The first step to filing a workers’ comp claim is to report your job-related injury to your supervisor at work. In the case of a single event that precipitates an injury — like a fall at a construction site, or a shelving collapse at a warehouse — you have 30 days to report the injury to your supervisor. In the case of occupational disease or injury caused by repeated trauma — like carpal tunnel from typing, or lower back injuries from repetitive stress — you must notify your employer within 90 days of leaving your job (although you can notify your employer earlier). This can be done verbally or in writing, but creating a written record is always the best choice when it comes to workers’ comp proceedings.
After you have notified your employer, you must file a claim with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court. What sort of claim you file depends on your injury:
- For most injuries, file Form 3
- For death of a loved one, file Form 3A
- For illness or disease, file Form 3B
- If you have had multiple injuries and multiple workers’ compensation claims, file Form 3F
Generally, you have two years from the date of injury to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Court. In the case of injuries resulting from repeated traumas, you have two years from the date of your last employment with your employer. In cases of asbestosis, related disease, silicosis, or exposure to radiation, you have two years from the date on which the exposure resulted in a symptom that could be medically diagnosed.
Oklahoma law does not require you to have an attorney when you file a workers’ compensation claim. However, experienced Oklahoma City workers’ comp lawyers can get you better results They know how to portray an injury in a light compelling to the court, and the mere fact that you choose to work with a lawyer will tell your employer’s insurance company that you cannot be intimidated or bought off. Most workers’ compensation lawyers offer their services on a contingency basis, meaning they do not receive any payment unless you do, and offer free initial consultations, so it is definitely worth your time to meet with a workers’ comp lawyer before attempting to file on your own.