I’ve been hurt at work. What now?
Immediately report the work injury or illness to your supervisor and/or human resources department, and make sure your employer fills out a Form 1, also called the First Report of Injury. You must report your injury to your employer within six months of learning you have a work-related illness or injury.
Make sure the Form 1 is filed with the Vermont Department of Labor. Your employer is supposed to file the Form 1 within 48 hours. Call the Vermont Department of Labor to confirm your claim has been filed at 802-828-2286. If it is not filed, file your own report of injury on a Form 5. This form can be provided to you by the Department of Labor. A workers compensation claim cannot be pursued if it is not filed with the Department of Labor within six years.
Your employer has purchased insurance to cover workers compensation claims. Workers compensation claims are handled by insurance companies, not by your employer. Ask your employer the name of the insurance company, the phone number, and your claim number.
The insurance company should send you a medical release, called a Form 7, for your signature authorizing it to get your medical records. Make sure the release is limited to the records related to this injury or other similar prior injuries. You will want to see all medical records related to your claim, so when you send the insurance company the signed release ask them, in writing, to send you copies of all medical records they obtain.
The insurance company has 21 days to accept or deny the claim. During this time, they may review the medical records related to your injury and investigate the claim. That investigation can include talking to you, talking to your employer, and talking to your co-workers. If the insurance company accepts the claim, they will start paying the associated benefits. To determine what benefits you may be entitled to, visit the WC Benefits section. If the insurance company denies the claim, it must file a Form 2 – Denial of Workers Compensation Benefits with the VT Department of Labor.
Get a copy of the Form 2 if your claim is denied. If the insurance company denies your claim, you should appeal the denial by completing the bottom section of the Form 2 and sending it back to the Vermont Department of Labor.
Important Differences About Workers Comp Claims
A workers compensation claim is different than other types of legal claims. A workers compensation claim can be open for the rest of your life because any future problems you may have that are directly related to the work injury are included in your claim. The benefits you may get from your claim will likely change over time. However, your benefits cannot stop unless you are given written notice.
The only time your weekly benefits can stop without written notice, is if you successfully return to work. If your benefits stop, without written notice, contact me. To learn more about the different stages of a workers compensation claim, visit the other sections of this website.
Save copies of everything.
Save all documents sent to you by the insurance company and the Department of Labor. Keep copies of everything you send to the insurance company and the Department of Labor. Ask the insurance company, in writing, to send you copies of all medical records it obtains, or get copies of all the medical records yourself.
If you have injuries to more than one body part, make sure you tell your doctor and the insurance company as soon as you realize it.
Get a written explanation of every decision the insurance company makes, including:
Why it denied the claim
Why it is denying or refusing to pay a medical bill
How it came up with your Average Weekly Wage (AWW) and your weekly benefit amount
Why it is terminating or lowering the temporary wage replacement benefit (TTD)
How it came up with the amount of permanency benefits (PPD)
**Don’t sign anything unless you completely understand and agree with all the information on the paper you are signing.
Call Our Rutland, VT Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been seriously injured, our Rutland, VT personal injury law firm is here to provide you support, guidance, and representation as you seek damages. Please call us today for a free consultation. We can begin working on your case immediately.