Workers Compensation in Phoenix, AZ
You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” 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 Phoenix, AZ workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Phoenix, Arizona?
The U.S. Bureau of Statistics reports over 2.8 million people in Arizona experienced work-related illness or injury in 2019. While that’s terrible for the state, consider that over 436,000 Phoenix residents have jobs in transportation, trade, and utilities alone. According to the Department of Labor, 17.2 out of every 100 workers in those industries had a job-related incident at work in 2019. That means over 74,900 people needed workers’ compensation for only one industry in Phoenix.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Phoenix, Arizona?
Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim.
The law in Phoenix, Arizona says any organization with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. A small number of exemptions exist for musicians, railroad workers, or real estate brokers. Like most states, after approval, you’re paid ⅔ of your average monthly salary as compensation for lost wages. You can also receive ongoing care for your illness or injury, along with coverage for repetitive injuries if deemed necessary.
For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Phoenix, AZ 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 seeking help from a Phoenix, AZ healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.
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. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either 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
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 bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
Your employer must file an Employer’s Report of Injury with the Industrial Commission of Arizona after you notify them. The insurer has up to sixty days to follow-up with an acceptance or denial of your claim. If you’re approved, as of 2020, the most you can receive in Phoenix is $4,888.56 per month for your lost wages. With that said, the actual amount the state will pay you is usually ⅔ of your average pay. Based on the last 52 weeks.
Timeline and Other Information
The minimum waiting period for workers’ compensation payments in Phoenix is seven days. Once your illness or injury persists past that point, your benefits will begin. Unlike a significant number of states, those days get counted by calendar days instead of days away from work. After the insurance carrier receives the information about your case, they have 21 days to either accept or deny the claim. Benefits cap out at 500 weeks, which is ample time. However, you don’t want to delay filing for permanent disability if it’s warranted.
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. Typically about the incident and to any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.
Why You Should Hire a Phoenix, Arizona Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Phoenix, Arizona, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you were hurt on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Phoenix workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Phoenix, Arizona
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Phoenix, AZ you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!