You are entitled to certain benefits when you are injured in a work-related accident or when are suffering from a work-related occupational illness. In most cases, workers' comp coverage means that you can be paid a disability wage based on your current wages and have your medical expenses paid as well. Some workers only feel the need to file a workers' comp claim after they are no longer working in a job. You may be able to gain benefits for a former job, but there a few things you should know before you take action and you should also prepare yourself for a challenge. Read on to find out more.
Time Rules About Filing Claims
Every state has its own workers' compensation carriers, boards, and rules. There are often time limits on the amount of time a worker has to file a claim and they vary by state. The more timely the claim, the easier it will be to have it approved. If you wait too long, it will be all too easy for the workers' comp carrier to claim that you weren't injured as a result of the job or that your injury was not severe enough to warrant a claim. You can be covered after you have left a job, but filing a claim as soon as possible is necessary. You should be prepared to explain why you waited as long as you did for filing. Some injuries take more time to become apparent and you may not have realized the seriousness of an injury until after you left the job. While no longer being employed could be a roadblock for gaining compensation, it does not have to be if you have good proof and file as soon as you become aware of the illness or injury.
Finding Corroboration for the Claim
For many on-the-job injuries, there are witnesses. Co-workers, supervisors, and others that were in the area and can attest to the accident can be called upon to help strengthen your claim. Unfortunately, tapping those witnesses could be more challenging after you've left the job. You likely won't have access to a location once you are no longer employed there. Additionally, trying to obtain video footage could be impossible. This is not a legal matter where you can subpoena the proof you need, so gathering evidence of your claim if it's disputed could be difficult.
It's best to know what you are up against ahead of time with a claim for a former job. Speak to a workers' compensation attorney for help so that you can be compensated fairly for your injuries.