Question: I ruptured a disc in February. Now I have re-ruptured in July, my doctors are saying now I can not return to the type of work I am doing now. My company is not real interested in any type of help. I have asked for an easier position and they say nothing is available. I am not on workers comp and was told I could file back in February but it wouldn’t do me any good they would deny my claim, so I didn’t file. I have used all my sick leave and vacation time. I will be off pay roll in a few days. Do you have any ideas?
Generally, you have two years to file your First Report Of Injury to the Bureau Of Workers Compensation making a claim for your injury. You are well within that two-year limitation and therefore it is not too late to make your claim. We would suggest that you file the claim regardless of someone telling you that the employer would deny the claim.
The problem with a claim that is not made right away is proof that you were injured in the course and scope of your employment. Hopefully, you reported your injury to your employer when you ruptured your disc in February. The employer would then have a record that you were injured in the course and scope of your job. We also assume that you sought medical treatment at the time of your injury. Since a ruptured disc is serious, we are sure you did seek medical treatment. Hopefully, the medical records will reflect the cause of your injury. Usually, the doctors or nurses will record on the medical chart how your injury occurred. If it states that you were injured while at work, that will be excellent proof that you were in fact, injured in the course and scope of your employment and the nature of the injury.
When you make application for a claim, the employer can certified the claim or they can contest it. If they contest it, the Bureau will refer the matter to the Industrial Commission for a hearing. At the hearing you and your attorney will be present to submit any proof that you have. If we have an incident report from the employer when you reported the injury at work and we have your medical records which notes that you were injured at work and the nature of the injury, we would be very optimistic that the claim would be allowed. Even if you do not have the incident report from the employer does not mean that you will lose the claim. We would simply have to evaluate the case to see what other proof there is that you were injured in the course and scope of your employment.
Once the claim is allowed you will be entitled to all the benefits which Worker’s Compensation provides, including temporary total compensation if you cannot work or if your employer does not light duty.
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