to finish.
Showing Your Workers’ Compensation Injuries Were Caused by Prior Employment
When filing a workers’ compensation claim against a previous employer, you must provide clear evidence showing that your injury or illness occurred while performing your job duties. Examples of evidence include:
- Documentation of the accident
- Medical records and statements from healthcare providers
- Employment records documenting your time with the employer
- A copy of your job description, performance evaluations, pay stubs, and other proof of employment
- Witness testimony
Establishing that your injuries arose because of your previous employment can prove challenging, but an experienced attorney can review your case and gather the critical evidence necessary for a compelling workers’ compensation claim.
Get Help From Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
At Matt Fendon Law Group, we understand the difference that workers’ compensation can make in your life. Let us help you pursue the benefits you deserve from your previous employer. Contact us today for a free consultation with a skilled Arizona workers’ compensation attorney.