Did you know that every 7 seconds an employee gets injured at work? It means that 4.5 million workers will get injured in a given year.
Work injuries bring a lot of uncertainty for employees such as lost wages and injuries. If you got hurt in a work accident, you might not know what to do. When you find yourself in this situation, you must know your rights.
Read on to find out what to do if you got injured at work.
Make an Accident Report
If you got injured at work, you might be hesitant to report the injury. Some people might not want to miss work for financial reasons. However, if you go this route, you might run into problems when you try to file for a workers’ compensation claim.
Even people who don’t get injured by the accident at work should file a claim to make a record of it.
Making a record of the accident will also be helpful to your employer so they can prevent injuries in the future.
Report the Injury Right Away
Let’s say you fall at work, but you feel fine after. Since nothing happened to you, you don’t think it’s necessary to report it right away. Later that day, you notice a bruise and start to feel pain.
Your company and supervisor won’t know you got injured unless you tell them. Therefore, they won’t be able to give you the help you need until you report it.
Report the incident right after it happens. In order for your employer to file any claims with their insurance company, they will also need to know all the facts.
After you report the injury, it’s also recommended you follow up with your employer about the status of the claim. Don’t forget you are also entitled to the copy of the claim.
Verify and read over the claim to make sure all the facts get documented exactly as they happened.
Go See a Doctor
To ensure there are no complications after your injury, you should go see a doctor right away. If your injury is severe, you might need to go to the emergency room.
When some injuries are minor and there seems to be no need to see a doctor, you should ask your supervisor if it’s necessary.
Some employers might still want you to talk to a doctor to rule out any injuries. Plus, they will want to make a record for their purposes.
Although most employers don’t choose what doctor you should go to, some of them will designate a doctor for you to visit. If the doctor your employer chooses does not satisfy you, talk to them about possibly seeing another doctor.
If your injuries are severe, you should make sure you get the medical help you need even if your employer doesn’t pay for it. This is an expense that might be worth paying for out of pocket.
You might be able to get reimbursed for the medical expenses if you choose to file a legal suit.
What are Your Benefits?
You might be wondering benefits you are entitled to if you choose to file a workers’ compensation. After you file the claim, the workers’ compensation will cover the medical expenses associated with the injury.
The workers’ compensation insurance will pay for doctor appointments, drug prescription, tests, diagnosis, lab tests, and more. They will also pay for rehabilitation after if it’s necessary.
Since workers have to be out of work for while they recover from their injuries, their employers will also pay for the lost wages.
Although employers will pay for the employee’s wages, they will only cover about two-thirds of the employee’s salary.
What are Your Rights?
If you’re injured at work, you will wonder what your rights are. After an injury at work, it’s important to find out how the law will protect you. You should also know that workers’ compensation rights often vary depending on the state.
Before you proceed with any claims, you will need to familiarize yourself with the specific workers’ compensation laws in your state. There are some rights that remain the same in all states.
For example, all states allow you to file a claim after your injury in the appropriate workers’ compensation court. It’s also your right to get treatment and see a medical professional for your injuries.
The law also protects you from being able to return to work once your doctor clears you to return. Also, if you cannot return to work and resume your duties due to the injuries, you can be eligible for disability compensation.
You also have the right to appeal any decision made by your employer if you don’t think it’s fair. The law also allows you to hire a lawyer to defend your rights.
How Can You Protect Your Rights?
After you find out what your rights are, you probably want to know how can you protect them. The easiest way to do this is by reporting the accident.
Most states require you to report the accident during the specific window of time. If you fail to report the incident during the mandated window of time, you might put in jeopardy any benefits.
After you report the incident, the next step is to file a claim with the local worker’s compensation court in your area. This will officially document your claim and protect your rights.
Look for a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you believe that your employer violated your rights after a work injury, you have the right to seek a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve when the insurance company or your employer violates your rights.
Read more about what to look for in a personal injury lawyer.
Injured at Work: Get the Help You Need
After a work injury, you need to report the incident right away, seek medical attention, and learn about your rights.
If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more, check out our health section.