Workers Compensation in Tucson, 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 Tucson, AZ workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Tucson, Arizona?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Arizona’s nonfatal workplace illness and injury rate was higher than the national average. As well, the occupational field with the most nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses was trade, transportation and utilities. Recent data shows Tucson has almost a quarter of its private sector jobs in this high-risk field. Moreover, trade, transportation and utilities jobs grew 10% in Tucson over the last year. In fact it was the only sector to experience double digit growth. This could translate into increased workplace injuries in Tucson.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Tucson, 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 Industrial Commission of Arizona stipulates that employers with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Consequently, almost all Tucson employees are covered, starting on the first day of employment. Exceptions include domestics and independent contractors. Arizona’s no fault system allows an injured employee to receive benefits no matter who caused the accident. However, only certain first responders, such as Tucson police officers, are covered for PTSD because of extraordinary job stress.
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 Tucson, 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 Tucson, 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 that details the extent of the damage and how it occurs 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.
In Arizona, an injured worker has one year from the date of injury to file a claim. A claim can be made by filing a Worker’s Report of Injury with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The carrier must then accept or deny the claim within 21 days. If denied, the employee must file a Request for Hearing with the Commission within 90 days from the date of the denial notice. For residents of Tucson, hearings are at the Commission’s Tucson office at 2675 East Broadway.
Timeline and Other Information
In Arizona, Workers’ Compensation Insurance can provide an injured employee with lost wages equal to two thirds their average monthly wage, up to $5,030.33 per month. However, the first seven days of lost earnings are not paid unless at least 14 days are missed. If 14 days or more are missed, compensation for all previous missed days, except the first day, will be paid.
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 Tucson, Arizona Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Tucson, Arizona, in others it may be more difficult. Your employer may ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Tucson workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Tucson, Arizona
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Tucson, 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!