Millions of injuries occur in the workplace every year and many employees don’t know what the protocols are when it happens. Some injuries are minor and some are life-threatening. Many people continue to work even after they’re hurt without realizing that they’re exacerbating the injury or that it was worse than it appeared.
Some people don’t report injuries or seek treatment due to financial concerns or lack of insurance. There are several simple steps that any employee should take if they’re injured at work, even if they believe the injury is minor.
Obtain First Aid
As soon as an injury occurs, get the first aid or medical treatment you may need. The cost of treatment is covered by an employer’s insurance coverage – assuming it’s not disputed. You’ll have to sign a form at the time of treatment stating that you acknowledge you may be responsible for paying any related medical bills if Workers’ Compensation rejects the claim.
Tell the Supervisor
You need to immediately notify your supervisor about the nature of the injury and how it happened. There are specific time limits for reporting that must be met for injuries and work-related diseases. Failure to do so can mean you lose Workers’ Compensation benefits.
You’ll also need to file specific forms for Workers’ Compensation if you’re unable to work as a result of the injury. There are filing deadlines that must be met or you’ll forfeit your right to benefits through Workers’ Compensation.
You’ll need to follow your doctor’s orders to the letter, take medication as directed, and attend any required doctor appointments to certify that you’re able to return to work or to verify an injury is more severe than it appeared.
Hire a Lawyer
Depending on the nature of your injury, it can be a good idea to hire an attorney that specializes in workplace accidents. There are times when a Worker’s Compensation claim may be denied and you may need legal representation to receive the medical care or compensation to which you’re entitled. Never speak with your employer’s attorney or accept any monetary offer without first speaking with your own lawyer.