The Difference Between Injury Law and Worker’s Compensation Law
When you’re injured on a construction site, you expect your employer to help you, but sometimes your employer or the workers compensation insurance company for your company, may make it difficult for you to receive the benefits to which you are entitled, after you’ve been injured on the job. When that happens, you might feel like your head is spinning or that you have nowhere to turn for help. When you can’t get the compensation you need to pay for your medical care or to pay your bills while you’re unable to work, you may think that there is no way out and that your recovery is doomed. But the truth is that you don’t have to go through the pain and suffering, or the confusion of the process alone, although you do have to go through the process.
It is important to know that an injury claim and a worker’s compensation claim are different. Working with a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience in dealing with injuries for construction workers can help to ensure that the process goes smoothly, and that any roadblocks are swiftly moved out of your way.
The attorneys at the Breyer Law Offices, P.C. do whatever it takes to ensure that you receive the compensation you need for your recovery. We have been helping construction workers who were injured on the job for more than two decades to ensure fair outcomes. We work hard to help you understand the worker’s compensation process and how it differs than the injury claim process. All you have to do to get started on your recovery is to make one phone call to our offices. And if you’re unable to travel to meet with us don’t worry, we will travel to you.
Eligibility for Arizona Workers Compensation Claims vs. Negligence Claims
If you sustained Arizona construction job site injuries you may be wondering whether or not you’re eligible for workers compensation insurance payments. It’s a common confusing point. Sometimes your employer may even tell you that you are not eligible for compensation through this system, and may list off many reasons for which they believe you do not qualify for assistance. However, if you are employed with the company, whether part-time or full-time, and the company employs more than one person, they are required to maintain workers compensation insurance to take care of on the job injuries. Even if your employer is not ensured, you are still able to file a claim for the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA), which maintains a special fund to help compensate those individuals whose workplaces are not properly insured. And it’s important to remember, especially if you’re being bullied or “counseled” at work to not file a workers compensation claim, that even if the accident was your own fault you may still be eligible to receive benefits for your claim. And protecting your legal rights for your injuries and for your future requires you to file a claim, in addition to taking other necessary steps.
If you are injured by a third party, someone who is not part of your company, then you may have a negligence claim as well as a worker’s compensation claim. You, in fact, may need two different types of attorneys. You may have two difference claims. A claim for worker’s compensation and an injury claim. Working with a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience in dealing with injury claims and understands what types of claims you have can help to ensure you understand all of the steps you must take from beginning to end so that you don’t miss a single one.
Step-by-Step Process in Filing an Arizona Worker’s Compensation Claim (Remember, Worker’s Comp Differs from an Injury Claim)
When you’re injured on the job at an Arizona construction site, or any other job site, it is important that you follow all of the steps necessary to file an Arizona worker’s compensation claim and to remember that worker’s compensation is different than an injury claim. Following these steps helps to ensure that you do everything you are legally obligated to do so that your worker’s compensation claim is not denied based on a technicality but you still have to take the steps necessary to bring your injury claim which is an entirely different process. To ensure that your worker’s compensation claim gets started off right and that you get all of the help you need for your recovery follow these steps.
- Report your injury to your employer. When you are injured on the job, your first legal obligation is to report your injury to your employer. Your employer is obligated to provide you workers compensation insurance carrier information and to report the injury to their insurance company and to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) along with appropriate paperwork. When you report your injury, your workplace may require you to go to a physician of their choosing for treatment for your first appointment only. There may be some exceptions to this rule, especially if your injuries require emergency care at a hospital, although some workplaces do require employees to be taken to a specific hospital in the case of a need for emergency medical attention. Make sure that you do not go to the hospital or the doctor before alerting your employer to your need, unless it is a true emergency and you are unable to get a hold of your employer or anyone else in the office.
- See a doctor. It is best to seek medical care as soon as possible. Remember, your workplace may require you to see a specific physician or go to a specific clinic for your first visit, except in special cases, but this should not stop you from going to the doctor. If you do have to go to an outside doctor for your first appointment you should obtain a workers compensation injury form, which is also known as a Physician’s Report of Injury and is usually pink in color. If you don’t receive this from your doctor, you can talk to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) to receive the Worker’s Report of Injury form.
- File all the necessary paperwork for your claim quickly and completely. Once you have your Physician’s Report of Injury form, which you will receive no matter where you see a doctor (at a clinic of your choosing or your workplace’s choosing), or if you obtain the Worker’s Report of Injury form from the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) you are required to completely fill out the portions of these forms pertaining to you directly, attach any required documents and mail the documents via the US postal service to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA). It is advisable to keep a copy of all completed documents and attachments for your records and to attach tracking to your package through the postal service. This way you know when it has been received. You will be unable to receive benefits for your workplace injuries until you have properly filed all of this paperwork. Failing to file the paperwork in a timely fashion may also make it difficult to get started on receiving benefits since the ICA will have to go back through your claim to the start of your claim.
At the same time you are making sure that your worker’s compensation claim is being process, it is important to talk to an injury lawyer.
- It is important to talk to an injury lawyer so you understand the statute of limitations in your case. Most construction workers will have a one year statute of limitations or even as minimum as a 180 day notice of claim statute of limitations.
- An injury lawyer will make sure that all investigation paper work and documentation is taken. Many times investigations are necessary and need to be documented to discover whether or not a third party injury claim exists. Many times the evidence can be destroyed so it is necessary that the parties receive a letter to avoid any spoliation so that evidence is not destroyed.
- A personal injury lawyer will talk to witnesses and secure all statements and evidence. Securing all OSHA reports is important as well.
The Legal Team That Protects Your Rights
After a serious Arizona construction job site injury you need help getting your life back together and The Husband and Wife Law Team is here to fill that role. We will do whatever it takes to help you get the compensation you need and deserve for your recovery, to hold the liable parties responsible for your accident and injuries, and to help you find some peace of mind and heart. For help with your case reach out for a free, no obligation consultation with attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C.