You were injured at work. What’s next? If this is a job-related injury, you can file a claim and seek compensation for your losses under Arizona’s workers’ compensation system. There is a standard procedure that injured employees and workers must follow. Also, you need to consider hiring a Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyer for your case. Below are important aspects to consider, besides guide on when and how to hire an attorney.
Immediately after the accident/injury
- First things first, inform your supervisor or employer immediately after the injury. You need to do this as soon as you can.
- Next, you need to file a claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA), which handles such claims. You need to file the claim within a year, from the date of injury.
- Focus on your treatment. You need to seek medical treatment, which may mean losing out on work, depending on how serious your injuries are. Make sure that you have evidence of all the medical bills and expenses incurred by you.
If your claim is denied, you need to request a hearing within 90 days through the Industrial Commission.
Why do you need a workers’ compensation lawyer?
Firstly, insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and they often deny claims on flimsy grounds. You must hire a lawyer, so that you can protect your rights and interests. Experienced attorneys know all aspects of the workers’ compensation system, and they can work to get a fair settlement for their clients. If your claim is denied for a reason, they can take care of the further process and help in navigating through the laws. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations that must be adhered to, so you don’t have a lot of time to decide about hiring a lawyer.
Other things to consider
Hiring a lawyer is more important if you have sustained serious injuries, or are likely to suffer from permanent or temporary disabilities, which may impact your future income. Also, if you had a preexisting condition, the insurance company would use this as a reason to deny your claim, which is also why hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer is necessary.
Depending on the facts and work involved, your workers’ compensation lawyer may work on a contingency basis, charge an hourly rate, or work on a retainer fee. Make sure that you are aware of the process and how things may pan out in months ahead.