Workers Compensation in Arizona
You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Arizona state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Arizona workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Arizona?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona’s non-fatal workplace illness and injury rates are significantly higher than the national average. As well, the top three occupational fields with the most nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses are trade, transportation & utilities, education & health services, and local government. The Industrial Commission of Arizona reports the maximum average monthly benefit is $5,030.33 per month.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Arizona?
There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Arizona workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss.
The Industrial Commission of Arizona stipulates that employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the number of workers they have, whether those workers are part-time, full-time, minors, or aliens. Arizona has a “no fault” system in which an injured employee is entitled to receive benefits no matter who caused the accident. While Arizona has a benefits schedule for physical injuries, proving a claim for mental health is more difficult. However, police officers can claim benefits if diagnosed with PTSD because of extraordinary job stress.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Arizona are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from an Arizona healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.
Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report. One that details the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Arizona workers comp works.
In Arizona, it is the injured worker’s responsibility to file a claim within one year of the date of injury. A claim can be made by filing a Worker’s Report of Injury with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier is then notified of the claim, and has 21 days to accept or deny it. If the claim is denied, the employee must file a Request for Hearing with the Commission. Within 90 days from the date of the denial notice.
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report with the report of injury.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point. Either about the incident, or to find any possible witnesses to the event.
In Arizona, Workers’ Compensation Insurance provides an injured employee with partial lost wages if they have to miss more than seven consecutive calendar days of work. The first seven days of lost earnings are not paid unless at least 14 days are missed. However, if 14 days or more are missed, compensation for all previous missed days, except for the first day, will be paid.
Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In learning how Arizona workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire an Arizona workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Arizona
Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky. You should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Arizona state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!