One of the first steps that needs to be taken when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim is the demand letter. However, most individuals who are facing workers’ compensation claims may not know what to include in a claim demand letter. What information needs to be included in these letters?
We have asked attorney, Alaina Sullivan, and here is what she had to say:
Check State Law
Ever state has its own specific law regarding workers’ compensation claims. It is for this reason that the injured employee needs to verify first what information needs to be included in the demand claim letter and to also ensure that the letter is submitted within the proper timeline.
This information can be found with the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board.
Contents of the Letter
The demand letter does not need to be lengthy by any means. In fact, it is recommended that the letter is less than two or two and a half pages in length. The point of the letter is to address who is responsible for the injuries and what the damages are.
This can be done in a clear, concise and non-argumentative manner.
The first paragraph of the article should discuss liability, explaining simply what happened, who did what and exactly what happened. Of course, sometimes liability may be a little more complicated and may require more explanation than one simple paragraph can provide, but it should not normally be more than two paragraphs.
In terms of damages, the information should be a little more detailed, which will be explored more below.
The Damages Paragraphs
When it comes to damages, this part of the letter is the meat of what the individual is trying to prove. It is for this reason that a little more detail may be needed, as this information will help base the amount of money the injured employee will receive.
In general, it is recommended that the letter discuss the following:
- What was the employment situation of the injured employee, including the name of the employer and what the earnings or salary was of the injured employee at the time of the accident;
- Detailed description of what physically happened to the body of the injured employee during the accident;
- A detailed description of what the diagnosis was of the injured employee after the incident occurred;
- Summary of what medical treatment has been received;
- A description of how the injury has affected or hurt the injured employee’s ability to work or do normal things in his or her personal life;
- How long was the injured employee out of work;
- What were the medical bills incurred as a result of the injury;
- What are the employee’s lost earnings?
One defense that could later be raised is the employee was not acting within his or her employment duties when the injury happened. It is for this reason that the employee should describe in detail exactly what duties were being performed at the time of the injury.
If there were any preexisting conditions that could be raised as a defense, it does not help the employee to keep this information deliberately hidden. The injured employee should not focus on this information a great deal, but it does help to disclose it if it does exist.
After disclosing this information, then go into detail what the current diagnosis is and give information to back up the claim that the employee’s injuries were from this specific on-the-job incident.
Add information for any eyewitnesses who were there when the accident happened, if that helps back up the claim. Also, give a complete list of doctors who made the diagnosis and can back up the claim.
Consult an Attorney to Prepare the Letter
This claim letter is important as it will be the basis for the claim going forward. It is for this reason that it can be very helpful to at least meet with a workers’ compensation attorney to begin preparing the letter.
The attorney can review what the client has and give recommendations to improve it before sending it out.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you are in the process of pursuing workers’ compensation and have questions about the process and what needs to be submitted, a workers’ compensation attorney can help review your case and discuss your options.
An attorney can listen to the facts of the case and can best advise you on how to proceed. Contact an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation law to schedule a consultation today.