What To Do If You're Hurt At Work
Getting hurt at work can be a very stressful experience. You worry about your injury, when you can get back to work, and finances. With all the stress, it can be difficult to figure out what you need to do. Here is a guide on what to do if you're hurt at work:
File a Report with Your Employer
After you're injured at work, you must file a formal report with your boss. This report creates a paper trail that makes it easier to file claims and receive compensation. The amount of time you have to file the report varies by state, but the time window is typically 30 days. If your employer will not let you report the injury or tries to talk you out of it, call an attorney as well as your employer's workers compensation insurance company.
File a Worker's Compensation Claim
After filing a report, your next step is to file a claim with your employer's workers compensation insurance. There are several reasons why you should do this. The first is that this creates a formal record with your employer, the insurance company, and the state that you were injured on the job. Another reason you should do this immediately is that filing a claim gives you automatic rights, including the right to seek medical treatment, as well as the right to return to your job.
Get Medical Care
Depending on the state in which you live, you have the right to choose your own medical provider. Speak with a workers compensation insurance representative to find out the rights for your specific state. Whether you have the right to choose your own doctor or not, make sure you go to all scheduled appointments and follow all medical instructions. Going to the doctor not only documents your injuries but being compliant may help you in court if your employer decides to fight the claim.
Decide if You Need a Lawyer
Your workers compensation claim may be straightforward and you could have no trouble receiving compensation. However, you may need to hire a lawyer under certain circumstances. Here are reasons you may need to hire a lawyer:
- Your employer denies your claim.
- The workers compensation offer doesn't cover all your expenses, especially medical care.
- Your doctor says you may be permanently disabled.
- Your employer fires you after you file a claim.
- You were injured due to documented negligence on the part of your employer.
- Your injuries required extensive surgery or hospital time, especially in the ICU.
These are actions you should take if you are injured on the job. If you have any questions, contact a representative of your local workers compensation insurance agency.