Work injuries happen. What is the general protocol for reporting, receiving treatment, and getting compensation for your injury? Follow along as we dissect what to do if you are injured at work.
Immediately File an Accident Report
Upon being injured, immediately file an accident report. Most employers have a deadline for filing after an accident occurs; even if you are not injured, do not miss the deadline. Why file if you are seemingly uninjured? Filing protects you if you do not immediately experience symptoms but find yourself hurting days or weeks after. Additionally, your experience could help change dangerous protocols that could cause injury to another coworker.
See a Doctor
If you are injured, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If the injury is urgent, seek help at an emergency room; if not, check with your employer to see if they have a certain doctor they would prefer you see. If you are not satisfied with the opinion of the doctor your employer suggests, a second opinion may be needed. However, you may have to pay out of pocket for a doctor not recommended by your employer.
File a Claim With Workers’ Compensation
Every state but Texas requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and all employers except independent contractors, agricultural employees, and domestic employees are required to carry it. It is up to your employer to file a claim with their insurance as soon as possible after you start to show symptoms of your affliction.
Understand What Is Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation does not cover any injuries that result from the use of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, they do not cover injuries on the way to work, injuries that result from horseplay on the clock, or injuries from a physical altercation at work.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Before your claim is filed, it is a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer or workers’ compensation specialist. This way, you can become informed regarding the benefits to which you are entitled.
Consulting a lawyer is particularly useful if your employer disputes your claim. You have the right to a hearing in front of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Having proper representation during that hearing will be crucial.
Work injuries can become complicated situations. The aforementioned information can help you navigate the process of filing for workers’ compensation after an injury and, most importantly, obtaining representation to get the benefits to which you are entitled.