No one wants to think about getting injured at work. In fact, most employees assume they will never need to file a workers’ compensation claim. They figure they are careful and safety regulations are followed. However, as many injured workers learn, accidents often happen seemingly out of nowhere, often when they feel the safest.
Because accidents happen suddenly, all workers should know what to do if they become injured at work. It is important to remember that every employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This benefit is provided so that workers do not suffer financial setbacks as a result of working for a living.
Employers expect these claims to be filed. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not an adversarial action against the employer. It is filing for an insurance benefit, just like filing an insurance claim for a medical procedure.
Report the Incident
This is first because it is by far the most important. Without a report, no claim can be filed, so you must do this right away. Most states have limits on reporting claims. If you miss the deadline, your claim will be denied. If possible, immediately inform your supervisor. If you inform them verbally, follow up in writing.
See the Doctor
If the injury does not warrant a trip to the emergency room, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. Ask your employer if you need to see a specific doctor or if you can see your own doctor. Oftentimes, workers’ compensation plans require the injured workers be seen by a company-provided doctor.
All costs associated with medical treatment are covered under workers’ compensation. This includes emergency treatment, diagnostics, office visits, and medications. Surgery and ongoing treatments like physical therapy are also covered.
Make Sure the Claim Is Filed
Your employer must file the workers’ compensation claim on your behalf. Be sure to follow up on the claim, even if you are unable to work. Workers’ compensation covers lost income for any time your injury prevents you from working, so having the claim filed is always to your benefit.
Call a Lawyer If You Have Any Trouble
Workers’ compensation lawyers offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to contact one if you have trouble with your claim, like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP or another reliable lawyer. Your claim cannot be denied so long as your injury occurred while at work. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous employers or insurance companies may look for reasons to deny claims. If this happens, a tough litigator can step in and put it right.