Were You Hurt on the Job When Nobody Was Looking?
When workplace accidents occur without any witnesses, workers’ compensation claims are often denied without proper reporting procedures and details that show proof of injuries.
Are Witnesses to Workplace Injuries Necessary?
In most cases, workplace accidents and injuries happen around other workers who can verify the details of the incident. If a job-related injury occurs with no witnesses, however, claims for workers’ compensation benefits will often be denied initially. Following proper procedures to establish proof can result in claim acceptance.
Reporting the Injury
When an unwitnessed workplace injury occurs, it’s essential to report the injury to a supervisor, manager, or employer right away. This will validate the time and place of the injury. Once the employer is notified of the injury, he/she has 14 days to accept or deny the claim. The employer must also file an accident report with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within 30 days. If the claim is denied, an appeal for a hearing can be filed by a workplace injury lawyer.
Seeking Immediate Medical Treatment
Immediate medical treatment is essential for a work-related injury. In most cases, an employer will refer an injured employee to a certain physician who is on an approved list established by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The physician will keep detailed reports on the employee’s injury and note progress on improvements. The physician’s medical records will substantiate proof of temporary or permanent injuries and/or disabilities.
Filing a Timely Claim
One of the most common reasons a workers’ compensation claim is denied is because a worker fails to report the injury soon enough. When injury reports are delayed, employers often question their validity and the Workers’ Compensation Commission may deny the claim. To avoid problems with claims and benefits, workers who suffer a work-related injury should report the incident without delay.
Illinois workers’ compensation benefits are paid by the insurer, but insurance premiums are paid by employers to cover their employees. Since premiums are costly, many employers worry about fraudulent claims. When workplace injuries are not witnessed by an objective party like a coworker, supervisor, or manager, some employers are hesitant to accept the injured worker’s account of the accident. Workers should follow all regulations when reporting workplace injuries to ensure that claims are not denied.