The goal of the workers’ compensation system is to provide financial relief and job security to workers injured during the course of their job duties. Oregon state law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage with only a few exceptions. If you sustain an injury at work and need to file a workers’ compensation claim, it’s a good idea to know what to expect from the complicated claims process.
Report the Injury ASAP
One of the most important parts of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim is your timeliness in completing and submitting the workers’ compensation claim form. Your employer must provide this form and all supplemental information as required by Oregon state law, so do not delay in reporting the injury and starting your paperwork. Any delay in reporting your injury could lead to a denial of your claim or significant delays in claim processing.
Undergo a Medical Examination
If you sustain a serious injury at work and require immediate emergency medical attention you may see any available doctor for necessary treatment. However, once your critical condition stabilizes or if your injury does not require immediate emergency care, you must see a doctor on your employer’s approved list of workers’ compensation doctors. This list contains several local doctors who will review your injury and assign you a disability rating based on the severity of the injury. This disability rating is used to determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits and the length of time you may continue receiving benefits.
Prepare for Diminished Income
Workers’ compensation benefits provide a percentage of an injured employee’s average weekly earnings on set schedule based on the severity of the employee’s injury. If you can return to light duty or resume other job duties and work with restrictions, it is possible to qualify for temporary partial disability to make up the difference between your restricted work wages and your normal earnings.
The workers’ compensation claims process is notoriously complicated, and many injured employees may need guidance, completed required paperwork and navigating the claims system. Contact Shlesinger & deVilleneuve today to schedule a free evaluation of your workers’ compensation case and we can let you know how we can help.