Being injured on the job can make life tough. Not only will you probably burn through your paid time off quickly, if you even have any, meaning that you’ll be unable to earn your wage, but you’ll also have medical bills that will be coming due. These medical expenses can be pretty extensive, too, even if you have good health insurance. As a result, without assistance, you might find it hard to find financial stability and obtain needed care while you focus on recovering your health.
This is where a workers’ compensation claim may help. If you’re successful on one of these claims, you can recover the money you need to offset your medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, and you can also recoup some of your lost wages.
Why you shouldn’t delay your claim
Yet, far too many injured workers put off seeking workers’ compensation benefits. They may do so merely because they have so much to contend with in the aftermath of their accident, which is understandable to a certain extent, or they may just be daunted by the process. Regardless, delaying the claims process can jeopardize your ability to recover the financial resources that you need and allow you to focus on your recovery. Here’s how:
- You have to meet certain deadlines: State law requires that certain actions be taken within a specified period of time in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For example, your employer only has seven days after your fifth day of disability to report your injury to the Department of Industrial Accidents. Therefore, you need to make sure that you report your injury to your employer in a timely fashion. Then, within 14 days, the workers’ compensation insurer must determine whether it’s going to pay you benefits based on the facts at hand.
But if your employer fails to report your injury to its workers’ compensation insurer, the onus will fall on you to do so. You’ll need to fill out Form 110 in order to specify your injuries and how they affect your ability to work.
- You have to meet the statute of limitations: There is also a timeframe within which you need to file your claim if you hope to recover compensation. Under Massachusetts law, you have to file your workers’ compensation claim within four years of discovering that there’s a connection between your injury or illness and your job. Therefore, you can’t just sit on your claim. You need to be active in gathering your evidence and taking legal action if you hope to recover the compensation that you need.
- You might become complacent: We don’t mean this in a negative way. It’s just that people get used to living their lives and they adapt as needed. But you don’t want to delay your claim so long that you get comfortable simply getting by. Instead, you should use your anger and frustration as motivation to push your workers’ compensation claim toward the resolution that you need and deserve.
Are you ready to seek the compensation that you need?
A workplace injury can upend life as you know it. But you don’t have to let it ruin your life. In fact, there’s a good chance that you may be able to recover the compensation you need to offset your losses while retaining financial stability.
It’s not always an easy endeavor, though. That’s why if you’ve been injured on the job, you might want to think about discussing your circumstances with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney of your choosing. Hopefully, you can successfully navigate the process while making the arguments that you need to protect your interests.