What Should An Injured Worker Do After An Accident?
Even the most seemingly harmless jobs still come with a risk of serious injury. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2.9 million people suffer injuries from work every year, which adds up to three cases per every 100 workers. If the day ever comes when you suffer an injury at work, you need to know what steps to take.
Making a mistake in not reporting to authorities right after the injury can lead to the loss of thousands of dollars in compensation. In fact, you may lose any right to compensation. Here are the steps you need to take in order to keep yourself safe and make sure you obtain the benefits you deserve.
Four Immediate Steps To Take After A Work Injury
1. Immediately Report The Injury To Any Officials You Need To Consult
Reporting the injury is a critical first step to obtaining any eventual compensation. Failure to report the injury can lead to disciplinary action in some companies. In all companies, failure to report could lead to a loss of benefits.
An employer may successfully argue that your health concerns were pre-existing if you do not quickly report them. If you receive a serious injury that needs immediate treatment, undergo the treatment and then report the injury using the company’s proper channels.
2. Receive The Right Treatment
Make sure that you are receiving treatment according to the terms provided by the company’s worker’s compensation insurance policy. The company’s worker’s compensation program will set out guidelines for where you can be treated and what treatments you can receive free of charge to you.
While you can sometimes choose any doctor you want, often you will be forced to work with a doctor already cleared by the insurance company. Seek treatment in a timely manner first and document all treatment that you receive. Once again, you must make sure that you do not violate the company’s worker’s compensation policies in a way that may lead the company to ignore your claim.
3. You Must Submit A Worker’s Compensation Claim
This claim ensures that you win the benefits afforded to you as part of the company’s worker’s compensation policies. This will include both the cost of medical treatment and a certain payment of lost wages.
According to most compensation insurance policies, the company will pay out reasonable claims even if they are the employee’s fault, with the exception of the employee acting illegally or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
4. Decide If The Compensation Is Fair
Is this payment reasonable for the injury that occurred and the time that was missed by the employee? Have I been made whole by the payment from my company? If you have not been made whole or if the company has treated you unfairly in any way, then you should consider your options.
There may be an appeals process as part of your company’s worker’s compensation policy that may allow you to receive another judgment. In addition, there is the possibility that you may be able to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit to gain back the benefits you were unfairly denied.
Work injuries are always a stressful part of an employee’s working career. Many employees simply want to receive treatment and get back to work as soon as possible.
However, they may face a number of problems associated with their injuries that cost them thousands of dollars, money that they are supposed to be compensated for by worker’s compensation and by federal and state laws. People need to make sure that they know their rights and they know the procedures surrounding their injuries. If not, they can end up with a level of financial problems that are difficult to recover from.
If you have any questions, reaching out to a personal injury lawyer is usually a good idea. They will be able to assist you and help determine if you have a legitimate case or not. More often than not, firms offer free consultations to answer your questions and examine your case. If you are unsure about legal action, that is a great place to start.
Tom Moverman established the Lipsig Lawyers Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989; The firm’s focus is in products liability, personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents and medical malpractice.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy