As an employee, it is important to understand the timeline of the workers' compensation process in case you ever have to file after being injured on the job. Here are the steps that you will go through.
Report The Injury
The first steps happen right after the injury occurs. You'll need to report the injury to your supervisor, who will then make a formal report about what happened. The employee is then responsible for making a workers' compensation claim.
Receive Medical Care
Any serious injury that qualifies for workers' compensation will require medical attention to treat it. It is up to the employee to start immediate medical attention and start their treatment process. Delaying treatment will cause problems with the workers' compensation process since it demonstrates that the injury wasn't serious or that an injury didn't really happen.
You will start receiving benefits related to your injury, which includes compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses related to the injury. This will help you cover your bills during the recovery process.
Return To Work If Possible
When you are able to work with restrictions, your employer can have you return to work and perform a different job within your ability. For example, if you were doing a job that required physical labor, you may be requested to perform a desk job within your capabilities. If you eventually reach full recovery, you will resume your old job.
Reach Maximum Improvement
If your injury leaves you in a state that you will never fully recover, you'll eventually reach what is considered your maximum medical improvement level. Your doctor will help decide what your disability rating is, which helps determine how much compensation you will receive moving forward.
Reach A Settlement
When your employer agrees with the disability rating, they can use that to determine what an appropriate settlement would be for your injury. You will be eligible to receive a settlement to help cover the expenses related to your injury moving forward. However, your employer may disagree about the injury rating and want to have the matter settled in court.
If you find yourself with an employer that wants to challenge your injury rating, be sure to work with a workers' compensation lawyer for assistance. They will work with you through the court hearing to ensure that you are receiving the settlement you deserve based on your physical abilities after your injury.