Every year, approximately 2.9% of workers report injuries at their workplace.
If you got hurt at work, as well, it is important to understand your immediate course of action. Depending on the state you’re in, the laws regarding things like workers’ compensation may vary. However, the general procedure remains relatively similar.
Let’s go over the basic steps you need to take after an injury at work.
1. Report Your Injury as Soon as Possible
If you find yourself injured in your workplace, it is best to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. In most cases, you do have a period of approximately 10 days or so, to convey your injury to your employer. However, the sooner you get this out of the way, the better it is for you.
To be safe, try to report your injury in writing and keep a copy of the report with you.
Once you’ve reported your injury to the employer, it is their responsibility to submit an “Employer’s First Report”.
2. Get the Appropriate Medical Care for Your Injury
Depending on the type of injury you have, you will also need to seek immediate medical assistance. Depending on the state you’re in, you may have some restrictions on the kind of doctor you can choose.
There are special workers compensation doctors to whom you can go to for medical assistance in certain states if your laws allow it.
3. Record All Medical Expenses Incurred
While undergoing any kind of medical care, it is absolutely essential that you keep track of all your medical expenses. This includes consultation fees, medication fees, surgery or any other medical payments you may have made during your time at the hospital or clinic.
4. A Doctor’s Statement and Submitting a Claim
It is also helpful to get a doctor or medical practitioner’s statement on the severity of your injury and its impact on your ability to work. Additionally, be sure to keep a record of missed work due to rehabilitation for your injury.
When you notify your employer of missed work, they must be able to supply you with a Workers’ Compensation claim form immediately. Fill out the section for “employees” and keep a copy for yourself. Once you fill it out, you must return the form to your employer.
5. Contact an Attorney for Assistance
If you’re having any kind of trouble with your claim, be sure to contact a lawyer for assistance. This is especially important if your employer claims that they do not have Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Laws generally require most businesses to have this kind of insurance, with the exception of independent contractors and domestic workers.
Got Hurt at Work? Get to Know Your State Laws
If you got hurt at work, it is important to verify your rights by reading up on things like the statute of limitations required by the laws of your state.
Additionally, while most of the above-mentioned steps should be applicable to you, it is also essential that you double-check for any specific nuances that may exist within your state’s workers’ compensation laws.
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