What Should You Do After Suffering From a Workplace Injury?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are more than two million workplace injuries and illnesses every year. This translates into over three hurt employees for every 100 full-time workers.

Were you recently hurt at work? If you were, here’s what you need to know to protect your rights. Check out our guide and you’ll learn how to protect these rights throughout the upcoming process.

What’s an Injury?

An injury is any physical damage to the human body. Examples of injuries can include burns, cuts, or bruises.

Injuries also include illness or disease. These injuries must show damage to the regular functioning of someone’s mental health or internal organs. If an injury takes place on the job. that employee is eligible for workers compensation.

What is Workers Compensation?

Workers compensation is a type of insurance companies carry. This coverage provides health benefits to their workers who suffer from workplace injuries. Workers compensation laws guarantee hurt employees will actually receive these reimbursements.

The workers compensation system helps injured workers avoid taking legal action against employers to recover compensation for these injuries. The first workers compensation laws began in the US in 1902. All US states had their own set of statutes in place that protect their workers by 1949.

Most states require employers to have a workers compensation policy in place before they start doing business. All US states have their own individual set of workers compensation statutes.

For example, some states have special laws to protect federal government employees. Other states have statutes in place to protect employees in specific industries. You’ll also notice that other states have specific laws for self-employed workers.

State and federal workers compensation statutes protected more than 135 million employees. Total wages paid out to these covered workers was over seven trillion dollars.

What To Do If You’re Hurt at Work

Even though each US state has a different group of workers comp regulations, filing claims for workplace injuries will contain these similar steps:

Notify Your Employer of Your Accident

Be sure you notify your employer about your worksite injuries. You can report your injuries either in person or in writing as well. Review your company’s policies. See if they list any specific worksite safety procedures or regulations for reporting an injury.

Visit Your Doctor Right Away

Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can after you notice your injury. The doctor’s medical opinion will diagnose your injury. They’ll also identify any treatment you’ll need to follow.

Make sure you ask your doctor to record all the details. Ask them what they think will be necessary to prove that your workplace accident triggered your injury.

All of these details are also helpful in the event you start to notice any delayed onset injuries further in your recovery.

Receive Notification From Your Company’s Insurance Provider

After you’ve notified your employer about your injury on the job, they will send you what’s called a First Report of Illness or Injury. They might also share a copy of your letter with their insurance provider. Sometimes a company will send the injured worker a brochure that outlines their worker’s rights.

Employees eligible for reimbursement can expect to see payments 21 days after they first reported their injuries. These payments will then arrive approximately every two weeks.

Settle Disputes Rather than File Workers Comp

If you receive no notification or payments from your employer’s insurance provider, let your company know. In the event you disagree with your employer’s reimbursement offer, try to resolve your disagreement with them first.

Call a Workers Compensation Lawyer

If your negotiations fail, then your next step will be to file your formal workers comp claim. This is the point in the process when you hire a workers compensation attorney. These professionals will help you navigate the legal process.

Workers comp attorneys are also considered personal injury lawyers or accident lawyers. A workers comp attorney represents an injured victim who can prove that their job caused their injuries.

Workers comp lawyers can help a victim negotiate payment terms with their company’s insurance provider. They can also help guide their clients through the workers comp claim process.

Filing a Workers Compensation Claim

Injured employees have either thirty days from their doctor’s diagnosis or thirty days since their workplace accident to request workers compensation.

When injured employees submit their notification, their employers will give them an official workers compensation application for them to submit their claim formally.

Employers can send in these claims to their insurance company on the injured worker’s behalf. When you get copies of these forms, be sure to include the following details in your claim:

  • Date, time, and site address where the injury took place
  • Damaged areas of your body or the type of injury
  • How the accident took place
  • Any witnesses on the site
  • All medical treatments received to date.

Once they review your claim, a representative from your employer’s insurance company contacts you to tell you if your claim is approved and for what amount.

Workers Comp Claim Consideration Process

Your employer has seven days to notify their insurance provider of your claim. Sometimes a company doesn’t report an accident. When this happens, the employee can notify their insurance carrier themselves. The insurance carrier then considers whether the claim is eligible for compensation.

If your employer denies your request, you then have two years to file a petition. File your petition for benefits with your employer’s Employment Assistance Office or Human Resources division.

Is a Workers Comp Claim Your Next Step?

Ready to submit a workers comp claim? If so, schedule an appointment with your physician. Ask them their opinion on what treatment you’ll need to regain your good health. Keep a detailed record of any doctor visits. This information will be necessary in case you start to notice delayed onset injuries further along in your treatment plan

If you want more information on what to do if you’re hurt at work, head over to our website. We have all the information you’ll need to recapture your optimal health.