Questions we ask injured workers – As a Workers Compensation Attorney, Britton Morrell and colleague, Angelica, discuss four fundamental questions injured workers are asked and why. They also address how the answers are significant in helping you with your claim.
1) When were you injured?
Injured workers, one of the obscure rules, and many times a misconception is that you need to report your injury to your employer in writing within four days. Naturally, it’s best to give your employer written notice as soon as possible because having proof that the employer knows about the injury makes for a less complicated case. If the employer was never notified, it makes the situation a bit more challenging.
The date of your injury is important because, in some cases, there’s a 2-year statute of limitations. In that instance, we need to look at the case carefully to see if there’s a final admission that closed the claim. If the injury wasn’t reported and more than two years have gone by, we have to determine if the claim can still be pursued.
2) How long were you employed?
Your average weekly wage determines many of your benefits, and we need to know how far back to request wage records. It can also make things more difficult if you just got hired and, for example, you get injured during the first week of your employment. You can still get benefits, but it could be a bit more complicated.
3) Are you being treated for your work injury?
If you were directed to a specific medical clinic by your employer or insurance company, that indicates your employer and insurance company knew about your injury, and it’s an admitted claim. If a personal physician is treating you, there’s the possibility that your employer doesn’t know about your injury, and it’s not an admitted claim.
We’ll ask about your initial treatment—did your employer send you to the hospital, was it an emergency via ambulance, or did someone take you? We also need to know when you had your last medical appointment. The date is significant because if it was 4 or 6 weeks ago, it could mean that the insurance company is in the process of closing the claim, and we need to contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Typically, within 30 to 45 days after your last medical appointment, the insurance company is trying to close the claim, and you need to do certain things within the receipt of that final admission. It doesn’t matter if you signed off, or cashed the check, or didn’t get a check—if you don’t do certain things, then your claim is closed, and you’re stuck with what the insurance company gave you.
4) What about lost wages?
Were you salaried or hourly, how many hours did you work, and did you lose time from work because of your injury? If you did lose time, are you getting checks from the insurance company? If you are, then most likely it’s an admitted claim, and we don’t have to worry about that aspect.
Injured workers: When you call Kaplan Morrell, Attorneys at Law, and speak with a representative such as Angelica, she’s going to be asking a lot of questions to confirm that we can help you. We will then assign your case to the correct attorney. It also helps us to determine if we need to jump in quickly because of upcoming deadlines.