Guide to Filing a Workers Compensation Claim in Utah
How to File a Workers Compensation Claim in Utah
With a few narrow exceptions, Utah requires all employers to carry workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation protects workers who sustain injuries on the job by compensating them for lost wages and injuries, as well as covering medical expenses. If you’ve been injured on the job, you might be wondering if your case qualifies and how to file a claim. Here is The Advocates’ guide to filing a workers compensation claim in Utah.
I’ve Been Injured on the Job, Now What?
The first step will be to report your injury to your employer. While the law allows an injury to be reported up to 180 days after being injured, it is in your best interest to report any injury immediately. Insurance companies may express doubts about claims that are not submitted right away.
This report can be to your supervisor, manager, human resources, or any individual or department designated to receive an injury report. However the report is made, it is very important that the report is documented and that you keep a copy of any forms or records. Proper documentation can help to prevent any delays in receiving your compensation. Sometimes an injury that does not seem that serious develops unforeseen complications, so if in doubt, err on the side of reporting the injury.
Within seven days of receiving a report of injury the employer must notify their insurance carrier. The insurance company then has 14 days to file a First Report of Injury form with the Industrial Accidents Division. They are required to provide you a copy of this form. Your copy should be accompanied by a form detailing your rights and responsibilities located here.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers Compensation in Utah
Workers compensation is designed to cover any injury or illness that occurs in the course of your employment. Injuries sustained while off-duty, on break, or during your commute will typically not be covered. Traumatic injuries like a broken bone as well as occupational illnesses like cancer or carpal tunnel are covered. As a general rule of thumb, if the contents of a first aid kit can fully treat your injury then it is likely not severe enough to warrant filing a workers compensation claim.
Injuries while you were acting in the course and scope of your job will be covered even if not at your usual business location. For example if you were driving to visit a client and were in a car accident and sustained injuries that required more than simple first aid, lost wages and injuries from the accident would qualify for compensation. Workers compensation covers all workers equally including part-time and new employees from day one.
Available Benefits Through Utah Workers Compensation
All medical treatment including doctor visits, hospital bills, prescriptions, and prosthetic devices. Mileage you incur traveling to and from medical appointments. In addition to medical benefits you will also be eligible to receive temporary disability payments or a permanent disability reward if applicable.
While you are temporarily disabled and unable to work you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages plus $20.00 per dependent. The weekly amount cannot exceed the average weekly wage for the state as determined yearly. For the fiscal year of 2019 that ends in June of 2020 the maximum amount allowed is $916.00 per week.
Workers Compensation and Permanent Disabilities
Permanent partial disabilities receive a weekly benefit that is two-thirds of past weekly wages not to exceed two-thirds of the state average wage. For most injuries Utah has adopted a schedule of the length of time benefits are to be paid based on the specific injury. The current schedule for Utah is located here. For injuries not covered by the schedule the length of time benefits are paid is not to exceed 312 weeks.
Full permanent disability qualifies for two-thirds of past wages not to exceed 85% of the state average weekly wage at the time of the accident. After the initial 312 weeks the minimum benefit will be 36% of the current state average weekly wage with a maximum of $779.00 per week.
Options if Your Workers Compensation Claim is Denied
Sometimes a claim is outright denied or specific portions are disputed by the insurance company. You have the right to file for an appeal of their decision with the Utah Labor Commission. Upon receiving your request for an appeal, the Labor Commission will ask your employer to file an Answer within 30 days. After the Answer has been filed a hearing will be scheduled. The hearing will be before an administrative judge and will adhere to many of the same rules as a regular court proceeding.
If you are not satisfied with the judge’s decision you have 30 days to file a Motion to Review with the Labor Commission Appeals Board. A further review of that decision will have to be made directly to the Utah Court of Appeals. The full process of disputing a claim denial can become quite complex and hiring an attorney who specializes in workers compensation law is vital to protecting your rights.
Hire an Advocate for Your Utah Workers Compensation Claim
The Advocates have been helping Utah residents with recovering from an injury since 1992. Locally based but with the resources of a large firm we’ve recovered more than $300 million on behalf of our clients. Let our team of workers compensation specialists work for you and your family to protect your rights and get the settlement you deserve. An attorney is standing by 24/7 to speak with you about your case by calling (801) 326-0809, filling out the form below, or chatting with us confidentially here. Why settle for second best when you can have The Advocates on your side? Your claim deserves an Advocate!