Frequently Asked Questions: Workers’ Compensation

At Disability Attorneys of Arizona, we are committed to helping our clients obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. If you have been injured on the job and are seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you need the informed representation we provide. To help you understand your rights under the Arizona workers’ compensation program, we’ve put together this useful list of our clients’ frequently asked questions.

What is a work injury?

Under Arizona law (ARS Section 23-901.01), a work injury is defined as any injury or medical condition, including occupational illnesses, directly caused by an individual’s job. While the statute does not specify covered injuries or illnesses, workers’ compensation claims typically involve muscle strains, back injuries, fractures, and repetitive motion injuries. 

Who provides workers’ compensation benefits?

Arizona law requires all employers in the state to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. An employer that does not comply with this mandate or that is not self-insured may be liable for civil fines and penalties. 

How do I know if I’m eligible for workers’ compensation?

Generally, you qualify for workers’ compensation in Arizona if:

  • You were injured at work
  • Your employment aggravated a pre-existing injury
  • You developed an occupational illness

Employers and their insurers often challenge claims by arguing the injury was not work-related, however, which makes it crucial to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

What if I caused my on-the-job-injury?

The Arizona worker’s compensation program is a no-fault system, which means that you are still permitted to file a claim even if you caused or contributed to your workplace injury (as long as it was not intentionally self-inflicted).

When do I need to notify my employer about my injury?

Generally, you must report the injury in writing to your employer as soon as possible after it occurs. If you fail to notify your employer in a timely fashion, your workers’ comp claim may be challenged. 

Can I sue my employer for an on-the-job injury?

Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, you are not permitted to file a lawsuit against your employer for a work-related injury. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to pursue a third-party claim. As an example, if you were injured by defective equipment at a factory, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor. 

What types of payments will I receive from workers’ compensation?

The Arizona workers’ compensation program provides benefits such as:

  • Medical benefits
  • Lost wages (temporary or permanent benefits)
  • Specific loss benefits
  • Compensation for permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Compensation for hearing loss

In addition, surviving family members of a fatally injured worker are eligible for death benefits.

How much will I receive for lost wages?

Generally, workers’ comp in Arizona covers about two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a predetermined maximum payment amount, which is adjusted annually. 

Do I have to go to the company doctor for my work-related injury?

You are required to see a doctor chosen by your employer for the first medical visit, after which you are allowed to see your own doctor. Medical benefits covered under workers’ comp include all reasonable and necessary treatment related to your injury or illness. 

Can I collect Social Security disability benefits if I am on worker’s comp?

If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it may also be possible to obtain Social Security disability benefits, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements. Disability Attorneys of Arizona can help explain how these benefit programs work together.

What happens if my claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you have 90 days to request a hearing with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA), the state agency that oversees the workers’ compensation program. You can request a hearing either by completing a form from the ICA or in writing. Our workers’ compensation lawyers are fully prepared to represent you at the hearing and fight for the benefits you deserve.

Why do I need a lawyer to handle my workers’ compensation claim?

While injured workers have a right to workers’ compensation benefits, employers and insurance carriers often attempt to deny claims. In addition, workers’ comp claims involve complicated rules, procedures and filing deadlines.  If you fail to follow the rules or miss a deadline, your claim may be denied. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can help you avoid these pitfalls. 

Contact Our Experienced Arizona Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you have been injured on the job, you are probably concerned about your loss of income and mounting medical expenses. Disability Attorneys of Arizona will address those concerns by providing you with trustworthy advice and guidance. We offer free consultations and you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win workers’ compensation benefits for you. Please contact our office today to learn how we can help.