Claim Requirements & Possible Roadblocks
In order to approve a claim, The Workers' Compensation Board requires comprehensive documentation for injuries. Injured workers should make sure to follow these steps:
- See a doctor - If your injury is an emergency situation, make sure to seek medical care immediately. This will help to limit the damage and begin the process of providing proof for your WC claim.
- Submit an injury report - You should file an official injury report with your employer as soon as you can. Be as detailed as possible, including how, when, and where the injury occurred. The state recommends that you do this within 21 days. After 120 days, it's highly likely that you will no longer be permitted to file a claim. The WC Board tends to look favorably on promptly filed forms.
- Make sure your employer files a report - When you miss a day from work as a result of your injury, your employer is required to file a first report of injury.
- Request a doctor's report - Contact your doctor within 48 hours of your first examination and ask for an initial report. This is a key step in the record keeping process.
- If denied, file an appeal - If your claim gets denied, you should file an appeal as soon as possible. We highly recommend enlisting the guidance of an attorney during the appeals process.
Your claim could be denied for a number of reasons, but common ones include:
- Your employer disputed the claim
- You filed the report late
- Differences between your medical records and injury report
Hazards In The Warehousing Industry
Warehouse work requires heavy lifting, powerful machinery, and repetitive movements. It's extremely important to follow proper safety standards in this industry. OSHA has identified the following potential hazards:
- Unsafe use of forklifts
- Improper stacking of products
- Failure to use proper personal protective equipment
- Failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedures
- Inadequate fire safety provisions
- Repetitive motion injuries.
Failure to follow safety protocol greatly increases the chance of an injury. The top 10 safety violations cited by OSHA are:
- Hazard communication
- Electrical, wiring methods
- Electrical, system design
- Guarding floor & wall openings and holes
- Mechanical power transmission
- Respiratory protection
- Portable fire extinguishers
Warehouse employees are at risk of injuries in accidents, as well as injuries which accumulate over long periods of time. Repetitive motion often causes a great deal of stress to certain areas of the body. Workers also may be struck by heavy machinery, slip and fall on slick surfaces, or fall from high elevations.
Specific injuries which frequently result in a Workers' Comp claim include:
- Back and shoulder
- Leg and knee
- Head and neck
- Broken bones
Regardless of your type of injury, you qualify for Worker's Comp if it forces you to miss time at work.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
While you are permitted to seek Workers' Comp on your own, your claim is much more likely to be accepted if you have an experienced work injury lawyer by your side. Your employer's insurance carrier has their own lawyers who look to maximize company profits by finding reasons to limit or deny coverage. It's only fair that you have a legal representative with knowledge of the claims process to fight for your rights as a worker.
Third-Party Liability & Personal Injury Claims
Additionally, a lawyer can help determine if third party liability applies to your case. If someone other than your coworkers or employer caused your injury through negligent behavior, they may be found liable for your injury expenses in a personal injury claim. For example, if a defective forklift caused you to be injured in an accident, the manufacturer could be held liable.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
At Monheit Law, our lawyers are prepared to guide you through all aspects of the claims process, including:
- Gathering sufficient evidence for a claim
- Filing necessary forms and meeting deadlines
- Appealing denied claims
- Investigating additional routes for compensation, such as a personal injury claim
At Monheit Law, you pay nothing upfront. We will evaluate your case for free in an initial consultation, and will only require payment if we successfully earn compensation for you.