If you have been injured on the job, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, they aren’t going to just be given to you as soon as you are injured—you’ll need to file a claim and then prove to your employer and their insurance company that you should receive these benefits. Insurance companies and employers have the right to investigate these claims in order to make sure they’re not paying for something they don’t have to by the terms of their policy, so this means you’ll need evidence to support you.
There are many different types of evidence, but the most important and effective type is documentation. When you are injured on the job, you’ll almost immediately start accumulating a rather substantial pile of paperwork, including invoices, receipts, time cards, and much more. It’s important that you keep each of these things since they could all be used to demonstrate the extent of the damages you sustain thanks to your injury, and thus make them part of your final settlement.
Here are five different types of documentation you should keep detailed records of:
- Medical records: These are perhaps the most important documentation you can obtain for your claim. Reports from a medical professional regarding the nature of your condition and how it is improving are the most substantial evidence that states you deserve benefits and that you should keep receiving them until you recover or your condition won’t improve further.
- Accident reports: The insurance company will likely want to know more about the incident which caused the claim and injuries listed in the medical records in the first place, so they’ll likely look for an accident report from your employer, the police, or any other source who may have taken an official record of what happened.
- Employment & pay records: One of the benefits you may be eligible to receive is replacement income from work you missed so that way you can at least continue to make your monthly bills that will still be due. In order to give you these benefits, your insurance company will likely need to see proof of your income, including several months’ worth of pay stubs to determine how much you are owed.
- Witness testimony: Did anyone see the accident which caused your injury? If so, their account of the incident is crucial to your case. If you know of any witnesses, take their contact information down, and if possible, have them write a statement that explains what they saw in as much detail as possible and keep it with the rest of your documentation.
- Communication records: If you receive an email from an insurance adjustor or someone from your employer pertaining to your claim, print it out and keep a copy of it. If you receive or make a phone call to one of these parties, write down the time of the call, who you spoke to, and what you spoke with them about. Keeping this record can help you set the story straight if an insurance company says you neglected your duty to stay in contact with them.