Here are 9 Important Actions to Take After Any Workplace Injury
Every seven seconds somewhere in the world a worker has suffered from an injury. If you’re one of these workers you may be entitled to some type of workers’ compensation.
There are certain steps that you’ll have to take after the injury happens in order to collect the compensation you’re due. In most states, there’s only a small window of opportunity to report a workplace injury.
You’ll need to act quickly or you may be out of luck. We can help you with that. Keep reading to find out what you need to do when you get hurt at work.
1. File an Accident Report
Many states have a small time frame in which you can report work accidents. If you don’t report it in time, you may not be able to collect workers’ compensation.
To this end, you need to file an accident report even if you don’t think you’ve sustained any long-term injuries. Besides, if you let your supervisor know about the accident they can take measures to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. You’ll be helping everyone in the long run.
2. Can You Sue Your Employer After a Workplace Injury?
With the exception of Texas, most states require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has insurance you’ll be compensated and you won’t be able to sue your workplace.
There’s only one exception to this and that’s asbestos exposure. If you have been or you believe you have been exposed to asbestos you can sue your employer for damages.
3. Talk to a Doctor
Once you file a workplace accident report you’ll be required to go a doctor right away. If you’re badly injured, go to the emergency room. If you’re not too badly injured, you’ll need to ask your employer if there’s a certain doctor that you have to go to.
If your employer picks out the doctor and you don’t like the results, you may be entitled under workers’ compensation laws to go to a different doctor to get a second opinion. Whatever you do, make sure that the doctor records everything regarding the appointment and every appointment after.
4. Report the Injury
If your doctor confirms that you were injured at work, you’ll have to report it to your employer. It’s up to them to file a workers’ compensation claim for you.
Follow up later to be sure they filed your claim and ask for a copy of it. They have to give it to you.
5. Keep Track of Your Expenses and Missed Work
Depending on your work injury, you may be out of the job for quite a while. During this time, it’s important that you record your expenses and keep track of the number of days that you’re not working.
If you’ve had to travel to see a doctor, write down those expenses as well and keep all of your receipts. All of these records will help you make your claim and get the compensation you need to pay for everything.
6. Record Any Interactions
On top of keeping up with your expenses, you should also record any conversations that go on between you and your employer or the insurance company. Write down the time and date the conversations took place, what was said, and who was there.
This will act as evidence in the event your claim is denied or delayed in any way. You’ll need to record any conversations you have with your workers’ comp doctor as well.
7. Keep Seeing Your Doctor
You’ll have to continue seeing your workers’ comp doctor after the initial appointment. They’ll be able to keep up with your progress and let your employer know when you’re fit to go back to work.
Do everything that your doctor tells you to do. Refusing to listen or go to the doctor will send the message that you’re not as hurt as you claim to be to the insurance company. That could cause your claim to be denied.
8. Talk to An Attorney
As you can see, being injured can be stressful. There’s quite a bit you have to keep up with and everything has a time window. That’s why you should consult an experienced attorney.
They can help take the pressure off you by helping you fill out and turn in any paperwork you need to turn in. If any issues pop up involving your claim, they can help you sort it out so you can get compensation.
9. Things That Aren’t Covered
There are a few instances where you don’t have the option to file for workers’ comp. If you get into a car accident in the company vehicle because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that won’t be covered.
If you’re injured because you were goofing off with a co-worker, again that’s on you. Getting injured while you’re off the clock also won’t be covered. For example, getting into a wreck on the commute home from the office doesn’t count as being injured at work.
Taking Action After a Workplace Injury
Do you believe you’ve suffered from an unjust workplace injury? You may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
There’s only a small window of time to apply after you’re hurt so use these steps to get started. If you don’t, you may end up paying for your medical bills out of your own pocket.
Are you ready to get in touch with a workers’ comp doctor? Contact us to set up an appointment. We can’t wait to see you.