Workers’ compensation claims in Arizona

Workers' compensation laws ensure that employees are not without protection when injured at work. Workers' compensation provides a way for employees to get paid for expenses they have incurred because of their work-related injury.

"Medical only" and "time lost" claims

Generally, there are two types of workers' compensation claims that can be made. The first kind is a "medical only" claim. Medical only claims cover medical expenses but do not cover expenses for missed time at work. A claim is considered a medical only claim when the individual did not miss more than seven days of work due to his or her injuries. Once a claim is approved, the injured worker can assume that all of his or her medical expenses due to the work-related injury will be paid by workers' compensation.

The second type of claim is called a time lost claim. Time lost claims cover medical expenses as well as lost time at work, as long as the individual missed work for more than seven days. The seven days, however, do not have to be in a row, they can be accumulated from all of the days that the employee has to miss work due to the injury. Compensation for the missed days is at just over 66 percent of the individual's regular wage.

What to do when injured on the job

If you have been injured on the job, there are some important steps you need to take in order to ensure a smooth workers' compensation claim process. First, if you are injured on the job, you should tell your doctor and your employer about your injury and that it is job-related.

Workers who tell their doctors that an injury is work-related should receive a pink form from their doctors. By signing this pink form, the worker begins the application process to receive workers' compensation. The form must then be received by the Industrial Commission in order to be accepted. If you did not fill out a pink form, a different form, called a "Worker's Report of Injury," can be filled out later and submitted to the Industrial Commission.

It is the individual's responsibility to file the claim and to ensure that it was properly filed within one year of the injury. Any files, documents and hearing requests are the responsibility of the individual as well, and following the correct procedure is crucial.

Because of the attention to detail involved in filing a workers' compensation claim, it is often beneficial to have the help of legal professional. Workers' compensation lawyers are well equipped to help an individual file an initial claim, as well as fight a denied claim.