Injured at Work?: How to File a Worker’s Compensation Claim

If you are injured at work, the first thing you need to do is report the injury to your supervisor. Many employers have workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job. In Arizona, it is your employer’s responsibility to report the injury to their workers’ compensation insurance company and to file an Employer’s Report of Injury with the Industrial Commission. This is required to be completed within ten days.

After being injured at work, once your employer has received the Report of Injury form, they will contact you to discuss your options for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include medical treatment, wage replacement, and death benefits. In most cases, you will be able to continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits until you are able to return to work.

Arizona is a “no fault” system for workers’ compensation. This means that regardless of who is at fault the injured worker is entitled to medical treatment and indemnity payments if the injury is work-related.

Get A Medical Evaluation

Injured at work?  Get your injury evaluation online at Injury Medical

When injured at work, in most cases, your employer may direct you to a doctor of their choice for ONE visit. After the ONE visit, you may report to a doctor of your choice. The provider’s office or doctor should submit the Worker’s and Physicians First Report of Injury after your first visit.

WARNING: If you make a SECOND visit to the employer’s doctor, you have established that doctor as your treating doctor and may not be able to change doctors. IF you are not satisfied with your employer’s doctor for any reason do not return for any follow-up including on the phone. Go and see a doctor or nurse practitioner who will work for you and not your employer. In Arizona, you can request a referral here.

Start Treatment

After your evaluation, you should receive a treatment plan and work status report. Your plan will often include medications for pain, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and imaging. It may include a referral to a specialist. If you are in agreement with the plan for treatment and with the time off you are being given or work restrictions being ordered then stick with it and do not make changes to your plan without talking to your doctor. If you do not agree, speak up. Ask your doctor to show you the guideline he or she used to determine how much time off you are being allowed and the work restrictions being recommended.

Insurance Claim Decision

While you are starting your treatment, you will have had a claim opened at your employer’s insurance company or with a Claims Administrator. You will also have an adjuster assigned who will make a determination to accept your claim or to deny it. If they accept it you will be entitled to medical treatment and after a 7-day waiting period, a lost wage payment equal to 60% of your regular pay on any missed wages caused by your injury. If you are able to work and your doctor returns you to work you will not be paid for lost wages.

Denied Claims

If the adjuster initially denies your claim and you know that you were injured at work you have the right to appeal their decision. If you chose to stay with your employer’s doctor be prepared for them to discharge you with no further treatment. If you went with your own doctor talk to them and let them know you are appealing the decision, often they will continue your care while that is pending.

Contact An Attorney

If you were injured at work and ave any questions about workers’ compensation or how to file a claim, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

The Industrial Commission also publishes a guide for injured workers. You can download it here or on the Industrial Commission’s website. There you can also find forms that are commonly used in Workers’ Compensation claims by injured workers, providers, and employers.

Thanks for reading! We hope this blog post was helpful in explaining what to do if you’re injured at work and how to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Author’s Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice after being injured at work , please contact an attorney. Thank You!

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