How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
One of the common questions many small business owners have about the workers’ compensation process is “after a workplace injury or illness, how soon must I file a claim?”
When an employee gets hurt at work, the first priority should be to make sure the employee receives quick and appropriate medical care. Business owners should then report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier as quickly as possible. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require employers to report serious injuries within 24 hours and work-related fatalities within eight hours.
Immediate reporting is a major step in cost containment of any claim and is beneficial to all parties involved. Any delays in the reporting of illness or injury by an injured worker can result in delayed access to medical care. In some instances delayed medical care may lead to further injury, resulting in the need for additional treatment subsequently leading to higher medical costs. .
How to file a workers’ compensation claim:
Workers’ Compensation insurance carriers typically offer a number of ways to report claims. These include:
- Telephone – be prepared to provide your company’s policy number, a summary of the accident / injury, and the injured worker’s name and contact information.
- Email – carriers typically offer state-specific First Report of Injury forms which may be filled out and emailed to the carrier.
- Fax – a lot of carriers provide employers the opportunity to fax in their completed First Report of Injury forms.
- Injured Employee Hotline – EMPLOYERS® offers policyholders a phone hotline that is staffed 24/7 by registered nurses specifically trained to provide medical guidance over the phone for new work-related illnesses or injures. The Injured Employee Hotline also serves as a convenient way to report a claim for new work-related injury or illness.
Reporting a claim as quickly as possible is important for your employees and your business. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance carrier to see what helpful claims resources they offer to help guide you through the workers’ compensation process. Online claims kits, provider locators and claims check lists can help you be prepared in the event of workplace injury or illness.