Although most states require businesses to provide workers’ compensation coverage, the laws do vary. In the state of Utah, nearly all employers are required to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy (with very few exceptions to this rule). They also must post somewhere in their business visible to employees that they are following the workers’ compensation laws in the state.
This transparency is important so that employees are fully aware of their right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they get hurt or sick on the job.
Read further to learn more about the specifics of workers’ compensation in Utah.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation provides medical and wage benefits for people who get hurt or sick because of their work. This no-fault insurance protects employees and employers alike.
The employees get help with their medical bills and lost wages while the employer gets some protection from being sued by their employees after injuries.
Who Can File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
First and foremost, in order for an employee can file a workers’ comp claim, their injury or illness has to be work-related, meaning it happened at work or while working. But any eligible employee with a legitimate claim can file. That means all full-time and part-time employees are eligible, and that benefit extends to each employee from day one.
Contractors are not classified as employees and are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Reporting a Work Injury or Illness
If you get injured or get sick at work, it’s important to report it to your employer immediately. If you’re unable to report it yourself because of your condition, a family member can report it on your behalf. But either way, reporting it right away and getting the details around your situation documented is critical to you getting the benefits you need after a workplace injury. If you fail to report your injury to your employer in a timely manner, you may lose your right to file a workers’ compensation claim later.
According to the Utah Labor Commission, here’s what to expect from the workers’ comp claim reporting process:
- Initial Report: Notifying your employer of your injury or illness immediately (you or a family member) is the first step. This notification must be made within 180 days of the injury or illness and should be documented.
- Employer Reports to Insurance: The employer has 7 days after being notified of the injury/illness to report the claim to their workers’ compensation insurance.
- Physician’s Report: Outside of any initial emergency treatment, you will need to get your doctor approved by your employer, or they may not be required to cover the cost of the medical treatment. Within 7 days of the initial examination, the doctor must provide a report to the insurance carrier as well. The insurance carrier can open a claim with this report or the employer’s—whichever arrives first.
- Insurance Carrier Report: The insurance carrier must report to Utah’s Industrial Accidents Division within 14 days of receiving a claim. They have 21 days to decide what compensation will be given to the injured worker.
- Further Investigation: If additional time is needed to investigate the claim, the carrier or employer will have 24 days to decide to accept or deny.
Following these steps, the injured worker should receive all copies of reports and a form that shares the rights of the employee under these circumstances.
If you’re injured at work and your claim is denied after the above steps are taken, you still have rights and a way forward. You should reach out to a Utah workers’ compensation lawyer right away to handle your claim and help you get your workers’ compensation benefits.
What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers three main classifications:
- Medical: Workers’ comp covers all medical care necessary to treat the condition caused by a work-related illness or injury. This can include doctors’ appointments, specialists, surgery, physical therapy, medicine, travel expenses for care, and more.
- Lost Wages: Missed work means missed wages. Workers’ comp benefits cover these lost wages (otherwise known as indemnity). This benefit will help cover a portion, usually up to two-thirds, of the injured worker’s lost income.
- Death: If injuries or illness caused by work result in a worker’s death, their family members may receive benefits that cover partial burial expenses and weekly payments to cover the support of any dependents of the deceased.
Contact Utah’s Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Great West Injury Law
We hope the information we’ve shared on how to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Utah is helpful to you. Should you experience a work-related injury or illness, reach out to our workers’ comp lawyers at Great West Injury Law.
If you’ve already filed a claim and are experiencing obstacles in the claims process, we’re here to step in and navigate the process for you. We will work to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case consultation.