How To File A Workers Compensation Claim
Workplace injuries are, unfortunately, a pretty common occurrence in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 2.9 million private industry employers suffered from nonfatal workplace injuries in 2015. Being injured at work means you may lose income on top of the stress of bodily harm. To protect yourself and your family, file a workers compensation claim as soon as possible.
Tell Your Employer
As soon as you can, report your injury to your supervisor. Putting it off weakens your claim– the sooner you report your accident, the stronger your case. Failure to report your accident promptly may result in denial of your benefits. The State of Rhode Island requires employers to file a First Report of Injury form with the Division of Workers’ Compensation if you are out of work for at least three consecutive days due to your accident. They have ten days to turn in the form. Then they file your claim through your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier.
When reporting your injury, provide your employer with the following information:
- The result of a specific accident
- The names of all witnesses
- Description of how the accident and injury took place
- Identification of when the accident and injury took place
- Location of where the accident and injury took place
If you are unable to notify your employer or manager about your injury due to circumstances beyond your control, you should be fine. As long as your employer is aware of your injury, they may excuse a missing formal report.
Seek Medical Evaluation
Evidence of your injuries or illness is paramount to your case. To secure your claim, find a reputable doctor to evaluate your injuries or diagnose your illness. Your employer may give you a list of doctors from which to choose. Insurance companies have “authorized providers” they trust and prefer you to visit. If you’d rather use your primary care physician, you should visit them for a second opinion on top of what the authorized doctor says. When it comes to workers compensation claims, the more evidence you have, the better. However, failing to see an approved physician may cost you your claim.
Record All Expenses
Any out-of-pocket expenses accrued are typically reimbursable. Track all expenses and save receipts for every purchase you make about your injury. These purchases include, but are not limited to:
- Gas or public transportation costs
- Over-the-counter medications
- Hospital Parking Fees
If you drive, log your gasoline purchased as well as mileage anytime you drive to your doctor or pharmacy. Provide your adjuster with all this up-to-date information regarding your out-of-pocket costs to make certain your insurance reimburses you.
Return To Work
Employers cannot fire employees for filing for workers compensation. In the State of Rhode Island, you have the right to reinstatement. That means after a workplace accident; you return to your former job as long as you can perform your job duties. If you need reasonable accommodation by your employer to do said job, they must provide it.
Once your physician releases you from your recovery period, you have ten days to claim your right to reinstatement. If your employer replaced you while on leave, you still have the entitlement to work. The employer must place you in another vacant and suitable position.
Contact Morowitz Law
If you have trouble filing your worker’s compensation claim in Rhode Island, contact Morowitz Law. You have the right to receive benefits in case of a workplace accident. If you have questions about your worker’s rights in the State of Rhode Island, we offer a free, no obligation consultation.
Call Morowitz Law today at 401-274-5556