Workers’ comp is a system in the US to protect all employees from injury. Any employee who is injured while working is guaranteed the right to have all expenses resulting from that injury completely compensated. However, you need to be aware of the process in order to get the compensation you are owed. It is possible for your claim to be rejected. In a perfect world, this would never happen, but sometimes administrative errors or malicious actions can deny workers the coverage they are supposed to receive. This guide will go over what forms you should and should not sign to be certain your compensation will not be denied.
What Not to Sign
Let’s begin with the forms you should not sign, as this is a much simpler concept. There are only three types of forms that can hurt you, which you should avoid signing. These are:
- Forms which state things happened differently than you remember them
- Form which waive your employers’ responsibility to provide workers’ comp
- Forms which agree to a settlement outside of workers’ comp
If you avoid signing any forms that fall into one of these categories, you will be completely safe. If you have any worries about a form your employer gives you to sign, you should run it by your attorney before signing it.
If you sign something that says the injury happened differently than you believe it did, then you are legally agreeing that it really happened that way. Your testimony is no longer valid, and this untrue account may deny you your compensation.
It is a little easier to see how the other two types of forms can be used to harm you. It is easy for an employer, or someone else, to take advantage of you if you sign your name to one of these forms.
What to Sign
It is hard to know exactly what forms you should sign because the specific forms vary from one state to the next. Once you report your injury to your employer, he or she is legally obligated to file a workers’ comp claim. As long as you do not sign any of the forms described above, you should be safe to sign anything your employer gives you. Generally, you should trust your employer to guide you through the process, because your employer is the one obligated to handle most of the filing. If you have any doubt in your employers’ trustworthiness, you should immediately speak with a workers’ compensation attorney, like a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into what workers’ compensation forms you should and should not sign after being involved in a work-related injury.