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Filling a Workers Compensation Claim Against a Previous Employer

Posted in workers compensation on November 14, 2022

Anytime a person sustains an injury at work in Arizona, there’s a good chance they will be able to recover compensation. Just about every employer in this state is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to help pay an injured employee’s medical bills and a portion of their lost wages. However, what if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim against a former employer?

Can You File Against a Previous Employer?

If a person sustains a workplace injury or illness and their employer has workers’ compensation insurance, they should be able to recover compensation for their expenses caused by the injury or illness. However, filing can get complicated if the injured worker no longer works for the employer.

In order to demonstrate how complicated this can get, we first need to discuss the filing deadlines related to workplace injuries in Arizona. In this state, individuals who sustain a workplace injury or illness are responsible for filing a claim within one year from the date of the injury or from the date of diagnosis of the injury or illness. 

Typically, we recommend that individuals report their injury as soon as they know about it. This includes reporting it to their employer and filling out the necessary workers’ compensation form (either the Worker’s Report of Injury Form (0407) or the Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury Form (0102)). 

This one-year time frame will certainly allow for situations where a person will need to file a workers’ compensation claim against a previous employer. For example, suppose a person leaves one employer and either decides not to take a job or takes a job with another employer, only to realize that they sustained a workplace injury or illness caused by the first employer. If the workplace injury victim realizes this or receives a diagnosis, they will have that entire year from when the incident occurred or from when the diagnosis was given to file the claim against the first employer.

Will You Need an Attorney?

In general, workers’ compensation claims are straightforward in Arizona. This is a no-fault insurance system, which means individuals can recover compensation regardless of who caused the injury and without having to prove the fault of any other party. However, if a person has waited some time to file their claim and is no longer employed by the employer, it is very likely that the employer or the insurance carrier will push back from having to pay compensation.

It is important to have a skilled workplace injury lawyer by your side if you anticipate any problems when filing your workers’ compensation claim. An attorney should review your case and help you determine the best steps moving forward. This will include fully investigating the incident and ensuring that you are evaluated by trusted medical professionals who can back up your claim about when the workplace injury or illness occurred.

When you have an attorney, you will have someone who can go through every step of the process by your side, including filing the initial claim and handling any necessary administrative hearings.