YOUR INJURY CLAIM AND HOW
TO PURSUE IT
There are certain procedures that must be followed when
filing a Workers Compensation claim. The majority of clients that appear
in our office have never filed a Workers Compensation claim and are not
familiar with the various time constraints and procedural deadlines. This
article will explore your claim and how to pursue it.
Work related injuries include traumatic incidents, such
as slip and falls, lifting injuries, machine or tool related injuries, and
motor vehicle accidents which arise out of employment related activities. Also
included is on the job exposures to harmful noise, chemicals, dust, toxic
substances and repetitive stress injuries (ie., carpal tunnel syndrome). The
latter is known as an occupational disease claim. The Workers
Compensation Law recognizes heart attacks as a compensable claim if it is due
to strenuous work activity and/or external stress on the job. We find that most
workers are unaware that these types of claims are covered under the
Workers Compensation Law.
- Notify your employer within thirty (30) days of your injury.
- File the C-3 form with the Workers Compensation Board
(Most injuries have a two (2) year statute of limitations).
- Get examined by a doctor immediately and give a complete
If the worker has any doubt as to whether they have an
accident covered by the Workers Compensation Law, they should file a
claim immediately in order to protect their rights. Submitting a C-3 form
constitutes filing a claim. There are certain procedures and time limitations
that must be followed under the Workers Compensation Law.
If the claim is
not filed timely, you may be precluded from filing a claim due to the statute
of limitations. You have two (2) years from the date of most accidents to file
a claim with the Workers Compensation Board.
Failure to file a claim
within two (2) years, under most circumstances, can preclude the claim
entirely. If you are filing an occupational disease claim or repetitive use
injury you must file no later than two (2) years from the date you knew or
should have known your condition was related to work. The statute of
limitations will stop running with the filing of a C-3 form with the
Workers Compensation Board.
There is also a provision that notice of the accident
must be given to your employer within thirty (30) days of the incident. Notice
can be given to your supervisor or employer orally or in writing. The notice
must include the site of injury and how the accident occurred.
We find that many compensation claims are controverted
by the employers insurance company or self-insured employer for failure
to provide notice within thirty (30) days. Notice is required for purposes of
providing the employer and/or insurance carrier an opportunity to investigate
the claim. If you think you have suffered an accident covered by the
Workers Compensation Law, remember to provide the required notice to your
employer. Failure to do so can be detrimental to your claim. Notice can be
given either orally or in writing. Written notice would be preferable.
It is also important to give your treating physician or
chiropractor a complete and detailed explanation of your accident. Frequently
we encounter situations where an improper or vague history is given to the
physician or chiropractor. The failure to give a proper history creates
additional problems for you and your attorney. Be specific when advising your
doctor of how your accident occurred.
While the procedures outlined in this article should be
followed, this does not automatically mean your claim will be accepted by the
insurance carrier. In future articles, we will discuss controverted claims as
well as the benefits afforded under the Law.