If you were recently injured at work, you may be wondering how to file a workers’ comp claim in Oklahoma. You have come to the right place.
This article discusses the steps to take to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to as well as how long you have to file a workers’ comp claim.
When to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
You should file a workers’ comp claim if you have been injured while on the job and performing your normal duties.
For instance, if you work as a supermarket checkout clerk and hurt your back while bagging groceries, you would be entitled to file a claim.
But if you are injured while running a personal errand during your lunch break, which is not part of your regular job duties, you may be unable to seek workers’ comp benefits.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
Oklahoma has specific requirements for filing a workers’ compensation claim and particular steps to follow. An injured employee must comply with specific rules and procedures to be eligible for benefits.
Seek Medical Treatment and Follow the Doctor’s Orders
If you are severely injured while working, you should always seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Whether you only suffer a minor injury or require additional medical treatment after emergency services, it is imperative to follow the medical advice of your doctors.
An employer may choose an employee’s treating physician.
However, if the employer fails to provide medical treatment within seven days of your injury, you may select your treating physician at your employer’s expense (i.e., they will have to reimburse your cost).
Typically, your treating physician’s role is to evaluate your injury, provide treatment recommendations and referrals, and advise whether you can resume work while you are recovering.
Give Your Employer Notice
You must promptly inform your employer of your accident, injury, or illness. Typically, this must occur within 30 days of the injury.
If you fail to notify your employer within that time frame, they may challenge your ability to seek benefits. It is an excellent idea to notify your employer in writing of what occurred and what injuries you sustained.
We encourage anyone who may have suffered a work-related injury to notify their employer immediately to preserve their rights.
File a Claim
To file a claim for workers’ comp benefits, you must complete and file a Form 3 Employee’s First Notice of Accidental Injury and Claim for Compensation with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your employer can also submit this form to their insurance company or the court.
Importantly, you must formally file your claim within one year from the date of your injury. Failure to do so may permanently bar you from receiving benefits.
Continue with Treatment
While your claim proceeds through the workers’ comp process, you must continue with all medical treatment.
Generally, you will continue treatment until your physician determines you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
MMI means you have either made a full recovery or reached the point where no further medical treatment will improve your injury or condition.
The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission provides a “Guide for Injured Workers.”.
You can use this as a valuable reference guide or contact our Cottrell Law Office team to answer your questions and assist you with your claim.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Hiring an attorney to file an Oklahoma workers’ compensation claim is not legally required. However, we strongly encourage all injured employees to consult with a lawyer.
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you seamlessly file your claim and maximize your benefits.
Failing to comply with procedures or making errors on your forms can cause unnecessary delays.
Cottrell Law Office: Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Suffering from an injury or illness due to your job can be scary. You might fear being unable to provide for your family and how you will pay for necessary medical treatment.
However, you will not have to worry about unnecessary physical, emotional, or financial stress with the right advocate.