If you were injured while doing your job and have begun the process of filing a workers’ comp claim, you may be wondering if you need to be careful about what forms you sign. Generally, this is not something you need to worry about, although it never hurts to be careful. The only thing you might want to be wary of is if your employer tries to sabotage the claim. This is illegal, of course, but it does still happen occasionally. Even if it is unlikely, this guide will explain which forms you should sign and which forms you should not sign.
What Forms To Sign
The question of which forms to sign is actually quite simple. To begin the process, the only thing you need to do is report the injury to your employer. From that point, it is your employer’s legal obligation to file the claim. This involves preparing all the forms for you to sign and deliver them to you. The exact forms that will be required will vary wildly from one state to the next. If you are worried about the motives of your employer, you should research the forms for your state or speak with a workers’ comp attorney. Generally, you should simply watch out for a small number of specific forms not to sign.
What Forms Not To Sign
There are only a few types of forms that you need to be wary of. These are:
- Forms that state things happened differently than you remember
- Forms which agree to a settlement outside of the workers’ comp system
- Forms that waive your employer’s responsibility to provide workers’ comp
First, it is important that you never sign your name to any forms that state the events leading to the injury unless you agree with the description fully. Doing so would be legally agreeing that things happened that way, which may invalidate your ability to receive compensation.
Second, you should always go through the workers’ comp system to get the compensation you need. It is designed with your best interests in mind, but you will never know what you are getting if you agree to an outside settlement.
Third, all employers are legally responsible for providing workers’ comp. If you sign a waiver that releases your employer of this right, then you may not be able to receive your compensation. If you think a form falls into one of these categories, show it to a workers’ comp attorney, like a worker’s compensation attorney in NY, before you sign.
Thank you to the experts at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their expertise and input into worker’s compensation law.