Getting Hurt at Work: What to Do When You Need Compensation
Photo by Anamul Rezwan
No one heads into work with the mindset that they’re going to get injured that day. You’re a hard-working employee who comes into work expecting to get the job done and go home at the end of the day. Getting hurt at work, however, does happen occasionally.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your work injury is. If you’re hurt on the job, then you deserve compensation for your injuries and time lost on the clock. Work-related injuries not only cause current physical restrictions for you, but they can cause futures problems as well.
You’ll also be out of work for quite some time depending on the severity of the injury. If you’re injured on the job, then you need to know all the steps to take to ensure you get your compensation.
Continue reading below for our guide on what to do after you’ve been injured at work.
File a Report
As soon as the injury happens, you need to report it to your employer. Be sure to put this report in writing. Having it in writing will serve as proof that you made the report.
There are states that only require a verbal notice of a work injury, but it’s always a good idea to have it in writing.
Some states even have laws in place that state employees must file an injury report within a certain amount of time after the injury occurs. If you fail to meet this deadline, you could end up forfeiting your rights.
If the injury is significant enough to require immediate attention, seek medical attention first. Once you’ve been treated, file the report ASAP.
Schedule a Visit With a Doctor
Some states will require you to see doctors that are paid for by the employer. Other states will allow you to see your own doctor but may require you to put this request in writing upon being hired.
If you must see the doctor hired by your employer, then you’ll typically need to visit this doctor for a month before you can begin seeing your own doctor. Check with your employer and state laws to see what your options are.
Once you know what doctor you can see, schedule an appointment. In some situations, your employer might ask for a second opinion. If this is the case, you’ll need to see a second doctor and get a second evaluation.
Remember, the doctors that work under your employer might not be as willing to give you the evaluation you need to get your compensation. That’s why it might be a good idea to get a second opinion.
Contact Workers’ Compensation
Not only will you need to file a report with your job, but you’ll also need to file a report with Workers’ Compensation as well. When you make the report with your employer, they should give you a form to fill out for Workers’ Comp.
If your employer doesn’t have the forms for you, contact Workers’ Comp and request the forms yourself. Once you have them, fill out the employee section entirely and sign and date. Make a copy of the forms for your own records.
Give the form to your employer to fill out the employer section and then send it into Workers’ Comp. Ask for a copy of the completed form. You can also contact Workers’ Comp to ensure your employer sent the paperwork in.
Ask them how long it should be until you receive a status update. If you don’t have a status update when told, then reach out to them again.
Know Your State’s Laws
Each state has its own laws regarding work injuries and Workers’ Comp. Do you know what information is needed from you? Do you know what all of your deadlines are?
Look into your specific state’s laws and be sure to follow everything accordingly. This will eliminate errors on your part.
Return to Work When Able
Once you’re given the clear to return to work, do so. You want to show that you’re willing to work and want to return to work. If you refuse to return after the doctor’s cleared you, it can seem as though you’re looking for a reason not to work.
If you believe there are reasons related to your injury stopping you from being able to return to work, then be sure to speak with a doctor about your concerns. In some cases, doctors will write a doctor’s note stating limitations for the employee upon returning to work.
Contact a Lawyer if Needed
Not all Workers’ Compensation cases are simple. Some cases are dry cut while others lead to investigations and second doctor opinions, and more. If you believe your employer isn’t taken your injury seriously or believe you’re not getting the compensation you deserve, then you need to contact a Workers’ Compensation lawyer.
A Workers’ Comp lawyer will ensure you get the compensation you deserve. If your employer tells you they don’t have Workers’ Comp, then be sure to contact your lawyer immediately. They’ll stay by your side and guide you throughout the entire process.
Compensation for Getting Hurt at Work Requires These Simple Steps
You didn’t plan on getting hurt at work, but it happened. Now is the time to take the steps needed to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve. Use this guide above to help navigate you through your Workers’ Comp claim.
When problems arise, don’t hesitate to contact your lawyer.