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What are the Best Tips for Filling out a Workers' Compensation Application?

Article Details
  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many solid tips that would apply to filling out a Workers' Compensation Application and most of them have to do with time. Although it varies by region, most businesses require notification of an accident within 24 to 48 hours. From there, a Workers' Compensation Application would be provided by the employer, and strict time limits would apply to submitting it as well. In the meantime, the injured person has to decide if they should visit a physician or seek legal counsel as well. Documenting the entire process is another critical factor in case the accident is ever reviewed within a court room.

Many workers make the mistake of assuming that there is plenty of time to decide whether or not the injury is serious enough to require medical help. There are normally very strict time limits, however. Even if medical assistance is ultimately not required, the employer should be notified immediately to avoid legal complications.

After an employer is notified, he should provide the worker with a Workers' Compensation Application to fill out. It will ask basic questions like when the injury occurred, what safety procedures were followed, and who was notified of the accident. Since this document could potentially be later used in court as evidence, it is essential for the worker to be as descriptive as possible. Things like the names of witnesses and the steps taken directly after the accident are very important.

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Although there are time constraints that pertain to completing a Workers' Compensation Application, the employee should seek immediate medical attention if the injury is serious. The hospital will note in the person's records that the injury occurred while he was working, and in many areas, this alone meets the initial standard of reporting the injury to the employer. An official application should be completed by the worker as soon as possible, but it is not necessary to receive medical assistance.

Sometimes there may also be a document that the company provides for a summary of the accident, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the Workers' Compensation Application. This document is for the business's internal records only, and it is often used to make a preliminary statement against the employee. For example, if an eye injury occurred and the worker was not wearing safety goggles, it could be used to reduce the business's overall liability if the matter ever went to court.

Another factor that an injured employee should consider is legal representation. An attorney can complete the Workers' Compensation Application on the employee's behalf, and in many cases, it may be to that person's benefit. There is no specific guideline that states when a lawyer would or would not be required, but it is normally a decision that should be made as quickly as possible.

One of the biggest mistakes that employees make is allowing the employer to control how or when a Workers' Compensation claim is handled. To avoid this type of scenario, a worker should document as much as possible regarding the injury and all treatment that is administered. Little facts like equipment malfunctions or poor safety procedures can have a large impact on an eventual settlement, so the employee should always retain as much information regarding the incident as possible.

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