Everything you need to know about Arizona’s workers’ comp law, eligibility requirements, and how to apply for benefits
Did you recently get hurt or become ill due to your job? Under Arizona law, eligible injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help pay for medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses. In exchange, you forfeit the right to sue your employer for damages in a personal injury lawsuit (barring a few exceptions and rare scenarios).
Workers’ compensation may be your only path to compensation for your work-related injury or illness. For this reason, it’s critical that you properly navigate the complex workers’ compensation system when applying for benefits in order to secure the full and fair benefits you’re owed.
Without professional representation, many injured workers fail to receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
If you plan to file a workers’ compensation claim, we ask you to consider scheduling a free consultation with our experienced work injury attorneys as soon as possible.
We fully understand Arizona workers’ compensation law and are ready to stand with you to the very end. You only pay if we are successful in obtaining benefits for you, so there’s no cost or commitment needed to get our professional legal advice on your case.
The application process to obtain workers’ compensation is complex and time-consuming. Before you start applying for benefits, you’ll want to determine if you’re eligible to receive workers’ compensation in the first place. Here’s what you need to know about applying for workers’ compensation in Arizona:
What to do immediately after a workplace injury
Step 1: Seeking medical attention should be your first priority.
Step 2: After that, you should report the details of your workplace injury, in writing, to your supervisor to begin the claim process.
Step 3: Soon after sustaining a workplace injury, you should write down details about the accident while they are fresh in your mind. At a minimum, your record of the event should include the following elements:
- Exact date and time of the injury
- Your exact location at the time of the injury/accident
- All body parts injured
- A brief statement of the events surrounding the injury (How did this happen?)
This record will help your attorney properly evaluate your claim and provide evidence if your claim is wrongfully denied.
Workers’ compensation benefits: Are you eligible?
If your injury is job-related, you are most likely covered under workers’ compensation — regardless of who caused the accident. You’re typically able to receive workers’ comp benefits if you meet these four basic eligibility requirements:
- You are an employee (independent contractors and volunteers typically don’t count, though you still may have rights)
- Your employer carries workers’ comp insurance (as required by law for a majority of employers, though not all)
- You suffered a work-related injury or illness
- You file your claim within the state’s deadline for filing a workers’ comp claim (In Arizona and most other states, the employee must file a work injury claim in writing within one year from the date of injury.)
How Workers’ Compensation is Paid in Arizona
To begin the process, you must report the details of your workplace injury to your supervisor and request the claim form that Arizona law says an employer must provide.
At this point, you should also request that your employer refer you to an approved medical care provider. In Arizona, employers get to choose the doctor their injured employee sees on their first medical treatment. After this, though, you’re allowed to choose your own doctor.
However, if the injury is serious, first seek immediate medical attention and then notify your employer, in writing, as soon as possible.
After your employer has been notified of the injury, they are required to file an Employer’s Report of Injury to the Industrial Commision of Arizona. (Note: This form is different from a claim form.)
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier is then notified of the claim and has 21 days to accept or deny compensation.
If the insurance carrier accepts your claim, they must provide payment for medical bills in accordance with the Arizona Fee Schedule. If the carrier denies your claim, you may appeal the decision by filing a Request for Hearing within 90 days from the date of the denial notice.
Benefits from a workers’ compensation claim are limited; however, you can usually expect your employer’s insurance company to pay 100% of your medical bills. You will also receive a percentage of your lost wages to compensate for time off work.
You may be eligible to receive “active” medical benefits until the doctor believes your condition cannot improve any further or is “stable.” If you have a permanent disability as a result of your injury, you may be eligible for both long term medical and monetary benefits for certain types of injuries.
The amount that you receive for lost wages depends on whether your injury is considered a temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD) or permanent partial disability (PPD). The schedule of impairment may vary throughout the claim process, which means that your compensation for lost wages could vary.
If you are suffering a temporary total disability, you will receive two-thirds of lost wages for time lost while injured. The checks are disbursed in 2-week intervals, similar to a paycheck. The highest wage recognized in the Arizona Worker Compensation Act depends on the year that the work accident occurred. For example, for 2012 injuries, the highest wage recognized by Arizona law was $4,062.29 per month. Therefore, the maximum disability benefit payable is $2,708.17 per month because that equals two-thirds of the monthly wage amount.
In a temporary partial disability claim, the injured worker will be entitled to receive two-thirds of the difference between the established average monthly wage and the wages that the injured worker is capable of earning within the medical restrictions. An award for permanent partial disability is difficult to predict, but it could be several small payments or one large payment.
To get the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive, contact attorneys Robert E. Wisniewski or Javier C. Grajeda — Workers’ Compensation Certified Specialists, State Bar of Arizona — at the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski at (602) 234-3700 for your free consultation.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
Wherever you are in the workers’ compensation process — from notifying your employer to appealing a claim denial — it pays to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can make sure your rights are protected.
The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your chances of securing the best possible outcome.
“Mr. Wisniewski is the best lawyer that I have ever had the pleasure of working with and knowing. His dedication to me as a client has been unmatched. He is kind, caring, empathetic, and genuinely concerned about others. My life was restored after working with him and I was able to heal and continue teaching because of him.” – N.A.
Mr. Wisniewski has been recognized as the premier workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona. He is the only claimants’ attorney recognized as a Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation.
“It costs no more to hire the best.”
Protect Your Rights Today — Talk to an Experienced Arizona Workers’ Comp Lawyer
We understand the difficulty and hardship that a workplace or on-the-job injury can have on an individual and their family.
We have personally advised and represented hundreds of injured Arizona workers to help ensure they receive maximize benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance company.
We can help you take the next step.
Don’t let your workplace injury go unnoticed! Contact the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at one of our many conveniently located offices throughout Arizona.
You will receive prompt, courteous and respectful service and will only pay if we are successful in obtaining benefits for you. Our main law office is in Phoenix, and we handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Arizona.
Why hire our Arizona workers’ comp lawyers?
- We understand the special needs of an injured worker
- Trained and helpful staff
- Personal attention to clients
- Calls promptly returned
- Clients kept up-to-date on case
- State-wide service
- Aggressive & experienced representation
- Hablamos español
While our main law office is in downtown Phoenix, we handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Arizona – including Yuma, Kingman, Payson and Flagstaff.