Ouch! Now What?

You’re at work moving storage boxes when suddenly, you feel a sharp pain in your back.  At first, you take a few deep breathes thinking you have just pulled a muscle and if you give yourself a moment, you’ll be alright.  However, after a few minutes, the pain continues and you realize it may be something more serious.  Now what should you do?  Fear sets in. If you go to the doctor, how will you pay for treatment?  If you miss time from work, how will you pay your own bills? 

Workers’ Compensation, per Wikipedia, is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of their employment. If you are injured on the job, here’s the steps you can expect to take when filing a workers’ compensation claim.

  1.  An injury should always be reported promptly to your employer (the insured).
  2. Together with your employer, you should complete a First Report of Injury which will be submitted toyour employer’s  insurance carrier.
  3. The insurance carrier will begin the investigation by confirming coverage and contacting both you and your employer.
  4. If the claim is accepted, the insurance carrier will contact the doctor’s office to provide insurance information as well as authorization for treatment.
  5.  Wage Statement and Job Description forms will be sent to your employer and later used to calculate your pre-injury average weekly wages.  
  6. The insurance carrier will continue to work closely with the doctor’s office to efficiently manage the medical treatment and a prompt return to work.
  7. Once you, the patient, reaches maximum medical improvement, the insurance carrier will obtain a final medical report from the doctor’s office.  A permanency rating may be given by the doctor or you may be released from care without a rating or permanent restrictions.

Although every claim is different, these are the basics to a workers’ compensation claim.  Have you ever been injured at work and had to file a claim? Share your experience!

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