In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident at your workplace or are suffering from any injury or medical condition that you suspect is connected to your work (such as back pain, neck pain or repetitive stress syndrome), it is very important that you do not give in to panic. Instead, you should make sure you take all the essential steps that will assure you of getting compensation for the damage you’ve suffered.
The first thing to do is to seek medical help. Your compensation and benefits will be calculated and paid from the date you began to receive treatment, so it is definitely in your best interests to get to a doctor as soon as possible. Make sure you disclose everything about the injury or condition to the best of your ability. If you had a previous injury or had suffered from a particular condition in the past, make it clear to the doctor how it has worsened as a result of your activities at work.
Informing your employer is another crucial step. Depending on the arrangement in your place of work, the particular person to whom you need to report may be a manager or your supervisor, or even a co-worker, in some situations. The Industrial Commission of Arizona specifically states: “It is the injured worker’s responsibility to make sure the injury is reported to the supervisor/employer as soon as an injury occurs or when the injured worker becomes aware of the condition.”
One mistake many injured workers make at this point is trying to push through the pain and continue to work in spite of the injury. Whether due to a reluctance to make a fuss in the workplace or for any other reason, this is a very bad idea. It will not only result in the injury worsening, it can harm the likelihood of your claim being successful.
At this point, getting in touch with an experienced workers compensation attorney is a crucial thing to do. With the help of the lawyer, you can make sure your claim is filed with the ICA. Doing that will serve to pre-empt any delays on the part of the insurance company on the basis of non-compliance with due process. Sometimes, your employer may file the claim on your behalf, but it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure it gets done properly.
Arizona’s laws stipulate that all claims for injury compensation must be filed within a year of the accident’s occurrence, but the earlier you file, the better. Work with your lawyer to file the claim as soon as you can so you can get your lost wages, medical expenses and any other benefits you’re entitled to as soon as possible.
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