In almost every state, workers' compensation programs protect people from the long-term consequences of work-related injuries, but claiming these benefits is not always straightforward. Missed deadlines or your employer's actions can jeopardize your claim, leaving you unable to collect the lost wages and medical treatment you need. In many cases, having an experienced workers' compensation lawyer on your side can be instrumental in successfully filing a claim.
The procedure for filing a claim differs from state to state, but in general, you should:
- Inform Your Employer: In most states, failure to promptly notify your employer of your injury can seriously endanger your ability to file a claim. Wisconsin, for example, requires workers to report their injury within 30 days of the incident or diagnosis in the case of work-related conditions. However, some states have much tighter deadlines, so it's generally best to err on the side of caution and inform your employer immediately, even if your injuries initially don't appear serious.
- Seek Medical Attention: Depending on the rules of your state, you will either have to see the health care provider chosen by your employer or you may be able to see your own doctor first. The important element is to seek medical attention immediately. If serious symptoms do emerge later, your records documenting their relationship to a workplace injury can be instrumental in proving the validity of your claim.
- Hire Legal Representation: While injured workers are entitled to file their own claim forms, in all but the simplest cases, you need a skilled professional to guide you through the process. This is especially true if your employer contests your version of events or the insurer has denied your claim. In these instances, a workers' compensation lawyer can represent you during the appeals process, working to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Attorney Ronald Fitzpatrick represents injured workers throughout the La Crosse, WI, area, providing highly effective representation in even the most difficult cases. They proudly make high-quality legal services available to everyone, with free initial consultations and no fees unless they succeed in collecting benefits on your behalf. See their full list of legal services online, or call (608) 785-3900 to schedule a consultation with a workers' comp attorney today.