Injuries happen at work all the time. In 2017, there were more than 2.8 million on-the-job injuries that sparked workers’ compensation claims.
If you’re injured at work, you’ll need to follow the right steps to make sure you get the compensation you deserve and can focus on your recovery.
Not sure where to start? Here are the key steps you need to take following a workplace injury.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer Immediately
The first thing you need to do after getting injured at work is to speak with your supervisor and let them know what happened. The sooner you can do this, the better.
Reporting your injury to your supervisor is the first step in making a workers’ compensation claim. If they don’t know that the injury happened at work, they can’t give you the necessary paperwork to file the claim in the first place.
Keep in mind that the injury has to have happened while you were performing work-related duties. If you were on your lunch break or got hurt goofing off with coworkers, you may not qualify for workers comp.
Go to the Doctor
After reporting your injury, your supervisor should excuse you to get medical attention immediately. If they don’t, you’ll want to find a lawyer immediately.
In most cases, your employer will recommend a specific physician that’s approved by their workers’ compensation insurance provider. In most instances, these doctors will provide a fair assessment of your injuries.
But if they don’t or you’re not comfortable with the way the appointment went, don’t hesitate to consult your primary care physician for a second opinion. Remember, the more documentation of your injuries you can get, the more successful your workers’ compensation claim will be.
Ultimately, this can mean the difference between a successful claim and one that you have to fight for.
Record What Happened
While the accident is fresh in your mind, you’ll want to record what happened as accurately as possible. This information will get used by the insurance company to validate your claim.
Grab a pen and paper and write down what you remember. If any of your coworkers witnessed the accident, get them to write down what they saw.
The more detail you can provide, the better. Just make sure you stick to the facts. With all workers’ compensation claims, you need to be as honest as possible.
Once you write down what you remember, give a copy of it to your employer for their records. In most instances, you’ll need to provide your employer with notice of your injury within 30 days. Otherwise, you may not be able to file a workers compensation claim.
Start Your Worker’s Compensation Claim
Most employers will give you the paperwork you need to initiate the claim immediately. But if yours doesn’t, you’ll need to ask for the necessary paperwork.
Should your employer refuse, take matters into your own hands. You can fill out the forms on your own and submit them to the state’s workers’ compensation division.
The important thing is to start your claim as soon as possible. The sooner you initiate the claim, the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovering quickly.
Talk to an Attorney
Work-related injuries can be tough to navigate on your own. There are a lot of forms and documents that can be confusing unless you’re familiar with personal injury law and the workers’ compensation claims process.
The best thing you can do is speak with an attorney if you feel that your employer isn’t being responsive or that their workers’ compensation insurance provider is fighting your claim.
Your attorney will be able to review your case and can help you mount a defense if needed.
Do What Your Doctor Tells You
Throughout the process, you’ll need to follow your doctor’s directions as closely as possible. Remember, the more you do as they say, the faster you’ll recover.
More importantly, following your doctor’s directions is key to making sure your claim is successful.
Your employer has workers compensation insurance and that insurance provider will do whatever they can to reduce the amount of money they pay out. This means they may monitor your social media accounts to make sure you’re not engaging in activities that you should avoid during your recovery.
This is completely legal, but it does mean you need to be mindful of what you do.
Be Mindful of Everything You’re Signing
It’s normal for the insurance company to give you forms you need to sign, especially if you’re given a settlement amount for your injuries. Before you sign, make sure you understand precisely what you’re signing.
Read the documents in detail and consult your attorney if you have any questions about certain clauses. The last thing you want to do is sign away your ability to contest the settlement.
If you do, you’ll have no choice but to accept what they offer you the first time. This means you’ll lose the ability to contest their decision if the claim gets denied.
Be Prepared to Fight for What You Deserve
It’s important to note that you may not get the settlement you deserve immediately. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Be prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.
The added time and effort you put into negotiating with the insurance company will pay off if you’re spared the costly medical bills from your injuries.
Use These Tips If You’re Injured at Work
If you get injured at work, these steps will help you navigate your workers’ compensation claim successfully. But that doesn’t mean you have to go through the process alone.
Don’t let a workplace injury interrupt your life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and start fighting for the compensation you deserve. Our consultations are free and you won’t pay a dime unless we win your case.