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Sustaining an injury at work is no cakewalk, but the good news is that most employees in Arizona are able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are harmed while performing work-related duties. However, not all work injury claims are straightforward. In Order to recover compensation for medical bills and lost income, several elements must be in place.

Elements of a Successful Workers’ Compensation Claim

Seeking Prompt Medical Treatment

As soon as you realize you may have sustained a workplace injury or illness, you need to seek medical treatment. Even if you think your symptoms are not severe or that you may recover quickly, go to the doctor and let the doctor know that the incident occurred as a result of workplace responsibilities. No symptom is too minor when it comes to seeking medical care for a suspected workplace injury or illness. Having medical documentation is the best way to recover compensation through a workers’ comp claim.

Typically, the reporting deadline clock for workplace injuries does not begin ticking until a person knows or should have known about their injury.

Reporting the Injury to Your Employer

Individuals should notify their employer in writing of the injury or illness within 15 days of becoming aware of it. There may be an extension to this reporting deadline if events beyond their control prevent them from giving notice within this 15-day time frame, but we encourage every person to report incidents to their employer as promptly as possible.

Filing the Actual Workers’ Compensation Claim On Time

The injury reporting deadline is only one of two deadlines you need to be aware of. The actual workers’ compensation claim must be filed within one year from the date the employer was notified. Failing to file the workers’ compensation claim within this one-year time frame will likely result in the employee becoming unable to recover compensation for their losses.

Continuing Medical Treatments

Workplace injury and illness victims in New Mexico should continue all medical treatments recommended by the physician handling their work injury claim. This includes recommended physical therapies and rehabilitation, the use of medical devices, and any time away from work required. Failing to follow through with a medical professional’s recommendations could jeopardize the work injury claim.

The treating physician will determine when the workplace injury or illness victim has reached maximum medical recovery (MMI), which is the point a person reaches when any additional treatment will likely not improve their condition further.

Work injury or illness victims should closely follow a doctor’s orders, including any orders to limit activity. For example, if a doctor recommends that a person take a specific amount of time off of work to recover, that person would not do themselves any favors by going on a beach vacation or a hike in the mountains. Unfortunately, many individuals have lost work injury settlements because they failed to follow their doctor’s orders.

Working With an Attorney

It is not uncommon for individuals to face challenges when trying to receive compensation after sustaining A workplace injury or illness. A skilled workplace accident lawyer in Phoenix can help you through this process. An attorney can examine the facts of your case and handle all communication with the insurance carriers or your employer. Your lawyer can help guide you through the process of negotiating a fair settlement and handling the appeals process if your claim gets denied.