You might be thinking that work injuries only happen in hard-labor job sites. However, this isn’t quite true. Although there may be more of a risk for an employee to be injured while working in something like the construction field, employees can become injured working anywhere.
For example, those working in restaurants are at risk of heavy boxes in the freezer falling on top of them. Office workers are at risk of wrist and hand problems, and that’s just to name a few. If you’re an employee, there’s always some type of risk of being hurt on the job.
If you or a family member received a work injury, then you should know about the important steps to take following the incident. There is a proper way to handle a work injury to ensure that you receive the treatment and compensation that you deserve.
It’s time to put yourself first.
Read our step-by-step guide below on what to do after getting hurt on the job!
1. Report the Injury to Your Employer
The first thing you should always do is report the injury to your employer. Unless the injury is severe enough where you need emergency assistance, report it to your employer first. If emergency treatment is needed, receive that help first and then notify your employer as soon as possible.
Depending on what the injury is, how you received it, and what type of work you were doing when you received it, there is certain paperwork that needs to be filled out. Your employer or supervisor will provide you with these forms.
Again, be sure to fill these out and return them as soon as possible. Waiting too long might result in your claim being denied.
2. Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
After notifying your employer, seek medical treatment immediately. Go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center for treatment if you need attention ASAP. If not, contact your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment for the next available slot.
However, do keep in mind that even if your injury doesn’t require immediate attention, you’ll want to be seen within a week. Waiting longer than a week gives the impression that you’re not truly hurt, which can be used against you by your employer.
If your primary care doctor doesn’t have something available within a week, go to the nearest walk-in clinic first. Then, you can see your doctor later down the road when they have an opening.
When you do receive your treatment, be sure to let the doctor know that you’re there due to a work-related injury. The doctor’s office may need to contact the workers’ compensation claims department for instructions on how to bill them.
3. File the Right Type of Claim
There are several different types of workers’ compensation forms. The type of form that you fill out depends on the type of injury and the type of work that was being done. It’s important that you file the right type of claim through workers’ compensation.
Do your research or speak with the field coordinator of your place of employment to ensure you’re filing correctly. You can always call the number on those workers’ compensation posters you see around your job and ask them as well. The process can seem confusing, but as long as you take the time to do everything correctly, you’ll be in good hands.
Just keep in mind that the sooner you get things done, the better. You want to fill out these forms and file your claim within 30 days of the incident.
4. Provide Your Employer with Paperwork
If your healthcare provider gives you an authorized work absence, you need to give this paperwork to your employer immediately. The doctor should provide you with written documentation for you to give to your employer. Be sure that the doctor includes the reason for the absence and an expected return-to-work date.
If you don’t provide your employer with this documentation, they could deny your claim. During your absence, remember to keep your employer up to date on your status. You should also keep all follow-up doctor appointments and follow your doctor’s treatment plan accordingly.
5. Return to Work When Possible
You’ll want to return to work as soon as possible. This shows that you’re not trying to simply get out of work while getting paid. When you do return to work, provide your employer with your doctor’s work clearance.
This clearance should specify whether you’re to return to work with or without restrictions. If there are some restrictions given, communicate these with your employer and ask about the appropriate accommodations.
6. Contact a Short-Term Disability Lawyer
It’s the insurance company’s job to find a reason to deny your claim. Why? They do this so that they don’t have to pay you money.
They will do whatever it takes to prove that your injury shouldn’t be accepted by workers’ compensation. Because of this, it’s essential to have short term disability lawyers on your side. If your claim is denied by workers’ compensation, you may still qualify for short-term or long-term disability.
Having these lawyers by your side ensures that you get the help that you need.
Have You or a Family Member Suffered From a Work Injury?
If you or someone you know has suffered from a work injury, it’s time to take the necessary steps to ensure you get the help you deserve. Always report the injury to your employer and to an emergency clinic immediately. Seek treatment within the first week for a lesser chance of being denied for your claim.
Be sure to fill out and provide all the correct paperwork, and contact a lawyer when in need. Following these tips is the best way to ensure the process runs smoothly.
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