Barn Injuries And Workers' Compensation Claims
Working with horses can be exciting, but it can also be dangerous at times. Injuries are common around the barn, so understanding the process for filing a workers' compensation claim is essential when you work in the equine industry.
Here are three tips you can use to ensure your horse-related work injuries don't cause you undue financial strain in the future.
1. Make sure that you file your claim as quickly as possible once an injury is sustained.
The last thing you might be thinking about after getting kicked by a horse or slipping on a wet barn floor is filing a claim to receive workers' compensation, but it's vital that you recognize the importance of timing when it comes to filing a successful claim.
Most states place restrictions on injury claims, limiting the time period in which you can file. Although most states allow an injured worker 30 to 90 days to file a claim, you should contact your local workers' compensation office to verify the time limit associated with your horse-related injury.
2. Be prepared to visit with an independent medical examiner.
Once you have filed an injury claim, the insurance company handling your employer's workers' compensation policy has the right to ask that your injuries be verified by a doctor of their choosing. These doctors are referred to as independent medical examiners, and it's their job to provide impartial information regarding the severity of your injury.
Be prepared for an appointment with an independent medical examiner by requesting your medical records and other pertinent information from your personal doctor, and taking this information with you.
3. Prepare yourself for a hearing.
Working with horses requires extreme care and caution. Your employer and their workers' compensation insurer may feel that your own negligent actions contributed to your barn-related injury, and use this to try and avoid paying financial restitution for your injuries.
Preparing yourself for a hearing to prove that you weren't at-fault for your injuries can be a challenge, so hiring an experienced workers' compensation attorney can be beneficial. The attorney will help you gather evidence proving your barn-related injury warrants a compensation claim, helping you receive the financial compensation you are entitled to.
Understanding the workers' compensation claim process can be beneficial if you work in the equine industry, where injuries frequently occur. Be sure that you know how long you have to file a claim, that you are prepared for an independent medical examination, and that you hire an attorney to help with potential hearings to get the financial compensation you need after suffering a barn-related injury.