The first step in receiving workers' compensation, and really the only proactive step that an injured worker should have to take is telling your employer you were injured. Once you have told your employer that you were injured, they have a responsibility to notify the state through the filing of an employer's report of injury and file that report of injury with their worker's compensation insurance company.
Once the employer notifies the worker's compensation insurance company that their employee has been injured on the job, you should be hearing from that insurance company within 48 hours. If you have not heard anything from an insurance company within a couple of days, that's when it's important that you get in touch with a lawyer.
The law gives an insurance company 21 days after an injury to investigate the claim, process the claim, and begin paying. If you wait until the end of those 21 days to even contact a lawyer, your claim is going to be delayed. If you have not heard from an insurance company really as soon as possible after an injury, then there's usually something wrong.
Either the employer hasn't reported it or the insurance company has dropped the ball in terms of processing and investigating the claim, and all of those situations would be situations where I would encourage an injured worker in order to protect themselves and their family, and their financial stability, contact a lawyer. We know the laws and we can help.