How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Arizona
May 31, 2017
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefits program that compensates employees for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from a workplace injury or illness.
Although Arizona law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, many claims are often denied.
This guide will explain the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Arizona. If you have any further questions or need help filing a claim, do not hesitate to contact our Phoenix workers’ compensation attorneys.
Report Your Injury
It is your responsibility to promptly inform your employer as soon as you are able about any injury or illness you acquire while working.
Failing to immediately inform your employer of an injury or illness could affect the value of your claim by decreasing or even eliminating your ability to obtain workers’ compensation.
When you notify your employer, you should provide as much detail as possible, including:
- The time, date and location of the accident
- The cause of your accident
- The symptoms you are experiencing
Your employer might also request that you fill out a written accident report. This can be a valuable piece of evidence that can be used if there is a dispute with your claim. For this reason, you should be as accurate as possible.
Once you have notified your employer of your injury, he or she has 10 days to complete the Employer Report of Injury Form and submit it to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) and to the company’s insurer.
It is important to note, however, that this form is only a report of the incident and is not a claim. It does not begin the process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits.
Consult a Medical Professional
After you have informed your employer of your injury or illness, your next step should be to seek medical attention to diagnose your condition.
Most employers have the right to require that you see a doctor of their choosing. However, you are only required to see that doctor for one visit. If you choose to make a second visit to your employer’s chosen doctor, you will establish that doctor as your treating medical practitioner.
If an employer is self-insured, such as a large corporation like Walmart, it can require that you receive treatment from a doctor of its choosing. However, your employer should provide several options for you to choose from.
During your initial medical consultation, the doctor will diagnose your condition and prescribe any necessary treatment. Make sure to advise your doctor that your injury occurred on-the-job.
Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury Form
While in the emergency room or doctor’s office, the doctor should provide you with a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury Form. Both you and your physician will have to complete portions of this form.
The doctor will provide details about your injury and treatment, including your expected date of recovery and if your injury or illness will render you permanently or temporarily disabled.
The “Worker’s Report” requires that the worker provide the time, date, location and cause of your injury or illness, along with other information about yourself and your employer.
The doctor will then have eight days to submit this report to the ICA. One copy must also be sent to your employer and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.
If you do not complete this form while at the emergency room or doctor’s office, you can also submit a Worker’s Report of Injury Form, where you will be asked to provide details about your injury and how it happened. This form must be submitted within one year of acquiring your injury.
Signing either of these forms and submitting them to the ICA, will begin the claims process.
Approving or Denying Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Once the ICA receives your forms, your employer’s insurer will be notified of your claim and you will receive a letter with information about the insurance carrier.
If you do not receive a letter within 14 days of the injury, you should contact the ICA to determine the status of your claim.
Once the insurer receives your claim, it will make its decision to approve or deny benefits within 21 days from the date of notification.
The insurance company will likely investigate your claim to determine if your recommended benefits truly reflect your injury.
During its investigation, the insurer may perform the following:
- Review your medical records taken before and after the accident
- Analyze your work experience, education and wages at the time of your injury
- Order a medical examination to evaluate your injury or illness
- Assess your ability to perform other work duties
We recommend that you remain accurate and honest throughout the insurance company’s investigation.
Workers’ compensation benefits are often very expensive for insurers to cover, which means an investigator will look carefully for any inconsistencies or dishonesty in your statements or medical reports. If you provide inaccurate information, it will likely cause your claim to be denied.
If your claim is approved, you should immediately start receiving compensation for medical expenses and disability benefits.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you need help filing your workers’ compensation claim, or were denied the benefits you deserve, do not hesitate to contact Phillips Law Group’s Phoenix workers’ compensation attorneys.
We will work with you to ensure your claim is properly filed and reflects the true damages you have suffered because of your workplace injury or illness.
Our initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation to hire our firm. All of our work is provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we cover the costs of our legal services. We only require payment if we recover damages for your claim.
Call 1-800-706-3000 to get started today.
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